Revival meetings are held, but instead of waiting on the Lord for power, evangelists and paid singers are hired and soul winning is made a business. The cause of this “luke warmness” is the same as that of the Church of Laodicea — Self Deception. “Because thou sayest I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked.”
They thought they were rich, and outwardly they were, but Christ saw the poverty of their heart. There are many such churches in the world today. More than in any other period in the history of the church. Many of these churches have cathedral-like buildings, stained glass windows, eloquent preachers, paid singers, and large congregations. Some of them have large landed interests and are well endowed, but yet they are poor. Many of the members, if not the majority, are worldy, card playing, dancing, and theatre going Christians. The poor and saintly are not wanted in such churches because their presence is a rebuke. These churches do not see that they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.
If we were to visit such churches, they would take pride in showing us the building, they would praise the preaching and singing, they would boast of the character of their congregations, the exclusiveness of their membership, and the attractiveness of all their services, but if we suggested a series of meetings for the “deepening of the Spiritual Life,” or the “conversion of the unsaved,” they would say – “Oh no, we do not want such meetings, we have need of nothing.” The Church of Laodicea was not burdened with debt, but it was burdened with WEALTH.
The trouble with the church today is that it thinks that nothing can be done without money, and that if we only had the money, the world would be converted in this generation. The world is not to be converted by money, but by the Spirit of God.
The trouble with the Church of Laodicea was that its “Gold was not of the right kind, and so it was counseled to buy of the Lord “gold tried by fire.” What kind of gold is that? It is gold that has no taint upon it. Gold that is not cankered, or secured by fraud, or the withholding of a just wage. What a description we have of these Laodicean days in James 5:1-4.
More next week. Don’t forget these Seven Churches in Revelation which shows the beginning of the church age down through the years. And we are living today in the last Church age.