“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16:11)
“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; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth” (Rev. 3:14–16).
We come now to perhaps the most famous of the seven churches of Asia. This is the lukewarm and tepid church of the Laodiceans, the basis for many sermonic rebukes of lethargic congregations.
The rebuke comes from the Lord, the one giving all these messages to the angels of the respective churches. He identifies Himself here with a series of striking images. Jesus is the ultimate Amen—Amen is one of His names. He is the faithful and true witness (martys), so when we faithfully bear witness to Him, we are bearing faithful and true witness to the faithful and true witness. And then last, He is the arche of the whole creation of God, meaning that He is the integration point of all things. In Christ all things hold together, Paul says, going on to use the same word (Col. 1:17-18). The Lord Jesus is the one in whom the entire cosmos coheres.
The Laodiceans were lukewarm in their works. If they had been cold, it would have been refreshing, and if they had been hot, it would have been comforting. But as it was, they were the room temperature church, the tepid church. Laodicea had to pipe their water in, and Colossae had cold springs about ten miles away. Hierapolis had hot springs, but they were about six miles away. By the time the water got to Laodicea, it was lukewarm and useless for everything except for the apostle John’s metaphor.
Our works are intended as water for the Lord to drink. Cold is good, and hot is good, but tepid works are the kind that the Lord will spit out.