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Words of Faith Final


Words of Faith 12-11-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Revelation 3

[14]  "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. [15]  I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! [16]  So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth.


      The final church among the Revelation churches may be the most familiar to us. It has commonly been lifted up in messages about the Lukewarm church.

       First, let’s remember that Ephesus was the loveless church. Smyrna was the suffering church. Pergamum was the compromising church. Thyatira was the tolerant church. Sardis was the code blue or dead church. Philadelphia was the faithful church.

       Laodicea (lay-oh-duh-see-uh) was about 30 miles from Philadelphia and 10 miles west of Colosse (Col. 2:1;4:15-16; 4:13). It sat on a high plateau that provided a strong defense. The city was a wealthy center for banking and finance and a crossroad for travel and trade. It was one of the wealthiest cities in the region. Laodicea hosted sporting games and was in every respect a "great city" to live in.

        The Laodiceans were famous for producing soft, black wool used in clothing and carpets. This was very stylish. It was a famous center for medicine and had a significant Jewish Community of 7500 men. Laodicea was so wealthy that when it was destroyed by an earthquake in AD60, they refused Rome's offer of aid to rebuild.

        The Laodiceans took great pride as a city in their self-sufficiency. Laodicea had everything. They were wealthy and self-reliant. They had everything but good water. The local water was contaminated by sediment and lime deposits and smelled terrible. There was water from hot springs in Hieropolis nearby that smelled bad. There was cold water from the mountains that was wonderful for drinking, so water was piped in by aqueduct. This water tended to be lukewarm by the time if arrived.

        People in this area were very familiar with lukewarm water. It was not great for bathing, like the waters of a hot spring. It was not very good to drink because it was not cool and refreshing like mountain water. It was the perfect analogy for the Lord to communicate his disdain for the church's tepid faith in Laodicea. 

        The Lord began by directing this statement: “The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.” He is the Amen. He is the final Word. Amen means “So be it” or “It is done.” Paul wrote that all the promises of God are Yes and Amen in Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:20). He is the faithful and true witness – the One who gives perfect testimony to the Truth. He is the beginning of God’s creation – The Alpha… the beginning. He is not the “first created.”

         This is to make it clear that Jesus is not anything that we want Him to be, but He is everything we need Him to be.  We cannot shape Jesus into our own vision or shape. The Laodiceans needed to meet Jesus, knowing that He is the final Word, what He says is the perfect truth, and was the beginning of all things.

         Jesus had nothing good to say about this church. In fact, Laodicea received the harshest rebuke of all. “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot!” [15] Lukewarm water has assumed the temperature of its surroundings. Hot water can cleanse and purify; cold water can refresh and enliven. Lukewarm water was considered disgusting—not good for anything.

        So, because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. [16] Later Jesus will ground this intention in Love. Verse 19 says, “Those whom I love, I reprove…”  But we cannot assume that His love will just accept our compromise with the world. Because you have assumed the temperature of your surroundings, you neither refresh nor sooth.    Literally, I will vomit you out of my mouth. Jesus essentially declares: “You make me sick.”

          We will get to more of the problems at the root of this. But we don’t want to rush past the strength of these statements. God is not mocked. He is not “okay” with your sin. He does not have a “special understanding” just with you. We need to know how our sin tastes in the mouth of the Lord. 


          Father God, I desire to look inward and see what manner of compromise You desire to root out of me. Show me the things that make my life tepid. Make my life afire with Your love and a desire to share the Gospel. In Jesus’ Name.


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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.