The Church God Spit Out of His Mouth

LLLLDid you know that out of the seven churches listed in Revelations 2-3, that the church of Laodicea, was the only church God said nothing positive about? All the others received some type of positive report, and some negative too, but this church was the only one that received a solely negative report. Check it out…

1. To the Church in Ephesus he said this good thing about them, “I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name…” (Rev. 2:2-3). He goes on to say negative stuff also, but he starts with positive.

2. To the Church of Smyrna he says this good thing, “I know your afflictions and your poverty… Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.(Rev. 2:9-10)

3.  To the Church of Pergamum he says this good thing, I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name…” (Rev. 2:13) He goes on to state he has a few things against them, but once again he lists a positive.

4. To the Church of Thyatira he says this good thing, “I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.” (Rev. 2:19) He goes on to state a few things he has against them, but yet again lists a positive.

5. To the Church of Sardis he says this good thing, “you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy.” (Rev. 3:4) He also states some negative stuff about the church, but it included positive.

6. To the Church of Philadelphia he says this good thing, “I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” (Rev. 3:8)

Each of these six churches had something positive written about them, however, when we arrive at the last church, The Church of Laodicea, God gives no positive input, rather he says this is the church he will, ‘spit out of his mouth.’  Why? Why did this church get no positive and only a negative report. Well after some digging I found my answer…

“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:…I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I will spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation :3:14-16

Laodicea had a water system tapped into the mineral waters from two of its neighboring lands. One of those places was Colossae, which brought cold water into the city. The other was Hierapolis, which brought hot water into the city. As a result, when both the waters meet through the aqueduct system in Laodicea, the water became lukewarm in nature. Producing tepid water for the locals to drink.

LXE

God describes the lukewarm nature of the church, the same as the lukewarm waters from which they were drinking. In other words the Laodicea Christians lived a very complacent Christian lifestyle. So much so, that God himself wished that they were either hot or cold (with him or against him) rather than ‘on the fence.’

There are few things in life worse than spiritual complacency. But to the Laodicea’s it was a way of life. The city was rich and had need of nothing. Things were easy, they had food to eat, a roof over their heads, medical, and they were well taken care of.  As a result they became complacent  and didn’t have need of God.

“You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.” Revelations 3:17-19

The problem wasn’t that they needed their physical needs met. The problem was that they were utterly satisfied with where they stood with the Lord spiritually. They were living spiritually unhealthy lives and in my opinion committing spiritual suicide.

“To be satisfied with where you are spiritually is to commit spiritual suicide!”

If you are not moving towards God, then you are moving away from him. There is no in-between. Its either one or the other.

This is exactly what the church of Laodicea was doing, and what many Christian churches are doing today.  We live in a lukewarm generation, with a lukewarm church, and I believe, we are like the Laodicea church.

“So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I will spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation :3:16

Being lukewarm is disgracefully distasteful to God.  He even goes as far as saying he will ‘spit that church out of his mouth.’ These are powerful words coming from our Lord. I mean think about it, if something is distasteful to us, we might take a bite of the food, but the second it gives us the repulsing taste, we’ll hack it up, spit it in the trash, and dash to the bathroom to re-cleanse our mouths.  This is how God feels about people being lukewarm and complacent.  It makes him sick and it makes him vomit.

In truth, people who are complacent eventually drift away from the Lord into a lukewarm lifestyle. So be aware of where you stand, and know that being lukewarm does not buy you a ticket into heaven.

“[Church of Laodicea]…If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.” Revelation 3:20-21

The great news is, God gives an open invitation to the complacent church in Laodicea. He invites them to come back to him, sit with him on his throne and overcome, just as Christ has overcome. In other words, start seeking God again with all your heart. If you are satisfied with where you are spiritually, check your life. You don’t want to be moving away from God or be stagnant, but rather move towards him, continually upwards.  And for those of you who are holding fast, persevere and continue to seek him.  Don’t be like the church that God, ‘spits out of his mouth.’ Rather, be an over-comer.

Love  you all!

15 responses to “The Church God Spit Out of His Mouth

  1. Lukewarm and Loving IT

    “‘Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”–safe to do all these detestable things? Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the LORD.(Jer 7:9-11 NIV)

    “Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. “Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”(Luk 3:8-9 NASB)

    It seems that in the United States we live in and with a sense of entitlement. This mentality has crept into the church. Like the Jews of Jesus day who thought that because they were children of Abraham, they were a privileged and entitled people. John the baptist lays this out this rebuke to them when he says that God can raise up children of Abraham from the very stones. He further says that those who do no bear good fruit will be like trees who are cut down and thrown into the fire to be burned.

    The same warning is given to the gentile church a while later in the book of Romans where Paul says the following:

    But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. (Rom 11:17-22 NASB)

    Paul says that we are to fear and not be conceited for we too can be cut off. I can’t conceive of a reason that Paul would write such a thing in Holy writ unless it were a possibility.

    The Apostle Peter Quotes Paul when he writes the following:

    Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.
    (2Pe 3:15-17 NIV)

    When reading the above we must remember that the blood covers an act of sin, not a lifestyle of sin. We do not need to go around fearing that if we mess up we are condemned automatically to an eternal hell. However, we do need to know that thinking that we can live like hell and cruise on into heaven is foolish thinking.

    The last church mentioned in the book of Revelation is Laodicea. It is my belief that this church is there both as a real church of that time period and as a prophetic warning of the church that currently exists today. The city of Laodicea was known for an eye salve, known for rich clothing, known for it’s wealth and independence, known for a lukewarm water that was piped into the city. Hot water is soothing and relaxing while cold water is refreshing.

    The first thing that Jesus comments about is the church’s lukewarmness and that He is going to vomit it out of His mouth. Lukewarm water is known to make one nauseous.

    Laodicea means people’s opinions or people’s judgement and from what I understand is where our word democracy comes from.

    You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
    (Rev 3:17 NIV)

    Laodicea was known for its wealth and was a center for banking in ancient times. It was so wealthy that when they had a massive earthquake that destroyed the city, they refused help from Rome and did it themselves. Hence Jesus saying about the church, “you say that I have acquired wealth(prosperity gospel), and do not need a thing”. Yet Jesus says that they are wretched, poor, pitiful.

    Laodicea was known for it’s clothing that nobles wore and yet Jesus says that the church is naked.

    Laodicea was known in the ancient world for an eye salve yet Jesus says that the church is blind

    I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
    (Rev 3:18 NIV)
    Jesus counsel is to buy gold from Him that will last through the fires of trial.

    He counsels them to buy clothes from Him so that they may cover their nakedness. Sin exposes one’s nakedness and yet the church here did not realize that they were naked.

    He counsels them to buy salve fro Him so that the may have their eyesight restored.

    Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. (Rev 3:19 NIV)

    Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
    (Rev 3:20 NIV)
    We are living in a time where God’s grace is being poured out through His Son and He is patiently standing outside the door of His own church requesting access. In all of the pictures I have seen depicting this, the door upon which Christ knocks has no door knob, it must be opened from the inside. While many have used this as a personal invitation for the sinner to come to Jesus, I believe that this is a church where Jesus is not welcomed. It is a church were there are cliques. It reminds me of a dream that I had where I was able to look into a church through glass doors and the people inside were worshiping the Lord and there was a great worship band playing. However, when I looked at the doors, I noticed that there were no handles on the doors. You had to be let in from the inside. And, if one would leave, they had to depend upon someone from the inside to let them in.

    A time is coming when it will not be the Lord knocking to be let in but instead it will be the people of the lukewarm church. Consider the following scriptures:
    “”At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. (Mat 25:1-13 NIV)
    “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. “Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ “Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’; and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; DEPART FROM ME, ALL YOU EVILDOERS.’ “In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out.

    • So true! I agree with all of it 100%. And yes, Laodicea is both a church of that time and a prophetic warning to the church today. What great insights to add to this, thanks Tony!

  2. Thanks for emphasizing that local churches of today should heed…. how many have turned lukewarm, not willing to commit fully to the work that is set before them by Christ. Lord bless you.

  3. Because we are made in His image, humans also despise the lukewarm. If a food is supposed to be hot, we expect it to be served hot. If a person tells us he loves us, we expect him to act as if he loves us. We can understand God’s displeasure of the lukewarm. Good lesson.

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