Revelation 3:15 “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.”
“I know thy works,”
You’ll notice that all over Revelation 2 and 3. So the idea is this, Christians don’t have to worry about losing their salvation because all of this has to do with your works, not your salvation. Salvation is by faith only, not works. And faith does not equal works.
When you read Revelation 2 and 3, consider it from a standpoint of works, not salvation. If you’re going to look at a standpoint of salvation, then it’s going to apply to the tribulation saints. That’s the doctrinal tribulation application.
“that thou art neither cold nor hot:”
Sardis was known as cold, it was dead. Philadelphia is known to be hot. Laodicea is neither cold nor hot. They’re lukewarm.
During the days of Sardis where it was Reformation or pre-reformation days, they weren’t as evangelistic as we are today, especially where we’re trying to reach people online now and doing street preaching and tract passing. So we weren’t dead like them that time. At least we have some life in us.
But we’re not hot like Philadelphia either where we gladly gave up our lives on the mission field to reach all kinds of foreigners out there as well as the Great Awakening revival preaching. We’re in between.
Bible believers say that we’re in the worst day and age right now and some Independent Fundamental Baptist preachers act all smart and criticize saying, No, look at Sardis, Thyatira, and other places, they were worse than Laodicea, the Bible already said that we aren’t cold, we’re lukewarm. Yeah, we admit that they were much colder than us but that doesn’t mean that we’re better than them. Look at God’s opinion on this:
“I would thou wert cold or hot.”
See, God would prefer you to be either cold or hot. Like the pre-reformation? Yeah. Why? Let’s keep reading.
Revelation 3:16 “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”
God says because you’re lukewarm, I’m going to throw you out of my mouth.
Why would God say that? It’s simple. It’s like having a person in the church who’s lukewarm, not hot or cold. If you’re a cold dead member, I want you cold and dead, don’t bother us again. If you’re a hot member, I want you to stay hot and keep the church going. But if we have lukewarm Christians, do you know how much grief that is to the person sitting next to you, or to the pastor, or to the whole church ministry? Because the member can’t depend on you if you will be there to help out in a certain thing in the church. They can’t tell if you’re cold or you’re hot. If you’re cold, then they know that they’re not going to ask you. If you’re hot, they know that they are going to ask you. If you’re lukewarm, they’re like “I’m going to ask you but I have to keep following up with you and then seeing if you’re going to faithfully do it.”
Lukewarm, that’s today. You got to realize this is today’s day and age and God hates this day and age the most because we’re in and out.
Revelation 3:17 “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:”
Pay attention to verse 17, this is YOU.
“Because thou sayest, I am rich,”
You think that you got all the money that you need.
“and increased with goods,”
You have so many goods in your life that keep growing more and more. It’s not enough, you have to go to Amazon to buy more.
“and have need of nothing;”
You don’t need anything. That’s why you don’t need the church to comfort you because life is good with you at home. That’s why you only come to church when bad things happen to you so you can have brothers and sisters preach or say something to comfort you.
You don’t need the Bible, you don’t need prayer time because you got your TV, your internet, your friends, your drinks, etc. But if God took all those things away, we’re going to see you come to church on Sunday, crying and bawling.
You notice poor people get saved more often in visitation and street preaching. It’s the minorities who are coming to church more often than a lot of white Americans. Why? Because they have everything. The ones who are poor and those minorities who are struggling to make ends meet, need that church gathering and to hear some preaching because they need some kind of comfort that they can rely upon. That’s why you have a hard time reaching rich people today.
“and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:”
You’re wretched, you’re miserable, you have nothing, you can’t see and you’re naked.
Now, isn’t that a contrast with Revelation 2:9 on Smyrna? Remember that Smyrna was under Roman persecution, they weren’t spoilt rotten Americans. They were running for the fills for their lives. Then, look at this verse:
Revelation 2:9 “I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.”
Despite their poverty, the Bible says that they’re rich.
What did He mean that you’re rich, you have everything, but you don’t know that you’re poor, blind, and naked? It’s very simple, do you believe in the nature of the flesh and the spirit? That’s the answer here.
Why were Smyrna poor but rich? They were poor in the flesh but wealthy in the spirit. Remember the spiritual rewards that we have in heaven: inheritance, cities, crowns, rewards, clothes. They didn’t have these fleshly things, as a matter of fact, they lost it all for the sake of Jesus Christ.
But Laodicea, here in flesh, we have everything. We have everything, inheritance, cities, crowns, rewards, clothes. But on the spiritual side, we lost it all. Satan’s job is to make you so wealthy and comfortable in this American lifestyle that you become miserable and poor in spirit. That’s why we all want to get a nicer job, do well in school, that’s the reason why we want to get a nicer home for our family, we want to marry the right guy or woman, have a comfortable family lifestyle, save up our money, etc.
Be careful what you’re thinking about, which Paul warns you a long time ago: set your affection on things above, not on things of this world.
Now, don’t get things wrong. The Bible says that God has given you richly on all things on this earth to enjoy, so take the opportunity to enjoy this world but don’t let this world rob your focus on the spiritual rewards and that is what it’s doing right now.
People are wondering if there are enough cities to rule in the Millennium. How is God going to do that? No problem, God says that there are plenty of you Laodiceans who are miserable, poor, blind, and naked. That means then that there are so many thousands to hundreds of thousands, if not millions who are going to be poor, blind, and naked.
“I love Jesus, I served Him, I went to church.” Yeah, you’re not cold, you’re lukewarm. But being lukewarm is enough to make you verse 17. You can lose everything when you’re cold, but that’s the same thing with being lukewarm. If you’re lukewarm, it’s not enough, you can still be blind and naked.
Revelation 3:18 “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.”
“I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire,”
God’s advising them to buy from God, gold tried in the fire. Remember the rewards are going to be tried in the fire, you should buy gold from God. A lot of you aren’t buying enough gold. Gold, silver, and precious stones depend on your works. You’re not working enough where you buy from the master and earn gold for yourself, instead what you’re doing is that you’re working so hard to buy enough from the flesh where you can have enough gold in your fleshly home.
Remember your works are tried in the fire, 1 Corinthians 3, the fire will test what kind of rewards you can get: gold, silver, and precious stones.
“that thou mayest be rich;”
So that you can be rich in the spirit.
“and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed,”
These are your clothes right here, white garments, depending on how well you serve Him.
“and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear;”
A lot of people are going to be naked if they don’t serve Him well and be ashamed.
“and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve,”
Eyesalve is some medicine for your eyes. Why should you anoint it?
“that thou mayest see.”
So that you can see.
What’s going on is as mentioned in verse 7, they’re blind. A lot of you are blind right now and you need to put that eyesalve, that medicine, on your eyes so you can see a little more clearly. Why? Because when you see too much money, job, school, family, husband, children, etc, you’ve blinded your eyes. All you saw were fleshly things, you blinded yourself because you did not see heaven. You did not see gold, silver, and precious stones. You forgot what Jesus looks like. You forgot what the preaching you’ve heard, the fire you felt. You lost all that sight.
What’s very interesting is in Revelation 3:17, it says that you’re wretched. If you look at Romans 7, Paul calls himself wretched. So in other words, a saved Christian might be saved and holy, but he’s still a wretched person. Why? (This is a good verse for eternal security) That means no matter how wicked or wretched you are as a sinner, you’re still safe. You’re eternally secured. How so? Paul says that he’s a wretched person in Romans 7 because in the flesh he is wretched, he is wicked, he is sinful, but in the spirit, he is eternally secured. It’s holy and righteous. That’s what you see in Laodicea is that in their works, not salvation, they are in the fleshly side.
If you look up the word ‘wretched’, it means a really wicked person, but you’ll notice that they’re still saved Christians. You can use Romans 7 with Paul, he says that he’s a wretched person because it’s referring to the fleshy side. No matter how wicked you live your life, it doesn’t affect your spiritual nature, your salvation. It’s secured, sealed and it’s separated from the fleshy side. That’s why your flesh is such a wicked sinner that’s going to rot in the ground and die but your spiritual side where your soul resides, it’s going to go to heaven.