“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:” Revelation 3:14
Where do you turn to find out how you’re doing spiritually? From a human standpoint we tend not to see ourselves as we really are. The Laodicean church is a perfect example. From the outside everything looked great. But while they were materially prosperous they were not spiritually productive. Likewise, we can be busy in Christian work yet be spiritually bankrupt. Only the Lord can give an accurate spiritual diagnosis because only He sees our true condition.
John’s description of Jesus tells us a lot about His evaluation of Laodicea, and ultimately of us. As “The Amen,” Jesus is certain and reliable. “The faithful and true Witness” speaks to the accuracy of His assessment and “the Beginning of the creation of God” recognizes Jesus as the cause and Creator of all things. So, His evaluations aren’t emotional but factual and subjective.
Laodicea’s spiritual diagnosis was dire, to say the least. Because they were self-sufficient and self-righteous, they had a flawed view of themselves and of Jesus. Thinking and acting independently of God minimizes His sovereignty, sufficiency, and supremacy. The Laodiceans thought more about what they were doing than what Christ had done. Their faith was in what they possessed rather than in the One who possessed them (v17). And to make matters worse, they were completely oblivious to their condition.
The result was a church governed by the popular opinion of the congregation instead of by the Word of God. Laodicea had become a church without Christ. Jesus was standing outside, knocking on the door (v20). It’s no wonder that the name, Laodicea, literally means “people ruling.”
But nothing of spiritual significance can be measured by human standards. Trying to do so causes either a sense of failure or an inflated sense of self. A clear and accurate assessment must be based on the Word of God and the person of Jesus Christ. True Christianity is impossible without a passionate pursuit of Christ. Anything less is only practicing religion, which leads to spiritual mediocrity and misery.
This passage holds a warning for every professing believer. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (v22). So, what’s your spiritual diagnosis? Do you have a personal and passionate relationship with Jesus or just an intellectual understanding of Christianity? Are your thoughts and actions based in deep spiritual conviction or simply in religious activity? It’s always of the greatest benefit to compare ourselves with the truth of Jesus than with the trends of culture. Will you heed the warning?