What is nominal Christianity?
Ans. It means the church is Christian in name only and not in doctrine or practice. Once the Biblical doctrine and Christian ethics are stripped away you have a church without a creed or confession of faith. The church then drifts away into liberalism. Around the close of the 19th century a man by the name of Friedrich Schleirmarcher lunched the teaching of protestant liberalism. Schleirmarcher is called the father of protestant liberalism. He held subjective pietism which is knowledge of the Bible limited to experiences. ‘Since we have not experienced the miracles of the Bible therefore they must not have happened.’
J. Gresham Machen fought against Liberalism in his day, he wrote his famous book: “Christianity and Liberalism.” Machen remarks, “The Christian movement at its inception was not just a way of life in the modern sense, but a way of life founded upon a message. It was based, not upon mere feeling, not upon a mere program of work but upon an account of facts. In other words it was based upon doctrine.”
The Lukewarm Church – v.14-18
No items of praise – cf. Col. 2:1
Half-heartedness – “neither cold or hot”
Lost their concern to grow in the faith
Jesus is very upset
NASV “spit” a euphemism for “vomit”
Complacency and apostasy – I Tim. 4:1-6
Is there any hope for Laodicea? V.19
Ans. Yes, when there is immediate repentance
How this church evaluated herself?
They were comfortably rich – Col. 2:8
They thought because they were rich materially they were rich spiritually “have need of nothing” v. 17b.
Jesus’ evaluation – v.17b.
They lacked knowledge of themselves – “you do not know”
They failed to see what Christ sees – “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked “ (I Cor. 15:19; I Pet. 1:7; John 9:1-38; II Cor. 4:4; II Sam. 10:1-5; Gen. 44:37-43; Esther 6:6-11)
The Only Remedy – v.19-22
Listen to Jesus’ admonition
Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline” Prov. 3:12; Heb. 12:6
Renewal follows obedience – “be zealous and repent” ( I Cor. 13:4; Gal. 4:18)
Repentance is a call for immediate action – v. 20; Jesus is standing at the door knocking. Jesus is outside looking in. He is rapping on the door of our hearts indicating His abiding love for us.
The stress is upon the Christian’s responsibility. “I will come in to him, and will dine with him and he with Me.” Rev. 19:9
If you have experienced a coldness of heart it’s time to invite him in, but Jesus will not come into a lukewarm heart. May your heart be warmed by His Spirit who gives us ears to hear.
The promise is the reward to sitting down with Jesus on His Throne for all those who overcome and conquer the ways of the world.
Pastor Nick Iamaio
Reformed Presbyterian Church, 207 South First Street, Fulton, NY 13069
Web Site: fultonrpc.org 3/9/2014