We are now reading the book of Revelation and chapter 3 completes the message Jesus sent through his angel to seven selected churches. We see these as representative of all the different types of churches, or congregations, that have existed through the ages. Each message starts with the words, “I know your works”. God’s all seeing power knows everything that is happening and Scripture employs various imagery to indicate this. We saw an example of this in Zechariah 6 with 4 chariots which “go to patrol the earth”.
The message in Revelation to Laodicea is ominous! It is a message that fits the condition of spiritual life today. It pictures a self-satisfied community who “are lukewarm, and who are neither hot or cold” and because of this “I will spit you out of my mouth” (verse 16). They say of themselves, that they “… have prospered and need nothing, not realising that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked” (verse 17) – in a spiritual sense.
They need to “buy from me” says Jesus “white garments so that you may cloth yourself …” (verse 18). This takes our thoughts back to verse 4 and the message to Sardis where there was still “a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white … and I will never blot his (or her) name out of the book of life …” (verse 5).
What are these garments? Isaiah is frequently relevant to the messages in Revelation. Look at Isaiah 61:10 “I will greatly rejoice … for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness” to happen when “the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations” (verse 11).
How essential it is to realize what we really are – from the perspective of our Lord. Jesus knows we are not perfect, but he said to those at Laodicea, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him …” (verse 20). Opening God’s word and reading it prayerfully every day surely means we are opening the door of our hearts to welcome our Lord in.