Some Amazing Facts: The Laodicean Church was a Christian community established in the ancient city of Laodicea (on the river Lycus, in the Roman province of Asia, and one of the early centers of Christianity). The church was established in the Apostolic Age, the earliest period of Christianity, and is probably best known for being one of the Seven churches of Asia addressed by name in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 3:14-22).
Laodicea was famed for its wealth. So wealthy were the citizens that when the city was destroyed by an earthquake in A.D. 60, they refused the help offered by the imperial Roman government and rebuilt at their own expense. The city was also known for its black wool that was produced in the area and many Laodiceans were proud to wear black clothing. The water supply of Laodicea was lukewarm, in contrast to the hot springs at nearby Hierapolis and the cold, pure waters of Colossae. The archaeology shows Laodicea had an aqueduct that probably carried water from hot mineral springs some five miles south, which would have become tepid before entering the city. Lukewarm water is nauseating and can be an emetic.
Elder Mel Cline delivered the message this past Sabbath entitled, “Come Out of Her My People”. The scripture reading was Job 22:21-22, “Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee. Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart.” The message was preceded by a powerful acappella rendition of “How Great Thou Art” sung by Uche Mekowulu.
Elder Cline began the sermon by reading Revelation3:14-22 and sharing some of the amazing facts above. Knowing some of these facts about Laodicea and how their example of self-sufficiency rebuilding after the earthquake was so rare it made the city famous brings deeper meaning to Christ’s statement regarding the pride of spiritual wealth on the part of the church members.
When Christ advised the Christians of the city to buy of Him “white raiment,” to represent the beautiful robe of His own righteousness it was in contrast to the famous black cloth they were proud to wear. The white represented purity of character through the imputed and imparted righteousness of Christ.
The eye salve Christ advises the spiritually blind Laodiceans to buy that they might have spiritual vision is given deeper meaning knowing that there was a famous Phrygian eye salve, called collurium, which was sold in all parts of the then-known world. The school of medicine there was connected to the Temple of Karu, one of two hundred throughout the Greek and Roman world dedicated to Aesculapious, the Greek god of medicine and the pagan counterfeit of the Messiah. He was even known as “The Great Physician.”
Thousands of sick people journeyed to Laodicea to physically be benefited by the eye salve, the mineral water, and the hot and lukewarm baths. Although the water was pleasing to the body for bathing, most of it was nauseous to those who drank. This makes very appropriate the language used by Christ as he declared that because the Christians of Laodicea were lukewarm in their affections, He was about to spew, or vomit them out His mouth.
Most Bible scholars recognize that these messages in Revelation to the seven churches of Asia go beyond the local assemblies mentioned. Many are of the opinion that the letters have a prophetic purpose disclosing the seven phases of the spiritual history of the Church. Laodicea was the last of the churches addressed and therefore would correspond to the last phase of the church of which we believe ourselves to be – the last generation before Christ’s second coming.
The Laodicean message is a terrible indictment of modern Christendom. Christ’s professed people have lost the love and devotion of the Philadelphian period and have become lukewarm in their affection. The members are not dead cold and untouched by spiritual life, neither are they fervently hot with apostolic love and zeal. They are a nauseating lukewarm and Christ threatens to spew us out of His mouth….unless we repent. Only repentance will avert the threatened judgment. He says with tears of love, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent,” Revelation 3:19.
Do we have hope? Yes, we do! Is there a remedy? Absolutely! The same Physician who so accurately and honestly diagnoses Laodicea’s disease also provides a healing remedy that will completely restore us to spiritual health and favor with God. The acceptance of this counsel means life. Its rejection will only bring death. It is a life-or-death message that can be lightly esteemed only at the peril of the soul. There is but one Physician who can heal the terrible Laodicean disease, and He alone has the healing medicine.
The divine merchant says to the spiritually bankrupt Laodiceans, “I counsel thee to buy of Me.” But it would be impossible for a poverty-stricken soul to purchase this remedy if it were not sold “without money and with price,” Isaiah 55:1. Christ is the source of the unsearchable riches of the universe! The remedy is free! Costing everything, yet nothing, but a heart change.
Please join us this Saturday as Pastor Terry Wolfe delivers the message and plan to stay for a fellowship meal afterwards. Pastor Wolfe leads in our midweek meeting on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. and all are welcome.
The Community Services Center located on the church property gives away clothing every Tuesday from 10:00 – 2:00. In the month of January 127 people were served, 1,150 items given away, and 170.25 hours volunteered. We appreciate your support enabling us to assist those in need.
If we can be of assistance to you, you may contact the church at 683-5713, or Elder Eck Ulrich at 683-3343. Check us out at www.avaadventistchurch.org and follow us on Facebook!
May God bless and keep you!