Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 3

Laodicea: neither hot nor cold

Revelation 3:15-16

‘I need nothing,’ the Christians in Laodicea were saying (verse 17). That proud attitude offended Christ.

In Matthew 24:12, Christ described people who no longer showed love. He used a word-picture to describe this; he said that their love had become cold. In other words, it was very weak.

On the other hand, in verse 19, Christ will advise the Christians to be eager. The word for ‘eager’ there means to be hot, like something that is burning.

Christ said that Laodicea’s Christians should be either cold or hot. To be cold probably means to realise that they were in a desperate state. They very much needed God’s help. To be hot means to be eager. They should be eager to serve God properly.

When people are aware of their poor, weak state, God can help them. When people are eager to please God, God can direct them. However, God will not help anyone who is too proud to accept his help. That was the state of the church at Laodicea.

Christ described himself as someone who felt sick. The wrong attitudes of Laodicea’s Christians had caused it. Christ wanted them to be like something hot or cold; they were like something warm. People usually think that Christ was referring to warm water. Plenty of warm water can make a person sick. Or perhaps Christ was referring to a source of water near Laodicea where the water contains a substance called soda. That would also make people sick.

However, perhaps Christ was actually referring to something else, for example, meat. It can be very dangerous not to heat meat properly; it can make a person very ill.

So, if Laodicea’s church members did not change their attitudes, Christ would have to act against them. Proud attitudes can ruin a person’s relationship with God.

Next part: The dangers of wealth (Revelation 3:17)


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© 2016, Keith Simons.