Revelation 3 highlights the tale of two different churches, one that is faithful “Philadelphia” and another that is lukewarm “Laodicea”. It acknowledges the strength and commitment of the faithful Philadelphia which have kept the word, perseveres, and have not denied the name of the Lord. The Lord promises to keep them from the hour of trial and advises them to hold fast to what they have, that no one still their crown and He will make them a pillar in the temple of God, the Kingdom Church in the millenial reign of Christ.
Unlike Philadelphia, Laodicea is a Lukewarm church, which is neither hot nor cold, which boasts in their wealth while being completely unaware of their wretched, miserable, poor, blindness and nakedness in need of repentance. The Lord says “because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth”. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; therefore, be zealous and repent.
The Lord says, behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will grant to sit with me on my throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His Throne.
While the passages above speak to distant and far off future events unlikely to impact saints of today; these future events help to identify some of the greatest challenges and struggle of the saints living under grace.
In distant past, Paul himself, speaks of the state of children of God who are not all spiritual, so many are carnal and babes in need of Spiritual growth. I read in 1 Corinthians 3 where he says “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal, For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you…6 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
Likewise, Paul writes to the Saints in the Philippi Church expressing his great level of gratitude for their partnership in the gospel. A letter that is marked with immense joy, thanksgiving, and encouragement for their tremendous humility and great unity. Contrasting the Philippi Church to the Corinthians saints is like night and day. For, within the Corinthian saints there exist great division, immorality, abuse of spiritual gifts, all sort of disputes and sexual immorality.
What Kind of Church Are You? Are you Carnal, Spiritual, Dead or Alive?