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!

  1. Laodicea – the Church

    1. Read Revelation 1:12-18. Who is pictured walking among the
      seven golden lamp stands? (Jesus.)

    2. Read Revelation 1:19-20. What are the stars and what are
      the lamp stands? (The stars are angels and the lamp stands
      are churches.)

    3. Read Revelation 3:14. Do churches have guardian angels?
      (Yes, apparently. How encouraging!)

      1. If true, is that a part-time position at your church?

      2. 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.)

  2. Laodicea – the Person

    1. 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.)

    2. 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?

      1. 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.”)

      2. So the rich person says they think they have enough,
        and God says you do not begin to understand what is
        enough, right?

    3. 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”

  3. Laodicea – the Cure

    1. 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.)

    2. 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.)

      1. How do you like being rebuked? How do you like being
        disciplined? Doesn’t the “I have need of nothing”
        attitude feel better?

      2. 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?

        1. 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
          deceives himself.)

    3. 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.)

    4. 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
      and discipline!)

    5. 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.)

      1. What is salve for the eyes? (We realize our sinful

    6. 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

      1. 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.)

    7. Re-read Revelation 3:20. Who decides whether to open the
      door? (You do!)

      1. What does that say about conversion? (It starts with
        a simple decision – whether you will allow Jesus into
        your life.)

      2. What is Jesus’ attitude about spending time with you?
        (He wants to be with you.)

    8. 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
      rich character.)

    9. 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.”)

    10. Read Revelation 3:22. Who gives this message? (The Holy

      1. 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

  4. Victory

    1. Re-read Revelation 3:21. Where do we get to sit? (On
      Jesus’ throne in the throne room of heaven!)

      1. What does this mean? (You have the key to heaven! You
        are in!)

    2. 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?

  5. Next week: Prayer: The Heartbeat of Revival.