To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:14-16) NIV
Those whom love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 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. (Revelation 3:19&20) NIV
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:1&2) MSG
Although the word disgust is not mentioned in the above scriptures, the physical response to it is. We can feel disgust when we perceive something as distasteful to our sense of taste or smell, and sometimes to our sight, hearing or touch.
The church in Laodicea would have understood well what Jesus was saying to them. The water that flowed into Laodicea came through aqueducts from miles away and arrived lukewarm and tasted unpleasant. The Laodiceans may have gotten used to it, but someone experiencing it for the first time would likely spit it out of their mouth. Cold water refreshes; hot water cleanses. Lukewarm does neither.
The problem in the Laodicean church was that they. as a community and individuals, had tucked their faith into a closet while they succumbed to the culture of wealth and self-sufficiency all around them. They were the only one of the seven churches mentioned in Revelation 2 & 3 that were not persecuted for their faith. They may have even looked down on the other six churches with pride in their own advantages.
So Jesus gave them a heads-up warning,”I’m about to spit you out of my mouth.” But he also tells them that he loves them, which is why he warns, rebukes and disciplines them. They need to become earnest and repent.
“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.” These words are the most quoted of Jesus’ words and are frequently used to encourage a new believer to come to Christ, but they were originally written to a once thriving community of faith as a reminder of his presence and his desire for a renewed relationship.
As I write this, I’m hearing Jesus say to me that there is a closet door in my heart that he is patiently knocking at.
How about you? Is Jesus knocking at a door in your heart?
For this Holy Week, as we approach Easter, meditate on the above scriptures and ask Jesus how he desires you to respond to his voice.