And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things said the Amen, the faithful and true witness…
I. THE COMPLAINT.
1. This complaint is made against the Church. We learn from this fact that Churches do become corrupt; they do decay. Keep, therefore, the Christ of God, who never will fail, or decay, exalted above the Church in your minds and hearts.
2. This complaint is made by One who can say, "I know."
3. This complaint is made by One who does know, and cannot misrepresent.
4. This complaint is made by One who does know, and cannot misrepresent, and who has a right to complain. Just let us see now what is meant by the lukewarmness complained of. The people had love for Christ, but it was not ardent. The people had charity among themselves, but it was not fervent. The people received spiritual blessings, but they did not thirst for them. The people wrought good works, but not zealously. The people prayed, but not fervently. They gave, but not liberally or cheerfully. The whole heart was not given to anything in connection with church life. Perhaps through the neglect of the means of preserving spiritual heat, or by using unwise means or false means, these people had become lukewarm, or perhaps by some besetting sin.
5. Now this complaint is based on works. "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot." One would have thought that "the Amen, the true and faithful Witness," would have said, "I know thy heart; I know thy spirit." The complaint is based on works, and not so much on general conduct as on labours of love. These were less than since their first profession. Oh, what a striking fact this is in church life! How thoroughly it reappears before the eye of every pastor.
6. See, the complaint is based on works, and it is made with evident feeling. Christ could not speak without feeling, far less could He complain without feeling. It is the want of feeling in the complaints that people make about Churches that so often distresses one.
II. THE THREATENING. Any food or drink which ought to be either hot or cold is most unpleasant if lukewarm; and the strong language used here means, "I will reject thee."
1. This threatening is addressed, not to the individual, but to the Church. Christ presently turns to the individual, counselling him "to buy of Me gold." You cannot be in communion with Christ without being rebuked. Why? Because your faults and defects are continually coming out, and His love for you is such that He will not let them pass — He cannot let them pass. If, however, you be merely a nominal disciple, they will often pass unnoticed, and you will not hear a sound of rebuke from the skies until the day of final reckoning.
2. "The Amen" rejects the lukewarm Church. He rejects it — how? First, by withdrawing His Spirit from it because such a Church is not His temple. And secondly, by not using it for the purposes of His kingdom.
3. Now, observe, in conclusion, that works are expected from a Christian Church, and the works of the Church show whether it be cold or hot.
Parallel VersesKJV: And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;