“Christ’s Message to Laodicea Part 2”
INTRODUCTION What is the Meaning of Revelation 3.14-22 Part 2
Revelation 3. Imagine if somebody came to you on April 29, 2004 and said to you, “Why don’t you invest $10,000 in a company called Google? It’s making its public debut today.” And you replied, “No thank you, that is too risky.”
If you would’ve followed that advice today your single investment of $10,000 would be worth… are you ready for this? $516,843.76. But you ignored that advice.
Now, that could make you feel regret. But it doesn’t even come close to the regret that you’ll experience for all eternity if you ignor Jesus advice in our passage today when he says, “Buy from Me gold refined in the fire.” You’d best take that advice. That advice reaps eternal dividends. Not taking His advice will be eternal regret. Taking His advice is eternal praise! Let’s read…
Revelation 3:14–21 14 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; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Jesus advises this church filled with lost people, He advises these hypocrites who have a form of godliness but deny its power, He counsels them what, v.18? To genuinely receive eternal life. And he pictures receiving eternal life as buying certain things.
That’s because Laodicea was known for its wealth: banking, black wool, and medicine.
What Jesus is doing is he is using the major industries of the city as illustrations to prove that they are spiritually bankrupt and that they need the true riches that are in Christ alone.
In verses 18-20, Jesus talks about 3 things each of which concerns receiving eternal life: things to buy, repentance, and opening a door. He concludes in verse 21 with a promise to the overcomer, the Christian.
Jesus exhorts the Laodicean church to be saved with the idea of purchasing certain things…
His advice therefore is: buy gold, not from the Laodicean banks, but from the One who removes the impurities from gold. Buy clothes, not of black wool from sheep, but from divine manufacture, and buy eye-salve, not from the local medical school, but from the Great Physician.
Exhortation to Salvation (3:18-20)
Revelation 3:18 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Advise Salvation: Buy gold, white clothes, eye salve (18)
This is a glorious invitation to receive eternal life. It’s on the level of…
Isaiah 55:1 1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Buy gold: to become rich (18a)
Revelation 3:18 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, …
EXP: Remember, this is a wealthy city, filled with gold. The temptation, as we saw in America last time, is to trust gold. That’s why from the beginning, we’ve put on our coinage, “In God, we trust” because as Jesus said, “You cannot serve God and wealth.”
But these hypocrites were serving wealth. Even though they are, in God’s eyes, they are actually poor, but yet they do not know it. So Jesus counsels them to buy gold from Him, pure gold, refined gold, refined in the fire, free from impurities.
EXP: But how do you actually buy it? Come to Him who is eternally wealthy. Trust Him to be delivered from sin and receive a room in glory and live in the eternal city of gold!
ILL: You know, we can look at wealthy people and think “how poor they really are!” Politicians who gain riches through devious practices, celebrities who leech off of the public lust; its sickening. One day, there will be a reckoning.
I don’t envy those people at all!
I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold
I’d rather be His than have riches untold
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or land
I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand
Than to be the king of a vast domain
And be held in sin’s dread sway
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today
If you come to Him with that heart, He’ll give pure gold to you!
And so, I’ll gladly wait for the city of gold… Rev. 21:18 says the eternal city is made out of pure gold. The foundations have all manner of precious stones… and the streets are made out of gold too!
I’ll gladly wait for that city! That’s because Jesus died so that I might be rich!
2 Corinthians 8:9 9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
And in salvation, a simple trust in Him, He has made me rich in faith…
James 2:5 5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
And so by His grace, my aim is to be rich in good works, rich toward God, knowing that the trial of my faith is much more precious than gold that perishes (1 Pet. 1:7).
TRANS: Jesus also counsels these lost hypocritical church members to buy white clothing…
Buy white clothes: to clothe self and hide shame (18b)
Revelation 3:18 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and [I counsel you to buy from me] white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear;
EXP: Jesus is drawing on how popular the glossy black wool was in Laodicea. But that famous black wool could never take away the shame of sin…
Just like their black wool could never cover the shame of their sin, so also good works can never make us righteous before God, just as we’ve noted before from Isaiah 64:6, that all our righteous deeds are like filthy rags before God.
And so because our sin has covered us with shame and we are naked and shameful before God, Jesus counsels people… Even those who go to church but are lost without Christ, he counsels them to buy from him white clothing that you might be clothed.
And these white garments are garments of salvation… That represents us being pure and holy and righteous in his sight.
As Isaiah said…
[Raise it UP!!]
Isaiah 61:10 10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
And Jesus can do this for us because Jesus actually became sin at the cross…
2 Corinthians 5:21 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
By faith, we’re made the righteousness of God in Christ, and then we’re clothed in Jesus’ very righteousness.
Like in …
Revelation 7:13–14 13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto [the apostle John], What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb… even as my family sung this morning.
This is the imputed righteousness of Christ. By faith in Christ, the Bible teaches, your sin is put on Jesus and Jesus’ righteousness is put on you. He took God’s eternal wrath against your sin and extinguished it… and that’s not all, He also took His righteousness and credited it to you, through a committed trust in Him.
Your sin imputed to Jesus, Jesus’ righteousness imputed to you all through the blood of the cross of Christ. That’s washing your robes, and making them white in the blood of the Lamb.
And so now you can lift up your voice with the saved multitude of the great tribulation…as John recounts it…
Revelation 7:9–10 9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 [RAISE IT UP!!!] And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
Praise God that by faith He cleanses our dirty clothes and makes them gleaming white, pure and holy in His sight.
TRANS: And third item… is eyesalve…
Buy eyesalve: to see (18b)
Revelation 3:18 18 I counsel thee to … anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
EXP: Again, Jesus draws on their medicine industry. As we mentioned last time, a medical school was located in Laodicea at the temple of Asclepius, which offered a special salve called “Phrygian powder” to heal common eye troubles of the Middle East.
Jesus counsels them this because they are still clearly in their original spiritual state, the spiritual condition that we’re all in at birth: blind!
It is spiritual sight the Lord is talking about. Just as Isaiah was commissioned by the Lord in this way…
Isaiah 6:9–10 9 … Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
The people of Israel at the time were all blind!
But the mission of the Lord Jesus when He came was as Isaiah prophesied 700 years before Christ…
Isaiah 42:6–7 6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; 7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
And so today…
2 Corinthians 4:6 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
And someone therefore who is apart from Christ could cry out with the psalmist…
Psalm 119:18 18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
And then he’ll truly see.
TRANS: Jesus counsels this Laodicean church to be saved from their sin; that’d be kind of shock, thinking that everything was ok, but it really wasn’t. Ouch. But Jesus isn’t rebuking them because He hates them; far from it. Verse 19…
Repent for Salvation (19)
Revelation 3:19 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Jesus loves lost people: so he reproves and disciplines them
Notice here, that Jesus loves lost people, even hypocritical lost people who are bearing His name upon their lives in vain.
Psalm 145:8–9 8 The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; Slow to anger, and of great mercy. 9 The Lord is good to all: And his tender mercies are over all his works.
He’s good to all, even His enemies, that’s why He calls on us to love our enemies it…
Matthew 5:44–48 …love your enemies…why… 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he [does the exact same thing…. He] maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
When Jesus saw the rich young ruler, Mark says…
Mark 10:21 21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
Jesus loved that lost man…
Jesus loved us to the point to go to the cross to take on not just the wrath of man, but the wrath of Almighty God…
John 15:13 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Romans 5:8 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
O the deep, deep love of Jesus
Vast unmeasured, boundless, free
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me
Jesus loves lost people to the point that He died for us…and to the point that He rebukes them and chastens them.
Jesus loves so He rebukes and chastens
ILL: How do you know if someone loves you? Really? Always gives you nice things, encourages you, they hug you, … how?
How about rebuking you? You know they love you, why? Because they rebuke you!
Revelation 3:19 19 As many as I love, [how would you know Jesus loves you? …As many as I love ] I rebuke and chasten: ….
So, if someone comes by and rebukes you and seeks to correct your life before God, that’s love, friend! That’s the love of Jesus pouring through!
How does He reprove and discipline?
When Jesus reproves you and disciplines you, sometimes your conscience will be convicted. You will feel bad about the sin that you sinned. You will reject that sin… You’ll hate it.
There Jesus’ discipline that is in the heart, the conscience. But sometimes also physical or spiritual or emotional suffering is meant to bring us to repentance.
And these words that Jesus gave would’ve been stirring to the heart, would’ve been distressing to the soul. But if those words are received, it is life for them, eternal salvation. Receive Jesus’ reproof in His word.
And so He is calling upon them to repent; to zealously repent.
Revelation 3:19 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
He is calling upon them to ardently and with great passion turn from their sin. And turn from their own ways bow the knee to the Lord Jesus Christ and then rise up and take up their own cross and follow him.
Ezekiel 33:11 11 … As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
TRANS: Another call to salvation is given in verse 20…
Open door to Christ for Salvation (20)
Revelation 3:20 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
There is wide disagreement about the interpretation of this verse. Please note that Jesus has moved from addressing the church to anyone, any individual.
“if any man” … that’s an individual.
“I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” That’s an individual.
Jesus is addressing any individual.
You’ve probably seen a painting with Christ standing on the outside of the door and the door has no handle, indicating that it can only be opened from the inside. William Hunt painted one such painting entitled, The Light of the World in the 1850s.
The scene from our text has three actions.
(1) Jesus standing before a door knocking, and presumably speaking, because it says “if any man hear my voice.”
(2) the person within hearing and opening, and
(3) Jesus entering and eating with the one inside. 
And so we can conclude that…
(1) Jesus is the one who takes the initiative in salvation. “I stand at the door and knock.”
(2) if you hear Jesus knocking and speaking, open the door to receive Him.
(3) if you do open and receive him, Jesus will enter into your house and dine with you, that is, have fellowship with you today.
Just like Jesus said in…
John 14:23 23 …If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
Respond to Jesus’ words in this letter to the Laodiceans! He is knocking, hear his voice!
ILL: This kind of table fellowship with Jesus similar to what happened to Zaccheus. Zaccheus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he …. And you remember he climbed up into that sycamore tree because he was so short. Jesus saw him and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house!”
Ah, what joy would have filled his heart! “Jesus must stay at your house!” And Zaccheus received him gladly! And after Zaccheus gives evidence of repentance…
Luke 19:9–10 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
O Jesus, Thou art knocking;
And lo! that hand is scarred,
And thorns Thy brow encircle,
And tears Thy face have marred:
O love that passeth knowledge,
So patiently to wait!
O sin that hath no equal,
So fast to bar the gate!
O Jesus, Thou art pleading
In accents meek and low,
“I died for you, My children,
And will ye treat Me so?”
O Lord, with shame and sorrow
We open now the door;
Dear Saviour, enter, enter,
And leave us nevermore!
TRANS: And if anyone does hear Jesus’ voice and His beckoning to come to Him for salvation and if he opens the door and receives Christ gladly, Jesus has a promise for you… Not only will you have fellowship today with Christ, but you will also for all eternity…
Promise: Sit down with Jesus on His throne (3:21)
Revelation 3:21 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Jesus overcame at the cross and the resurrection. At the cross, he paid for all of our sin and took on the wrath of God. In his resurrection, he overcame… He was victorious over sin and death and hell.
After Jesus was raised from the dead, he ascended up to his Father and is seated at his Father’s right hand.
Psalm 110:1 1 [God the Father said to God the Son], Sit thou at my right hand, Until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
Hebrews 1:3 says that… “when he had by himself purged our sins, [He] sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
Hebrews 12:2 2 … He endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
And you, Christian, are victorious in Him…
1 John 5:4 4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
If you are in Christ, you will sit down with Jesus on His throne.
And to sit with Jesus on His throne is to rule with Him.
Revelation 5:10 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
Revelation 20:4 4 God’s people lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
2 Timothy 2:12 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him…
CONCLUSION What is the Meaning of Revelation 3.14-22 Part 2
So, receive Jesus’ counsel! If you’re outside of Christ or if your life shows that you are outside of Christ, take His advice!
ILL: But, someone once said, “The trouble with good advice is that it usually interferes with your plans.”
That’s the understatement of the day … Not only does Jesus interfere with your plans, His call to you to follow Him utter destroys your plans…
Tho’ the way seems straight and narrow,
All I claimed was swept away;
My ambitions, plans and wishes,
At my feet in ashes lay.
We’re called to take up our cross daily and follow Him … take up our execution device and follow Him, dying to sin and self, laying down all our ambitions and wishes and cling to Him and His life…
Receive Him and sacrifice for Him in this life, and He’ll turn those ashes into adoration, He’ll transform suffering into eternal sweetness, and pain into paradise.