“I know your works, that you are neither cold or hot. I wish that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16, HCSB).
While the church in Sardis was chastised for its dearth of spiritual vitality, the spiritual condition of the church in Laodicea was repugnant because it was lukewarm–neither cold nor hot.
So why is the reprimand of the lukewarm Laodicean church more severe than the reprimand of the dead Sardisian church?
The Sardisian church had lost its focus and become lethargic and ineffective while the Laodicean church had lost it focus but pretended to be effective: “For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked” (vs. 17).
It’s the pretense proposition: It is easier to revive lethargy than pretense! God can revive Christians whose faith has grown cold easier than He can restore self-sufficient, self-righteous Christians.
The prosperity of the Laodicean church lured it into self-sufficiency and, consequently, complacency set in. To rectify its spiritual failure, the church in Laodicea needed to become reliant on the spiritual resources God provides rather than the material wealth it gained for itself: “I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich” (vs. 18).
Unfortunately, the way of human nature is that it is easier to rely on God when you have little or nothing than it is when you have much.
So, don’t let your material wants get in the way of your spiritual needs!
Don’t mistake abundance for blessing!
Make your eternal life with God your main priority and He will be sufficient to supply both your needs and your wants: “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” (vs. 20).