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The Daily Word of Righteousness
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; (Revelation 3:14)
The wickedness of the church of Laodicea proceeds from a false image—the image of man as the center of the universe and God as the means by which man becomes that center. The spirit of Laodicea abounds in the Christian churches of today.
The true saints of Christ will never be satisfied with the Laodicean churches. They understand that the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is not a plan for the advancement of mankind but the witness of the coming of God's Kingdom and the doing of God's will in the earth.
We now are approaching the age of Laodicea, the era when man, apart from God, attains the climax of his exaltation on the earth. The people of today are in love with themselves and increasingly are concerned with their "rights"—much more than they are with the rights of God or His Christ. Men are lovers of themselves, as Paul prophesied. Humanism is the religion of the hour. The Laodicean "gospel" does not look to the coming world of righteousness but concentrates on making the present world safe and comfortable for Christians.
The emphasis on man and his comfort and pleasure has entered the thinking of Christian people. The unscriptural doctrine of the pre-tribulation rapture, with its emphasis on not allowing the believers to suffer, fits well into a humanistic, man-centered civilization.
In our time the Gospel of Christ is being preached as the God-given means of making people happy. It is taught that through Christ we can be prosperous and at ease in the present world. Through grace we shall enter Paradise when we die even though we have not been a true disciple of Christ. None of this is true.
The concept is widely held among Christians that Christ suffered so we will not be required to suffer. The truth is, we Christians are called to suffer much for the Kingdom of God.
Christ suffered in order to redeem mankind from the authority and power of Satan, not in order that people may live merrily in the world and still have fellowship with God. Through Christ we can be transformed so our behavior no longer merits Divine wrath. The process of transformation includes much pain and perplexity, much tribulation.
Christ spoke to the Laodiceans about the need for their faith to be tested in the fires of tribulation:
I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; . . . . (Revelation 3:18)
Self-centered Christianity would not be widespread if men were not becoming lovers of themselves. The believers would be better able to discern the present errors.
As we examine the Word of Christ to the church of the Laodiceans we can recognize the characteristics of some of the churches of our own time.
The church of the Laodiceans represents, according to our understanding, the type of Christianity that will be common during the great tribulation and the reign of Antichrist. Since we are drawing near to this last era we can in our own day observe many of the flaws of the church of the Laodiceans.
To be continued.