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Just because we accept Jesus as Savior and Lord of our life, does not mean we do not sin anymore. It is the nature that we are born with. And we live in a fallen world. However, we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We are washed in Jesus’ blood and He took all of our sins, past, present and future to that cross on Calvary! Amazing Grace! Look at Romans 13:11-14, "Besides, you know the time (last days, brought in by Christ's resurrection) has come, the moment is here for you to stop sleeping and to wake up, because now our salvation is nearer than when we first began to believe. (The Christian is 'a child of the day' emancipated from the wicked world.) The night is nearly over, daylight is on the way: so let us throw off everything that belongs to darkness and equip ourselves for the light. Let us live decently, as in the light of day; with no orgies, or drunkenness, no promiscuity or pretentiousness, and no wrangling or jealousy. Let your armour be the Lord Jesus Christ, and stop worrying about how your disordered natural inclinations may be fulfilled." Remember, 1 John 1:9: “If we acknowledgement sins, He is trustworthy and upright, so that He will forgive our sins and will cleanse us from all evil." 1 John 2:1: “If anyone does sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the upright. (2) He is the sacrifice to expiate our sins, and not only ours, but also those of the whole world." Be joyful in hope, pray and persevere. He is coming! I believe that if, IF it seemed we could lose our salvation, Jesus would rescue us from the world and take us home instantly. The moment we were saved, we became a citizen of heaven.
I would say that the intent of the cited passage is spiritual discipline (even though it might be very severe), rather than outright rejection. The glorified Christ is intending to do whatever is necessary to make the Laodiceans recognize their spiritual poverty and amend themselves. (If they were irretrievably lost, it seems to me that there would not be the suggestions for renewal in Revelation 3:18, or the hopeful note at the end of the message in Revelation 3:20-21.) His chastening is a sign of love, as noted in Revelation 3:19. I would say that all Christians would do well to self-examine their spiritual zeal on a recurring basis, and to renew it as indicated by that introspection.
The Laodecians were "neither cold nor hot" in their deeds, but were rather "lukewarm." The figurative language shows that their major sin was apathy. They weren't rushing to indulge in licentious deeds, but neither were they passionate to do the work of the Lord, nor were they realizing the paucity of their spiritual condition. (It also was a pointed metaphor pulled from their own water supply, which was brought in from elsewhere over great distance and arrived "lukewarm.") The Laodecians looked to their earthly goods and booming ecomomy as a sign they were fine, perhaps even blessed by God. For historical context of their general wealth, Tacitus writes of how they dealt with an Earthquake: "“One of the most famous cities of Asia, Laodicea, was in that same year [61 A.D.] overthrown by an earthquake and without any relief from us [Rome] recovered itself by its own resources.” Yet their wealth drove their complacency. They were not examining themselves spiritually or realizing that their outward condition was hardly a good metric for evaluating their inward condition. [How many Christians today view Earthly blessing as a sign they are doing good with God?] They were missing out on so many spiritual blessings in Christ because they were complacent and happy to sit in their earthly riches. "So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of My mouth." The question hinges on, "What does this figure of speech mean?" Does it mean Christ will reject them entirely and cut them out? Is it a threat of physical consequence, such as another Earthquake like the recent one would push them out of the land? Is it a warning that their trust in their riches might lead them down a darker path? All of the above? Fortunately, this is not the only place in scripture this metaphor is encountered. "For the land has become defiled, therefore I have brought its punishment upon it, so the land has vomited out its inhabitants. But as for you, you are to keep My statutes and My judgments, and you shall not do any of these abominations...for the people of the land who were there before you did all these abominations, and the land has become defiled, so that the land will not vomit you out should you defile it, as it has vomited out the nation which was there before you. For whoever does any of these abominations, those persons who do so shall be cut off from among their people." Lev 18:25-29 And in Zophar's admittedly poor speech to Job, he does link vomit to the loss of riches: "...yet in his stomach his food sours into the venom of cobras within him. He will spit out the riches he swallowed; God will make his stomach vomit them up." Job 20:14-15 And in Jer 51:24, the link between 'swallowing up delicacies (earthly riches) and 'vomiting them out' is also made. Jesus' warning, in this case, touches on two main things: #1 they were not dealing with their own sins and were defiling the land while thinking they were doing well, and #2 the very riches they were trusting in were piling up against them. Hence Jesus exhorts them to seek His true riches, to be zealous and repent, and to seek to see themselves through His eyes. There is both a physical aspect and a spiritual aspect to this warning. If they keep piling up riches, while still spiritually blind and poor, they may be expelled or forced into a situation of poverty. And spiritually, if they continue to trust in riches over Christ, they may be expelled from Christ's body, the church. Historically, we can see a couple areas this warning was fulfilled: Laodecia suffered from Earthquakes before and after the one in 61A.D. In the early 7th century, the church building there was utterly destroyed, along with the city, in an Earthquake. Many Christians would have had to leave, or lost wealth, due to these. Many Laodecian Christians defected from Christ by worshiping emperor Domitian, 81-96 A.D., to keep their wealth, and would have been cut out of the church.
It is clear that Christ is not only the head but the judge of the church. In the book of the revelation, we are giving examples of Christ doing this very thing in judging the church. There is no play on words. In each instance, Christ says “I know your works“, and then he proceeds to list the things he is pleased with in the things that he is not pleased with. He also notes severe consequences if these churches do not repent. And one of the consequences he says that he will vomit them out. What does it mean to vomit? It means to reject or spew or throw something from you, out of your body. In another instance, he says plainly that he will remove their names from the lamb’s book of life. What is the lamb’s book of life? Is it not the book that contains the names of all those that are saved? The church is under a supreme delusion that grace will carry them through into heaven without the works in the fruits that Christ is looking for. Note, Christ does not mention grace, nor does he mention mercy, nor does he mention the love of God. God loves the entire world, yet still allows them to make choices that will end them in eternal damnation. Christ says that it has been given to him to judge from the Father. And he will do so shortly. Do not be deceived with the watered-down idea that people have now of who Christ is as the resurrected Lord and King, head of the church, and judge of the church. It is within his power to give salvation and to take it away. These examples of Christ judging the seven churches are a warning to all Christians, and insight into what we will also face and be held accountable for as those who follow Christ. Christ said that he can only do what he sees the father do. Does the Father not judge the unbelieving world, giving to each a reward according to their works? Indeed he does. And Christ will do the same with the church. Again, note he says, “I know your works.” Does Christ not expect the church to do works as he saw the father, desiring that we imitate him? Paul also followed the same thought of saying, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ.” We are to be imitators of the Lord Jesus Christ and his way, person, message, and works. Too many Christians today find comfort in never leaving the soft and cushy couch of grace. But they will be sadly mistaken when they are face to face with the Lord Jesus, believing that he spoke with a simple play on words, and they are held accountable for the works they did and did not do. This is a warning to the church: repent from your lukewarm and cowardly ways and do those things with Christ dead, or suffer the consequences - which can include losing your salvation. It is plainly written. For those who have ears to hear let them hear.
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