Friday, August 18, 2006

The Church Must First Repent
WRITEN BY . Edwin Orr

In the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament, the word Ekklesia is used along with the Greek for Synagogue to translate the Hebrew Kahal, which fact throws further light on the subject. For Kahal is used variously in the Old Testament to denote a called-out assembly of Israel or of a tribe, or an assembly gathered out for worship.

So whether we use the word "Church" to denote the general professing Church, or the actual Church of believers, there are lessons to be learned. It is when we study the message to the Church of the Laodiceans that we find our message. The condition of the Laodicean Church fits our present-day state in Christendom exactly.

"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked...As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me"

Can this be made to apply to the spiritual condition of believers ? Let us see. First of all, Laodicea was an ekklesia, a gathered-out assembly for worship. Secondly, it is suggested that this church was in a peculiar relationship with the Lord, because of the words : "All whom I hold dear, I reprove and chastise."

"For whom the Lord loveth," says the writer of Hebrews, " He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons, for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not ? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons."

Which makes me think that the rebuke given Laodicea may be fairly applied to believers. Lukewarmness, self-satisfaction., halfheartedness, backsliding, formalism, indifference, self righteousness, greed for gold, worldliness, pride, self-deception, spiritual destitution, blindness and lack of vision, easily-seen-through--these are the characteristics of Laodicea, and these are the characteristics abounding to-day.

What would anyone think of an individual who possessed all these characteristics ...surely the greatest backslider living! But examine the position collectively.

Are there any lukewarm Christians in your church ?
Any self-satisfied ?
Any indifferent ?
Any self-righteous ?
Any backsliding?
Any formalistic ?
Any half-hearted ?
Any greedy after lucre ?
Any worldly ?
Any proud ?
Any self-deceived ?
Any spiritually destitute ?
Any without vision ?
Any shameless ?

Put together they look rather bad. If the majority of your church members share a majority of these indications of spiritual poverty, then your church is a Laodicean church. And if the majority of churches in your district are thus backslidden, then everything said to Laodicea applies to your neighbourhood. What would you do with an individual Christian who was thus backslidden in heart and life ? You would first pray for him. You would seek to show him his need. You would seek to make him concerned about his need. You would point out to him the life more abundant. You would tell him that Calvary means power, and that Christ will restore.

So what do you think of your Church... And can we label them


At 1:33 PM, Blogger bluecollar said...


At 11:30 PM, Blogger jazzycat said...

So true and I feel convicted when I read passages such as this. Are there any more bloggers in your church other than you and Mark?

At 11:03 AM, Blogger Jonathan Moorhead said...

There's me!


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