Apathy, indifference, compromise and luke warmness can be far graver dangers to us spiritually than outright opposition to or rejection of Jesus. We may incorrectly think that sitting on the fence is a safe option for us. It is not. It is the most dangerous of all the options. A cold heart can be warmed up and set on fire by the Spirit of God, a soul set alight by the Spirit of God is the Fathers desire for the followers of His Son Jesus. Mediocracy or lukewarmness is obnoxious to God.
The people of Laodicea in Revelation chapter 3 appear to have fallen into this trap as a consequence of their failure to truly appreciate just how important and how special Jesus is. This letter to Laodicea begins by reminding us of just who Jesus is and why He is so important.
Jesus is the creator of the universe (verse 14)
Jesus is the God of heaven; the "Amen" (verse 14)
Jesus will be our judge (verses 15 & 16)
There is no way of avoiding Jesus! We all must deal with Him one day!
Against that background of who Jesus is we are surprised to find Him where we find Him in Revelation chapter 3 verse 20; standing patiently at the door. This is not the door of heaven which John has told us about in John chapter 10, rather this is the door of our heart. He stands lovingly and patiently, offering new life (verse 18), salvation and a living relationship with the God of heaven!
How tragic it would be to miss Him!
Dr J Stewart Gillespie
Yours by God's Grace in Christ
Text from the message:
So, it's nice to see everyone.
That's out this afternoon.
Thanks for coming and if you have your bibles.
Why don't we turn to a book called The Book of Revelation I want to
look at chapter three. I've been looking over the past few Sundays
when we've been speaking on a
Sunday at some of these verses that we have called great gospel verses. When I was a
boy the preacher often came with single verse that summarised or encapsulate the message of
the Bible in a nutshell that is Great Gospel verses, we've been looking
at some of them through the New Testament in particular and one or two in
the old as well course and I want to turn to one that was often preached
here it is in this book of revelation Chapter 3 and
verse 20 but we will read the whole little section.
It begins in best number 14, revelation Chapter 3 and verse
It says, and to the Angel of the church of the Laodiceans write these
things says the amen the faithful and true witness the beginning of the
creation of god.
I know your Works they are neither cold nor hot, I would that they were cold or
hot, so then because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot
I will vomit you out of my mouth because you said I am rich and increased with
goods and you have need of nothing.
and you know not that you are wretched, miserable poor blind the naked
I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire that you may be rich and white clothes that
you may be clothed and that the shame of your nakedness does not appear and
anoint your eyes with eye ointment that you may see. As many as I love.
I rebuke and chasten, be zealous therefore and repent. Behold I stand at the
door and knock if any man hear my voice and open the door.
I will come in to him and will eat with him and he with me
verse 20 again, behold I stand at the door and knock if any man hear my voice and
open the door.
I will come to him and eat with him and he with me.
To him that overcomes will I
grant to sit with me in my throne even as I also overcome and I am
sat down with my father in his throne. He who has an ear let him hear
what the spirit says to the churches. We do look to God to bless
his word to us at this afternoon.
So this is a letter that's been written to a church and I'm just going to
pluck one verse out of it and apply it. There's a way of looking at this verse that I
think is really not just relevant for this church but for every single person.
I want to take you a little further than New Cumnock tonight
I want to take you to one of the hill tops of Turkey an interesting place, of you have ever been to Turkey!
Not far From Laodicea there is a place you.
can still visit, is called Hierapolis if you were to go to Turkey you
can buy a ticket still for Hierapolis, Hierapolis is still popular.
It's still a good place to go because it has hot water springs and
people find still find that very useful and you have a bath and you can enjoy the
hot water and down at the bottom of this hill that Laodicea is sitting on,
are the same rivers that flow and people still use those
rivers for drinking from those rivers, but there was an
in-between, place, a place that we have read about here called Laodicea and
it was in between Hierapolis with ait's nice warm.
Springs where you could go for a spa and he was in between the cold water that you could
drink and it had a water supply all of it's own. About 20-years ago it was excavated by some
Turkish archaeologists who opened the water pipes and they found
it was all silted up
it was all blocked up, the water coming in to Laodicea
was lukewarm and for this place of Laodicea with it's lukewarm water
supply the Lord Jesus Christ, the God of heaven, has no use.
nice and warm for a spa nor is it cold enough to drink, it is just
somewhere in-between.. I think there is a lesson in that for everyone
I think that sometimes in the world that we live in and certainly
in the day that this letter was written in
We think it's safe to sit in the fence.
We can can be alright with things but we are not going to be 100 percent committed either way
we are not really hot about something.
I'm not going to really cold about it, we are not going to be against the Lord Jesus Christ
we are not going to be cold and hard and bitter.
We're not going to say that the Lord Jesus doesn't matter or the Bible is just fiction we are not going to be cold about it
neither are we going to be hot we are not going to be 100percent committed will not going to take up
the challenge the Lord Jesus Christ gave his disciples; that whosoever shall come after
me let him deny himself take up his cross and follow me
we're not going to take our life as the Apostle
Paul spoke about in the book of Romans and present our body upon the altar to
God; take your body and present as a living sacrifice Paul says to
the Romans in chapter number 12. We are not going to go to that extrene.
Tell you what we will sit in the middle
and if you're in that kind of a situation like Laodicea then
revelation Chapter 3 is a bit of a e wake-up call, for God doesn't have any use
for being lukewarm He doesn't have any use for sitting on the fence, he wants
complete commitment to the lord Jesus in fact.
There's something very strange that took me years to work out exactly
what it meant.
In verse number 16 we read: so then because you're look warm and neither
cold or hot
I will vomit you out of my mouth. It seems to be the Lord Jesus Christ is saying
that I would prefer that you were either cold or hot I would rather that you were
against me than be lukewarm about me.
why say to someone that I would rather that you didn't like me than be lukewarm about me
the reason is very simple, if you take someone who is just cold and uninterested and and maybe has never
had any experience of the good news of Jesus Christ sometimes
It's easier to do something with him rather than someone who thinks that he knows it all
and who is sitting on the fence.
It's easier to warm something up, but it is very hard to make something of
someone that is just lukewarm
The challenge comes to the people sitting on the fence, don't be
inoffensive don't be lukewarm. This is a challenge of revelation chapter
number 3, don't sit in that place where you don't really fully commit to the lord Jesus
to these people the Lord Jesus speaks and we read this great gospel verse
Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any man hear my voice and open the door.
I will come in to him and eat with him and he with me. The Lord Jesus Christ
offers a living relationship with himself something infinitely far better
than being lukewarm. I think there was a reason that they
really had not fully committed and fully trusted the Lord Jesus Christ the
reason you have got at the beginning of this section.
They didn't really appreciate who Jesus Christ was.
I was speaking to someone just a few days ago and he was quite happy.
I think he was really happy to acknowledge the truth of the Bible in many ways but he was
Islamic and he was happy to
tell me that Jesus is a prophet, that He a great prophet, But He is much more than a prophet
To these people in Laodicea, Jesus tells them who He actually is, verse number 14, these things says the amen
the faithful and true witness the beginning of the creation of God. Let me
remind you that as we are thinking about Jesus we are not
Just thinking about a great prophet although
He was a great prophet and not just thinking about a great moral teacher for our lives
although He is that, let me remind you that we are thinking about the creator of the Universe here.
In verse number 14
He is the beginning of, or the origin of the creation of God that is
That was made was made by the Lord Jesus, John tells us that elsewhere
in his gospel in John Chapter 1 "in the beginning
was the word and the word was with
God and the word was God everything that was made it was made by Him" If you were to go over to the book of Colossians
the Apostle Paul in Colossians and chapter number one tells us something
quite startling about the structure and nature of the universe, this is quite mind blowing in many ways
if you have a pocket calculator to work out the dimension of Colossians 1, this really stretches your pocket calculator
get a glimpse of the greatness of who Jesus is, the Apostle Paul's take on the
greatness of the lord Jesus
In Colossians chapter 1 verse number 15; He is the image of the invisible god the firstborn
of every creature, that means He has a place and position and entitlement so
he's at the head in a sense of every creature. Verse 16 for in him.
Were all things created that are in heaven and earth visible and
invisible whether they be Thrones or dominions or principalities or powers
all things were created by him and for him.
Now that's the structure of the Universe that you and I live in about 20 years ago,
someone wrote a book A Brief History of Time it was a very
interesting book and in it.
there were some tacit confessions that scientists made and one of them was
that they could tell us nothing about the boundary conditions of the
universe in other words all the we know about the world is what we can
see and what we don't know we don't see, we know nothing about it
We can only describe the universe so far as it is seen by us, out with it
We don't know anything about it Colossians chapter 1 verse 16 fills in the blanks here.
So beyond those 100000 million stars in the night sky and 100000
million galaxies that we know of beyond that is something and Colossians
chapter 1 verse 16 says "but in him.
We're all things created" that is everything that is in the universe and you and I can know of
is within the person of Jesus Christ such is the vastness of
the god of Heaven that He encapsulates all of His creation within Jesus
He is greater than it all, He is out with it all and he creates not only in him but
by the Lord Jesus Christ verse 16 and for Him. So get a grasp of the the greatness grandeur and the glory of the universe we are in
glory of the universe we are in there is an infinite amount of power and energy out there
an unbelievable amount of power, Einstein worked out the equation many years ago E = MC squared, that being true
if you take up a cube of sugar and you to turn it into Pure energy,
so just a cube of sugar would destroy the earth, the universe is absolutely
jam packed with an unbelievable amount of energy and power all of this
comes from Jesus Christ, get a grasp of the greatness and grandeur of Jesus, He is bog. Revelation 3 : and to the Angel of the church of
the Laodiceans write these things says
the amen, the amen, I suspect like myself you are fluent in Hebrew at least
two words you know in Hebrew
I'm sure you know two words: hallelujah and Amen, if you ever travel abroad
on holiday and you got you go to a church and
You don't understand anything.
There's always two words you can understand be it in Greece or Cyprus
or Spain or even Turkey you can pick up Hallelujah and Amen, Usually we have Amen at the end of a prayer but here it is a title, what does that mean
again if you have your Bible maybe you could turn back into the
Book of Isaiah the Book of Isaiah chapter number 65
chapter number 65 and verse number 16 speaking about God: "that he who blesses himself in
the earth showed bless himself in the god of truth and He that swears on the earth
shall swear by the god of truth because the former troubles
are forgotten and because they are hid from my eyes, does that sound familiar? No it doesn't! Let me give
a translation quickly for you in Hebrew at least one word in Hebrew
That he who blesses Himself show bless Himself in the God of Amen
Amen is a title of God, bring that knowledge with you now from the Book of Isaiah
and stick it to revelation chapter 3 verse number 14, these things
sayeth the Amen, in other words when we are talking
about the Lord Jesus Christ,
the god of the Universe, the greatness and the glory and the grandeur of the Lord Jesus
I know that we often think of Jesus Christ as the meek and lowly and I know that we often think of him as the man
upon the cross and he is indeed and I know that we often think of Him as having
been beaten whipped and spat upon and tortured for our sins and He was but also remember his greatness
We are speaking about God, there's no getting away from Him, there's no
there's no avoiding Him and in fact one day revelation Chapter 3
tells us we're going to meet Him in another special way, if you go down
there to verse 15 of Revelation 3 "I know your works that you are neither cold or hot
I would that you were cold or hot so then because you are lukewarm
and neither cold nor hot I will vomit you out of my mouth, in other words He is going to judge them.
Jesus Christ that this book is all about was there at the very
beginning! He is the creator God, Jesus Christ that this book speaks about
He is going to be there at the very end, He is the judge God has
appointed all judgement to Jesus Christ, you just cannot avoid Him, He was there making you in a sense and He will be there
judging me in a sense and what revelation Chapter three is saying to this group of
people listen your kind of your kind of in-between.
You're not fully committed to Him, listen you can not avoid Him, everything
that you have you owe to Him and one day you are going to meet Him so let's
get real about him don't sit on the fence about him, that's not going to do, we want something better than that
Here is the great offer of the Lord Jesus here
Do you remember that He is creator?
Do you remember that He is judge?
Let me introduce you to something even more glorious
than that he is creator and judge revelation 3:20 behold I stand
at the door and knock if any man hear my voice and open the door.
I will come in to him and I will eat with with me and He with me"
"let him buy of me gold tried in the furnace that you may be rich and
white clothes that the shame of your nakedness do not appear
We get a glimpse not only of Jesus Christ as the Creator and as the judge
but we get this wonderful picture of the
Jesus Christ as the Saviour, Jesus Christ is able to forgive since
Jesus Christ is able to put us in something clean and white that's
what that picture language of verse 18 is about, and they've got this contamination
of sin He is able to put this new white cloth on them, He is able to to make them new
and fresh and he's able to bring them into a living relationship
with himself, open the door and I will come in there in verse 20 and I'll
eat with you
Jesus is going to have a living relationship with men and women
He is the saviour.
He is able to bring us into that relationship with the God of
heaven is he is able to deal with the problem that will keep Us apart from God
Maybe you have already identified the problem here. It's pretty obvious isn't it, verse 20, I stand at the door and knock.
It is pretty obvious that the door is shut.
There's a strange thing that John wrote the book of
revelation and he wrote another 4 books in the New
Testament including John's Gospel and it is interesting that the door appears quite often in
John's writings, go back into John Chapter number 10 the Lord Jesus
Christ speaks of Himself as a door to heaven, I am the door by me if any man enter in
he shall be saved, but we have a different door here that John
speaks about, it is not so much the door
That is the Lord Jesus but the door
That is your heart, my heart.
This a different door not the door that is Lord Jesus the door that is there for you
and I to enter into heaven is open in a sense I am the door come by me
Jesus gives the invitation to you in John chapter 10, I'm opening the door for you, there is nothing stopping you, I am the door, by me if any man enter in he shall be saved
It's open you can go in, here is the tragedy of the second door here in revelation
Chapter three it is closed and it is my door, it is your door and look at the Grace great Grace
loving Grace and kindness of the Lord Jesus Christ as he stands at the door, He who is
the creator of my life and the judge of all men standing
patiently at the door. Have you had a delivery from Amazon or DPD or any of these things people?
They don't stand very long do they? But here is the God of the universe.
I stand at the door.
and knock if anyone hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to
him and will eat with him and he with me, the God of the universe, see he ought really to
be my judge, for I know something about the problem that these Laodiceans had I can look
inside my head, I can look in my heart and I can see I am lukewarm
and maybe I can look at my life and I can see something that needs cleaning
Verse 18 speaks about that something that needs cleaned up and
really he ought to be my Judge but here's the tremendous glory of the
grace of God the grace of Jesus the one who ought to be our judge
extends his hand and his arm of Grace and kindness and He invites us to open our hearts and to invite Him in to
have a living relationship with the god of heaven and you can do that
of course because
Yes, you can do that because of of what he has done for you. Way at the
beginning of the book of revelation one of the greatest pictures or
We have of the lord Jesus is the Lord Jesus Christ as the Lamb on the throne
in revelations 4 and 5 He is a lamb because he's the one who has given
himself in sacrifice for sinners, He the lamb because his blood has been shed as a
sacrifice because he has been to Calvary, to the cross, He has paid the price for sinners and
taken the judgement upon himself He is the one that is able says the word of
God to save forever all that come to God him because He ever lives I wonder if you
know him? Revelation chapter 3.
I think is a great challenge it so easy at times to become familiar with
with who He is
Revelation 3 is looking for commitment, 100% commitment, God has no use at all
for folks in the side lines
He wants those that are willing to take up their
cross and follow him.
He wants those who live for him and those who want to enjoy that
living relationship with the one that made them. What a Saviour
Let us pray, our Father we do come into your presence this afternoon.
We thank you for the Lord Jesus we thank your Father for a god of
We remember our Father who He is that he is the creator of this universe and we remember
that he will be the judge of the world and how wonderful it is to get a glimpse of
that one who one day we'll sit upon the throne of judgement the
one father who has hung upon the cross and a father and we thank thee for his
loving kindness and His grace.
He has been
very patient with us over many years and
standing at the door and sometimes our father we can almost hear that knock
we can hear the voice of conscience sometimes our father.
we hear His knock in the circumstances of life
as we Face the great disappointment and bitterness of our life
We feel the god of Heaven knocking our father at times when we open the word
of God and we read afresh the verses of scripture.
We we read them and again father we can hear at times
Jesus knocking, sometimes father in the preaching of the word of
God we can hear that again, His voice knocking
How tragic it would be for thy Son to knock and we never really open that door
and we keep Him out and we pray our father that our heart and our lives would be
open to him.
We would know and trust him that we would enjoy that living
relationship with with you our father and we give thanks for all that has been done that.
We might indeed.
"Behold I stand at the door and knock if any man hear my voice and open the door I will come in to him and sup with him and he with me." Revelation chapter 3 verse 20 - a message preached by Dr J Stewart Gillespie at Bridgend Gospel Hall, New Cumnock