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I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

3:14 Laodiceans. Laodicea was near Colosse (note Colossians 4:16), about forty-five miles southeast of Philadelphia and almost one hundred miles east of Ephesus, and was a wealthy city, with its wealth also shared by the Christians in the church there. Instead of having “little strength,” as at Philadelphia, its members boasted of their riches (Revelation 3:17).

3:14 beginning of the creation. The Laodicean church was not an apostate church, for its candlestick had not been removed, but it was a neutral church, agreeing with the Scriptures and Christian doctrine in general, but so enamored of its worldly eminence that it would not stand firmly on such controversial doctrines as true creationism and full Biblical inerrancy, perspicuity and authority. It was “lukewarm” (Revelation 3:16). Thus the Lord introduced Himself as “the faithful and true witness,” whose Word therefore must be inviolable. He is the one who had created the universe itself, “the beginning of the creation of God,” allowing no doctrinal position that could accommodate the pagan evolutionism of their well-to-do neighbors and associates. Furthermore, He is the “Amen” as well as the Creator, the Omega as well as the Alpha, so they should have been looking toward His imminent coming, rather than trying to impress the world. Their sister church at Colosse had experienced the same kinds of pressures, and Paul some thirty years previously, in a letter to the Colossians that was also intended for the Laodiceans (Colossians 4:16), addressed these same concerns (note Colossians 1:13-20; 2:3-10; 3:1-4).

3:16 out of my mouth. Note that Christ would prefer not only a hot church like Philadelphia but also a cold church like Sardis to a lukewarm, neutral, accommodationist, comfortable church like Laodicea. At least Sardis was not harming anyone because it was not influencing anyone.

3:17 have need of nothing. There are multitudes of large and affluent churches today that are evangelical and nominally Biblical. They have become so comfortable with evolutionism and modern life styles that they are spiritually impoverished, filled with half-converted babes in Christ who are easy prey for the world, the flesh and the devil. The Lord is calling them to repentance (Revelation 3:19), for they are still His churches, and therefore He must rebuke and chasten them sooner or later.

3:20 at the door. Compare Matthew 24:33; Revelation 19:9. When we see the signs of His imminent coming all around us, including many neutralist Laodicean-type churches, we know that He is at the door, about to come in, as it were, soon to sit down with all His saints at the great marriage supper of the Lamb.

3:20 come in to him. Although it is often used as such, this verse is not a gospel verse, appealing to the unsaved to accept Christ. There is nothing in it about Christ’s sacrificial death for sinners or about believing on Him for salvation, or any other gospel essentials. It is addressed directly to the neutralist, self-satisfied Laodicean church, calling them to repentance. In context, the Lord is calling worldly, compromising believers to allow Him back into their lives.

3:21 in my throne. Here is a marvelous testimony to God’s grace. Those whom the Lord had just threatened to “spue” (Revelation 3:16) out of His mouth He now invites to share His throne!

3:22 unto the churches. This is the last reference to churches in Revelation until the very last chapter (Revelation 22:16). This fact strongly reinforces the inference that Revelation 2 and 3 reflect the entire church age, with the rest of the book dealing with the period after all true churches have been raptured and taken to be with the Lord.

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