Introduction: When your life is going just fine, do you long for
Jesus to return and take you to heaven? Or, do you find that you
only get the impulse for Jesus to come(soon)when something bad is
happening in your life? If you are young, maybe you have something
you want to accomplish before Jesus comes again. Is a little delay
just fine with you? Is your life fine without heaven? Are these
attitudes typical? Understandable? Dangerous? Let’s jump into our
study of the Bible and find out!

  1. The Problem of Laodicea

    1. Read Revelation 1:17-20. John, the writer of Revelation,
      is told to record what he has seen. Who told John to
      write? (The first verses of Revelation tell us that an
      angel brought to John a revelation from Jesus. The verses
      we just read make clear that Jesus (see especially v.18)
      is the source of this revelation.)

      1. What is John asked to write about? (What will take
        place later to several churches.)

    2. Read Revelation 3:14. Does this message have anything to
      do with us? (These seven churches actually existed.
      However, a generally accepted understanding of these
      messages is that they also refer to time periods in the
      history of the Christian church. That is why Revelation
      1:19 refers to these messages dealing with “what will take
      place later.” The message to Laodicea is a message to the
      end-time church, a message to believers who live in the
      last days before Jesus comes again.)

    3. Read Revelation 3:15-16. What can “cold” and “hot” deeds
      mean? Is this a reference to indoor versus outdoor work?

      1. Why would you refer to “deeds” in terms of
        temperature? (Actually, the text is not describing
        the temperature of the deeds, it is describing the
        temperature of the Christian.)

      2. Except for drinking, what is so bad about “luke-warm?”

    4. Read Revelation 3:17. What does being “rich” have to do
      with being “luke-warm?” (Before you read verse 17, it is
      very difficult to understand what is being said in the
      previous two verses. It seems that Jesus calls “hot”
      Christians those who are on fire for God. The “cold”
      Christians are those whose love for the gospel has gone

      1. Why is a Christian whose love has gone cold
        preferable to one who is luke-warm? (This is where
        verse 17 is so critical. The “luke-warm” Christian
        does not need a thing. If you are cold, you know you
        need something.)

        1. If you feel your life is going well, and you are
          not, as mentioned in the introduction,
          particularly looking forward to the Second
          Coming, are you luke-warm?

      2. Don’t we spend most of our effort on “cold”
        Christians or non-Christians? Why not spend our time
        where the need is the greatest – on the luke-warm?

    5. If you agree, “We need to spend more time with the luke-warm,” how would you know who was luke-warm?

      1. Is it a simple test: Ask if the person is looking
        forward to the Second Coming of Jesus?
      2. What do you think about Jesus, in verse 15, telling
        us that He knows the temperature of our heart by our

        1. Are deeds the test of whether we are luke-warm?
          If deeds are the “test” of your temperature, how
          do you rate?

        2. Our lesson (Sunday) quotes 7 SDA Bible
          Commentary 761 as saying, about the Ladocean,
          “it is almost impossible to convince him of his
          great need and of how far he is from the goal of

          1. Is perfection of deeds our goal?

          2. If our deeds are not perfect, do we flunk
            the luke-warm test?

        3. How can you reconcile the words of Jesus about
          deeds with the idea of righteousness by faith?

        4. How can you reconcile the “goal of perfection”
          with righteousness by faith?

      3. What about a more simple test of your temperature. If
        you are “rich” then you are luke-warm! Would you
        prefer that “test?”

        1. Would that be a more accurate “test” than
          examining your deeds? (Bill Gates may not want
          the “rich test,” but the rest of us might.
          However, the text is certainly not saying that
          the size of your bank account is the problem.
          (Indeed, if the text were about money, it seems
          to condemn being poor.) The real problem is not
          the degree of your wealth, but thinking you need
          nothing when you need everything.)

      4. I don’t want to keep asking the same question in a
        different way, but consider the contrast between
        verse 15 and verse 17. Jesus says (v.15) there is
        something lacking in our deeds, but when He gets
        around to describing it (v.17) it is that we are
        “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” How can
        Jesus start out talking about deeds, and end up
        talking about our state of being? (The Bible teaches
        this concept in many ways: what we do reveals who we

  2. The Cure to Laodicea

    1. Read Revelation 3:18. How can you buy gold, new clothes
      and eye medication if you are poor? (This logical
      impossibility shows that Jesus is talking about spiritual
      matters and not financial matters.)

      1. What do you think Jesus is asking us to do when He
        says “Buy from Me gold refined in the fire?”(Remember
        last week we discussed the meaning of 1 Peter 1:6-7?
        We learned from that text that problems that we
        suffer here give us a faith that is more valuable
        than refined gold. When Jesus tells us to “buy gold”
        from Him, I think He is asking us to depend upon Him
        in times of difficulty.)

      2. What do you think Jesus is asking us to do when He
        says “Buy white clothes to wear?” (The parable of
        Matthew 22 suggests that the garment that Jesus gives
        us is the robe of His righteousness.)

      3. What do you think Jesus is asking us to do when He
        says “Buy salve to put on your eyes so you can see?”
        (Compare Ephesians 1:18. Jesus is offering to help us
        see our world in the proper light.)

      4. Considering what we just discussed about gold,
        clothes and eye medication, how would you go about
        seeking “perfection?” (The way to “perfection” is not
        by concentrating on our deeds. The way to perfection
        is turning to Jesus. We do this by turning to Him
        when we have trials, by turning to Him for our (robe)
        of righteousness, by turning to Him to properly see
        and understand the world.)

  3. The Ease of Exiting Laodicea

    1. Read Revelation 3:19-20. One of the things I love about
      the Internet is the ease of finding just about anything.
      How difficult is it to find Jesus to acquire our gold, our
      clothes and our eye medication? (He is a “door to door
      salesman!” He comes to you and He even knocks on your
      door. That is easier than the Internet.)

      1. What do you think it means to “hear” the “voice” of
        Jesus and “open” the “door?” (The key is the last
        part of verse 19: “be earnest and repent.” To be
        earnest means to pay attention to the Word of Jesus.
        To repent means to make a decision to follow Jesus.
        You pay attention to the call of Jesus, and you open
        your heart to Him. Sometimes, verse 19 reminds us, it
        takes rebuke and discipline to cause us to pay
        attention to Jesus.)

      2. What do you think it means to “eat” with Jesus?
        (Friend, this is fellowship with the great God of
        Heaven. What could be better?)

    2. If I told you to pursue perfection, and then told you the
      way to pursue it would be to open the door to your house
      and let it in, would you think I was kidding?

      1. Is that the message of these verses?

    3. Read Revelation 3:21. Friend, is this what you want? Jesus
      comes to you and asks you to enter into fellowship with
      Him now and forever. If you pay attention, and chose Him,
      you will soon see that the world does not satisfy you. If
      you are satisfied with your life here, you are in great
      danger because you do not realize your need of that
      relationship with Jesus. Open the door of your heart to
      Him today.

  4. Next week: Called to One Hope