The Indifferent Church Of Laodicea

In this study, I would like to consider the indifferent church. I believe that God has a people who are going to be ready to meet Him when He comes and that this is going to be His church. What, however, would happen if these people were to become indifferent—indifferent to the gospel, indifferent to the signs of the times, indifferent to things that are going on in the world? What if they even became indifferent to one another? Perhaps we have adopted the attitude that we could care less whether we did anything or not to hasten the coming of the Lord. Very few people will admit that; but sometimes, by our fruits we are known. If, however, we understand by Scripture that we can hasten the coming of the Lord, then we should be looking around for something that we can do to hasten that coming. Is not that right?

Being raised in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, one of the hard things for me to do is to admit that Laodicea, the lukewarm church that really needs to be revived, is talking about us. It is hard to put ourselves in the right position and to say that this is the church that God was speaking about, to admit that we are lukewarm and need a change—a revival. There is counsel throughout the Spirit of Prophecy identifying our church as being in the Laodicean state. When we read how lukewarm we are and of our need for a revival, we say, “Well, yes, but it can not be quite that bad.” It is horrible! In fact, it is worse than that. We need a change. God wants that change to come about in our lives. To be indifferent and lukewarm is to be taken by the enemy.

Satan wants to trap God’s church. What does a person do when he is setting a trap? Does he just set the trap out in the open and say, “Hey, come on; get in this thing”? No! He camouflages it, hides it, puts things over it. And so, you are caught before you know it. You did not intend to get in that trap. You really did not want to make that mistake; but, dear friends, somewhere along the line, you took your eyes off of Jesus.

We have to realize that we are to be a witness to all the world; and when we are the kind of witness we need to be, Jesus will come. When the light of the Holy Spirit burns within us, we are going to see that it will draw people to us. Is it not sad that we, as God’s last-day church, having the last message going to all the world, find it so difficult to find people who even want to study the Bible with us? Could it be, dear friends, that we are not in the right relationship where God can use us to study with someone? Could it be that we need a change in our lives? When we are changed, when we are filled with the Holy Spirit of God, then God can use us to reach out and touch others.

People say, “I have been in the church for years, and I have never led a soul to Christ.” Dear friends, what is wrong? I am not trying to scold you; I am wanting you to think with me. The purpose for our being here is to win souls for God’s kingdom. Is that not right? Are we usable for Christ, or are we used up? If you love your fellowman like you say you do, you are going to be praying, begging, and pleading that God will give avenues, open up doors, that you may be able to reach some souls for Him before it is everlastingly too late. I cannot help it; it is always impressed on my mind how many thousands have gone to Christless graves. They are going to burn in hell, dear friends. Why? Because we did not do our job.

When we get to the kingdom, will there not be those who will be there who will come up to us and say, “It is because of what you said or what you did that I am here”? We will, of course, realize that we could do nothing of ourselves, so we will point them to Jesus; but they will recognize us as a willing vessel that Jesus used. They will recognize us as the one who put our arm around them when they needed someone, as the one who mentioned the name of Jesus, or who smiled at them. People have made my day sometimes when they just smiled. They do not have to say anything, just smile.

Oh, how we need to be pleading on our knees. We are either going to heaven or we are going to hell; it is just that simple. And you will have to decide where it is going to be. Only you can decide; salvation is very individual. It would be nice if we could go as couples and groups. Every person is going to have to give an account. Every person has to give an account to God individually; so I can never apologize, dear friends, for advocating that God must be first in our lives. Jesus said, “If you put anyone before Me, you are not worthy of Me.”

I get so tired of hearing people say that they have to sow their oats. You sow some oats and you are going to reap a crop. The crop does not come up overnight. Many times it comes up a lot later; but what you sow will eventually surface, and people will know what you have been sowing. Now is the time, dear friends, to be sowing righteousness and the love of Jesus and instilling it in the hearts of our children and in the church, when we so desperately need changes.

Satan knows what is going on. He knows what will take place when he causes us to neglect secret prayer. He knows what will take place when we are not searching the Scriptures, so he keeps us away from that.

Very few who believe that Jesus is coming are spending sufficient time in prayer each and every day. Now do not ask me what sufficient time is. The Bible does not say that we have to spend so many minutes or so many hours, but we need to recognize that we need more help than ever before since the enemy is consolidating and coming together and is going to throw everything at God’s people. Our only safety is in keeping our hand in the hand of God, staying on our knees, and spending time in the Word of God.

Every day we need to be putting on the whole armor of God. That is our protection. I think of the armor as being something like the manna. If you did not get out and get that manna, when the sun come up, it melted. If a person slept in, he did not eat. We ought to have a little bit more of that today. As with the fresh manna, we must go out and get it every day. The fact that you put that armor on last week or you prayed on Sabbath is not relevant to your condition today.

Yet, most people get up late to go to work. They just barely get to work on time. They do not know what is going on until nearly noon. They have spent no time with God or studying the Word; the enemy is working them over right and left, and they do not even know it.

How is your relationship with Jesus? As we read, the devil wants to keep us in sin. Someone will say, “Well, I am not committing those big sins over here. I’m not doing this.” We may be acting selfishly, but we do not think about selfishness as being sin. We think of selfishness, pride, and pride of our own opinion as being separate from sin.

One day I went to visit someone, and I knocked on the door. She saw me standing at the door, and it was obvious that she was not pleased to see me. (Now it is sad when you think that, as a pastor, you have to warn the people before you come to visit. You almost feel like you have to call and tell them that you are coming because you do not know what they will be up to.) I said nothing, just walked in the door. The TV was blaring and a soap opera was on. I did not think much about it until she jumped me.

“Oh, so you think I’m a sinner because I watch soap operas.” I did not say anything, and she continued, “So you think I’m a horrible, terrible person.”

I said, “No, it never entered my mind. I never thought about it. Give me a chance here.”

“Well,” she replied, “I will just tell you right up front, right now. That is the only fault that I have.”

I said, “I wish I could say that. If that were the only fault I had, I would just put my foot through that screen right quick, and then I would not have any.”

Do you see how people reason? Their conscience is bothering them, and it causes them to think that other people are condemning them.

The more you study the Word and the closer you get to Jesus, the more filthy you become. It is getting close to Jesus that helps us to see ourselves as we really are. If we stay away from Jesus, we cannot see the changes that need to be made. But when we have a real relationship with Jesus, those changes come out and we are able to see them. We can submit them to Jesus and gain the victory.

Now is the time to put the whole armor of God on. Put it on every day; put it on fresh and clean. Do it by spending some time in prayer. If your schedule is hectic, get up a few minutes early. It will not hurt you. If you find that you can not get up any earlier, then go to bed earlier.

“The agencies of evil are combining their forces and consolidating. They are strengthening for the last great crisis. Great changes are soon to take place in our world, and the final movements will be rapid ones.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 11. Now the enemy is well aware that the last movements are going to be rapid. He knows that if the agencies for evil combine together, he will be stronger. I do not know how the devils have unity, but evidently they have some. Somehow, it says, they are consolidating; they are combining. Yet here we are, the people of God, and we are having a difficult time finding unity. Dear friends, there is unity in consolidating—working together—and this is what God wants us to do.

“Satanic agencies are in every city, busily organizing into parties those opposed to the law of God.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 42

If you say that you love Jesus and that by God’s grace we can keep the law, the devil hates you. Is not that interesting? Now some people get concerned and they say, “Oh, we do not want to get the devil mad at us.” He is already angry with you. “I do not want to get the neighbors upset.” They are already upset. “I do not want to get all Protestants angry at me.” They are already angry at you. “I do not want to get the papacy or Romanism upset with me.” They are already upset. It is just going to get worse. The Protestants are not going to love you before it is all over; the Roman church is not going to love you when it is all over; and your next door neighbor is not going to love you when all is said and done—not if you are faithful to Jesus Christ. Jesus tells us that they hated Him before they hated you.

Somehow, too many of God’s people are trying to get out in the world where everybody loves them. If you can get out in the world and everybody loves you, dear friends, you will be going to the wrong place. Now think about it. If you stand for what is truth, people do not like you. If you tell them about God’s Sabbath, they do not like you. They look at you like you have some type of disease. They avoid you. They were fine until you began to talk about Jesus or you changed your lifestyle.

The evil angels are combining their forces, organizing, to get rid of those “who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus.” So let us admit it; you are on the bad list, not the good list, as far as the evil angels are concerned.

“To hold the people in darkness and impenitence till the Saviour’s mediation is ended, and there is no longer a sacrifice for sin, is the object which he seeks to accomplish.” The Great Controversy, 518. What does the devil want to do with us? He wants to hold us in darkness, or in sin, until probation closes. And when probation closes, it is all over; he has us.

Dear friends, let me challenge you today. We must be born again if we are going to see Jesus. We have to be willing to say, “Lord, I want to change. I want to be more and more like You.” Be willing to submit your life to Jesus each and every day. Let Him come in and reveal the things that need to be changed in your life. He will do it, dear friends. He wants to do it because He wants to spend eternity with you.

Let us not become weary in well-doing. Let us continue to fight the good fight of faith, and let us spend eternity together. That is my prayer today.

The End