And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things said the Amen, the faithful and true witness…
I. THE TEMPER WHICH OUR LORD REPROVES IN THE CHURCH OF LAODICEA.
1. They are lukewarm who are at no pains to guard against error, and to acquire just sentiments of religion.
2. They are lukewarm who, from worldly hopes or fears, detain in unrighteousness the truth they know, and who will not profess it openly.
3. They are lukewarm who give God the body, but withhold from Him the soul.
4. The inactivity of professed Christians is a strong proof that they are lukewarm.
5. Many discover their lukewarmness by the limitations within which they confine their obedience, or by the weakness of their religious affections, when compared with their affections to worldly objects.
6. They are lukewarm who are little affected with the advancement or the decay of religion, or with that which concerns the common welfare of mankind.
II. WHY A LUKEWARM SPIRIT SO WOEFULLY PREVAILS AMONG MANY WHO PROFESS TO BELIEVE THE RELIGION OF JESUS. Lukewarmness prevails through an evil heart of unbelief. Men imagine that they believe the threatenings of the law and the promises of the gospel, who have never considered either their interesting nature or their undoubted certainty. Strangers they must be to holy fervour of spirit who see not the beauty and glory, and who relish not the pleasures of religion; who talk of treasures in heaven, but view the treasures of this earth as more desirable; and who fondly cherish a secret hope that God will be less severe on transgressors than the language of His threatenings supposes. The want of religious principles, ill-founded and presumptuous hopes, and that lukewarmness which flows from both, are greatly promoted by bad education and by bad example. The ordinary commerce of the world completes the ruin which education had begun. The conversation and manners of those whom the young are taught to love, or whose superior age and wisdom they respect, completely pervert their ideas, their resolutions, and their conduct.
III. THE FOLLY, GUILT, AND DANGER OF THIS LUKEWARM TEMPER.
1. The lukewarm practically deny the excellence and the importance of religion.
2. A lukewarm religion answers no valuable purpose.
3. The temper and conduct of the lukewarm is peculiarly base and criminal.
(1) It argues the vilest ingratitude.
(2) It indicates hypocrisy.
(3) The man who is lukewarm disgraces the worthy name by which he is called.
4. The lukewarm are not reclaimed without great difficulty, and they are always waxing worse and worse, whether it is pride, or self. deceit, or gross hypocrisy which chiefly prevails in their characters.
5. Lukewarmness exposes men to the dreadful effects of God's vengeance in temporal judgments, in spiritual plagues, and in eternal destruction.
(John Erskine, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;