Introduction: They say that lukewarm water is best for you. Not so
cold that is shocks your stomach. Not so hot that it burns your
mouth. Just nice and lukewarm. (Gag.) They also say that eating dark
green vegetables is good for you. I’m hoping that they mean
watermelon. I worry that they mean kale, since I suspect that
watermelon (a fruit) does not qualify. The Bible speaks of lukewarm,
and it gives hope to those who (like us) like cold and hot, since it
suggests that God shares our view! This week we begin a new series
entitled “Revival and Reformation.” Just like our preferences in
beverages, our goal is avoid being slightly warm. Let’s dive into
our lesson and learn more!
- Laodicea – the Church
- Read Revelation 1:12-18. Who is pictured walking among the
seven golden lamp stands? (Jesus.)
- Read Revelation 1:19-20. What are the stars and what are
the lamp stands? (The stars are angels and the lamp stands
- Read Revelation 3:14. Do churches have guardian angels?
(Yes, apparently. How encouraging!)
- If true, is that a part-time position at your church?
- Who is giving the message to the church in Laodicea?
(Jesus. He holds the angel “in His right hand.” I
have a mental picture of the angel leaving the right
hand of Jesus and speeding off with a message for the
members of the Laodicean church.)
- Laodicea – the Person
- Read Revelation 3:15-16. We know what lukewarm water is
like, what do you think it means when the water represents
deeds? (You are just going along. You are not making a
difference. You are just supporting the average. You might
slightly move a cold person towards warm, but you might
just as well cool a hot person.)
- Read Revelation 3:17. When a rich person says, “I don’t
need anything,” do you think that person is talking about
what he owns or what he is?
- What is God’s message to the rich person of Laodicea?
Is this about what the person owns or what the person
is? (It sure sounds like what he owns, for it refers
to “poor,” “naked,” and “pitiful.”)
- So the rich person says they think they have enough,
and God says you do not begin to understand what is
- Read Revelation 3:18. God is still talking about stuff –
gold, fine clothes, and medicine. Did you, however, notice
the logical problem? If you are poor, how can you “buy”
- Laodicea – the Cure
- What does being blind have to do with being rich? (God is
signaling us that He is not talking about ordinary wealth
because these people have enough. Instead, He is talking
about spiritual riches.)
- Let’s look again at Revelation 3:18 and add Revelation
3:19. How does this solve the logical issue of a poor
person buying gold? (Rebuke and discipline refine us and
give us “gold” standard characters – if we buy it.)
- How do you like being rebuked? How do you like being
disciplined? Doesn’t the “I have need of nothing”
attitude feel better?
- Years ago I knew a fellow who would say that he
wasn’t that smart, but who didn’t really believe it.
He should have believed what he said about himself
because he wasn’t very smart. Do you know people
whose attitude about themselves does not fit reality?
- Assuming you do not fit this description, would
you like to? (This is where truth emerges. We
might think it feels better to think we need
nothing, but we don’t want to be the person who
- Re-read Revelation 3:19. We decided that “gold tried in
the fire” is the rebuke and discipline that come our way.
What does it mean to “buy” this kind of gold? What is
God’s goal when we are rebuked and disciplined? (We should
be serious about our situation. To repent. The goal of the
rebuke and the discipline is not embarrassment – who wants
that? The goal is to learn something.)
- Read Revelation 3:20. Is God simply knocking, or is He
more proactive? (The reference to “buying” the rebuke and
discipline seems more involved than simply knocking.
Perhaps it is very loud knocking, and that is the rebuke
- Re-read Revelation 3:18 because we have other important
concepts that we don’t want to miss. What does it mean to
“buy” “white clothes?” (A review of Matthew 22:1-14 shows
that the garment represents righteousness by faith.
Revelation 7:13-14 confirms the application here.)
- What is salve for the eyes? (We realize our sinful
- As you contemplate Revelation 3:18, isn’t this in reverse
order? Should not the salve come first, followed by the
robe of righteousness, followed by a character refined in
fire? (We see our need, we accept righteousness by faith,
and then we grow in sanctification as we encounter
difficulties in life. That seems to be the normal order of
- If the order is “wrong,” why would God make that
mistake? (Maybe this is more like a circle than a
line. Consider what first caused you to think about
your spiritual life. Was it some sort of tragedy?
Something that shocked your world? This is why fire
is properly stated first. We experience hardship, we
see that something is wrong in our life, and that
leads us to God. He offers to exchange our sins for
His righteousness. He offers to sell us true gold –
character refined in fire.)
- Re-read Revelation 3:20. Who decides whether to open the
door? (You do!)
- What does that say about conversion? (It starts with
a simple decision – whether you will allow Jesus into
- What is Jesus’ attitude about spending time with you?
(He wants to be with you.)
- Read Revelation 3:21. Do we “overcome” in the same way
Jesus overcame? (If we accept Jesus, we overcome because
He overcame sin. It is a much different process for us. We
hear God’s knock, we decide whether to let Him in. If we
do, if we earnestly repent, he will give us the white robe
of His righteousness. Rebuke and discipline can give us a
- As you think back about the Laodiceans, do you believe
that they were saved? (Look again at Revelation 3:17.
They rely on their wealth. They don’t need God. They have
a “form of godliness” ( 2 Timothy 3:5), but they lack the
power of God. Their power is what they own, not their God.
What they cannot see is that they are “wretched, pitiful,
poor, blind and naked.”)
- Read Revelation 3:22. Who gives this message? (The Holy
- We have a reference to hearing in this text and in
Revelation 3:20. We have a reference to seeing in
Revelation 3:18. What do you think these references
to hearing and seeing teach us? (God gives us a
progressive message. He calls us through the Holy
Spirit and the circumstances of life. He asks us to
open the door, talk with Him, see the true
circumstances of our life, and then repent and accept
His righteousness by faith alone. Thereafter, the
problems of life present opportunities to grow
- Re-read Revelation 3:21. Where do we get to sit? (On
Jesus’ throne in the throne room of heaven!)
- What does this mean? (You have the key to heaven! You
- Friend, are you lukewarm in your relationship with God?
Why not repent today, accept God’s robe of righteousness,
and begin walking the path of holiness?
- Next week: Prayer: The Heartbeat of Revival.