15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” – Revelation 3:15-22
In ancient Roman times there was a hot spring near Hierapolis, whose water channeled its way slowly to the people of Laodicea. By the time it made it to Laodicea, the water was too cool to heat and too warm to refresh. It was lukewarm water, and Jesus said he would vomit (Greek word is stronger than our English “spit”) the people of the church of Laodicea out of his mouth. He couldn’t stomach their self-sufficiency (vv.17-18).
Yes Jesus is a God-man of incredible grace. He follows up His critique with v. 19 – “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline.” I believe sincerely that it is best we try to see ourselves in these critiques rather than others (Matthew 7:3-5). Behold, Jesus stands at the door and knocks. For us luke-warm B4T’ers, those who have tried to be sufficient without Jesus, those who have mixed a bit too much with the world around us, Jesus promises to come in and dine with us. All we must do is be zealous and repent (end of v.19).
So let’s repent. Repent of our self-sufficiency; repent of our depending on wealth – and let’s buy gold refined by fire (Jesus)!