“Those whom I love I rebuke” – Laodicea (Rev. 3:19-22, Study)

This is a continuation of my notes from a weekly study of the Book of Revelation covering the Church at Laodicea. For prior segments see:
“I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Laodicea (Rev. 3:14-22, Bible Study)
“I am rich and do not need a thing” – Laodicea (Rev. 3:14-22, Bible Study)

19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

 21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Revelation 3:19-22)

Jesus is exercising “tough love.” If He didn’t love, He wouldn’t care. For the Laodiceans He is condemning their indifference, their apathy. Earlier in the letter He had called them “lukewarm.” Today their response might be “whatever.” John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, said “It is easier to convert a secularist than to heat up an apathetic Christian.”

Jesus sought people who were passionate about what they were doing. It made no difference if they were on the right path or the wrong one. People who were passionate were like clay that could be molded. Those who were apathetic were more like a fired pot, difficult to change. Two examples of passionate people who started out on or took the wrong path were the Apostles Paul and Peter. Paul shaped the Christian Church after his conversion. Peter was “the rock” upon which Jesus built His church.

The church in Laodicea had gotten off to a very good start. Then the Laodicenas had become indifferent. The Laodiceans had become very wealthy, comfortable and believed themselves to be self-sufficient. (See: Tale of the Tel: Laodicea for a discussion of Laodicea at the time Revelation was written.) As it says in Hebrews 6:4-6:

4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

How often do you see this applying to people today? As it says in 1 Timothy 6:10:

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

The Laodiceans did love their money.

This portion of the Bible Study on the Church at Laodicea will conclude with the segment “Here I am!”

My thanks to Pastor Michael and the faithful members of the Men on the Grow Bible study group.

This blog is part of an ongoing series based on my notes from a weekly Bible Study. For all of the blogs in this study, see: A Study of the Book of Revelation: Index of Blogs

Shalom, Art
Alive in the Word

Note: The picture at the top of this blog is entitled “The Light of the World” by Holman Hunt. There is no latch on the outside of the door.


About aliveintheword

Missouri, USA Married to Marty, 45 years 2 sons (with 2 daughers-in-law) and 2 granddaughters Life dedicated to serving Jesus Christ and delivering the Good News
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