By now you have probably guessed that I firmly believe we are currently living in the Laodicean age, the last and final age of church history. Every day I am bombarded with more evidence of that fact.
Think about it, the Laodiceen church age is defined by its glamorous and perverted view of itself and its desire to worship God in a way that is pleasing to the worshipper, and not necessarily to the One being worshiped. The church in this age talks a good game, has all the bywords and slogans down pat, yet is so offensive to the Jesus of the Bible that He literally “vomits them out of His mouth” (Rev. 3:16).
That’s some pretty strong words from the Lord Himself.
First, the perverted view of the church as it evaluates itself:
Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing” (Rev. 3:17a).
Did you get that? The church in this age, the very age in which we live, the health and wealth and favor age, says they are rich and wealthy and need nothing. They are successful, self-sufficient, influential, dependent on no one, and growing with an entrepreneurial spirit not seen since the days of the dotcom craze. We have mega churches that remodel basketball arenas and pack in each Sunday enough people to fill half a stadium at an NFL playoff game. We have purpose driven authors that sell millions upon millions of books and promote their latest “40 Days of Lukewarmness” programs in churches world-wide. We, the self-proclaimed religious elite, now rub elbows with the likes of Bono and Oprah and Obama and dine at the table with the the upper echelons of society.
“No more hiding in the catacombs for us. We’ve arrived! Change is coming, baby!”
Yes, it is. But not the change you may be counting on.
The church is no longer offensive to the culture because its self-help message could be just as easily preached during prime-time without making the viewing masses feel uneasy or uncomfortable. Words like sacrifice, sin, crucifixion, atonement, hell, holiness or the exclusivity (one way only) of the message preached by Jesus have been carefully edited from our Laodicean church vocabulary. In their place, we now speak of favor, financial blessings, divine healing, getting the best parking spot at the mall, praying for God to bless your 401k, and having Your Best Life Now.
We don’t need the Bible and its cumbersome commands to restrict our personal freedoms. Why? Because it’s all about us! We’re rich and wealthy and don’t need anything. No doctrine, no moral imperatives, no righteous living, no absolute truth, no right or wrong, no consequences for our actions and, of course, no guilt-producing compulsion to share our faith with others or be the “salt and light” of the world.
“Nope, none of that stuff. If we preach that message, people won’t come and we’ve got a building to pay for.”
We are truly living in the age of the Laodicean church that, if you read the Scriptures, turned our Lord’s stomach to the point He wanted to spit or vomit them out of His mouth. I think He was pretty sick at what He saw. And you know… so am I.
Yesterday I ran across the following post that seems to be resonating with Laodicean church-goers (I will refrain from calling them Christians for reasons that should be quite obvious by now) because it is cloaked in deceptive spiritual language and just plain feels good. It’s simply another pitiful picture of the perverted, self-centered mindset the church has now adopted. Rather than obey the command of Jesus to “go into all the world and preach the gospel”— we now come up with felt-need reasons not to evangelize and feel-good excuses to justify our disobedience. And as you read these reasons you’ll see, as I did, that they are all about us and how we feel.
Because after all, we’re rich, we’re wealthy and we don’t need nuthin’. Remember?
The post goes like this…
Years ago, I decided to stop evangelizing my friends. Here are 14 reasons why you might consider doing the same:
- It makes them uncomfortable.
- It makes you uncomfortable.
- It makes you think about how to twist every conversation to Jesus rather than seeing how Jesus is already there.
- It makes you believe you’re bringing God to them, rather than seeing how the Holy Spirit has already been active in their lives.
- It pressures you into showing an unrelatable happy, plastic face rather than letting God’s grace shine through your struggles.
- It makes you focus on talking rather than listening.
- It leads you to answer questions they aren’t asking.
- It makes you think about what to say rather than how to love.
- It makes you think faith is a list of statements rather than a different way of living.
- It puts you into the role of “teacher,” causing you to miss things your friends can teach you.
- It makes them see you as a religious salesman rather than an apprentice of the Master.
- It hurts your friendship.
- It robs you of a good time.
- It makes you think their lack of interest in your evangelism means they are not interested in Jesus or spiritual questions.
Wow. More post-modern drivel. A whole puddle of it.
Lord, I will willingly disobey Your commands and not do what You have told me to do because it makes me and my lost friends feel uncomfortable, and we can’t have that. Plus, if I obey You it will rob me of my friends… and then what will I do? ‘Cause I obviously value their friendship more than I do my devotion to You. And, most important, it will also rob me of a good time and hinder what I want to do. “Hey, if I’m with my lost friends and we’re doing something fun… geez, the last thing I want to do is interject You into the conversation. You’re such a kill-joy. No fun at all.”
But the second part of the verse we began this post with says something altogether different. Whereas the church sees itself as rich and wealthy and self-sufficient— the Lord sees us as we truly are.
Finally, the view of the Laodicena church from the vantage point of the Lord:
“And you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked” (Rev. 3:17b).
Did you get all that? Wretched, pretty strong word. Miserable, even stronger still. Poor and blind and naked… uh, that kind of flies in the face of riches or wealth or self-sufficiency, doesn’t it?
Be warned: God will not sit back and watch His bride, the church, be turned into a brothel or a secular, self-promoting, feel-good show. He will always defend His honor and His glory.
Always. Without fail.
If you are part of the church system that puts more emphasis on the people rather than the Lord, I have two words for you: Leave Now! Like Lot fleeing from Sodom, you need to leave that church now and seek out true Christian fellowship. Why? Because His day of judgment is coming and you won’t want to be connected at the hip with those whose future can be described as vomit on the floor.
Adveho quis may.
Come what may.