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Revelation 3:14-22 - Homilies By R. Green

(7) The Epistle to the Church in Laodicea.

The "Amen, the faithful and true Witness," speaks to the untrue and unfaithful Church, whose outward appearance contrasts so with her internal state. Deceptive pretentiousness receives its rebuke. The lukewarm—neither hot and fervent in devotion nor lowlily acknowledging itself to be cold; neither fervid in holy affection nor consciously lacking holy fervour and confessing it—lacking the true warm fervour of love, and either not knowing the lack, or, knowing it, yet acknowledging it not, but pretending to have it,-this deceitful state receives the severest rebuke from the Lord, the ever" true" One, who despises all untruth and all deceptiveness.

I. THE CHURCH 'S STATE DESCRIBED . "Thou sayest, I am rich;… thou knowest not thou art poor and blind and naked, thou miserable one."

1 . Actually spiritually poor; beggared.

2 . Ignorant.

3 . Presumptuous self-deception.


1 . Seek ye the true riches; buy of me gold; buy without money and without price the true spiritual things.

2 . Buy of me "white garments "—the true spiritual virtues; the things thou lackest. Thy debased and faulty form, thy shame, is uncovered. Only of me canst thou buy the robes of righteousness.

3 . Buy also "eyesalve," the true spiritual illumination, "that thou mayest see"—the Holy Spirit, Teacher, Illuminator, Light, who is eyes to the blind, life to the dead.


1 . The Lord's threatenings are gracious promises in disguise. "I reprove and chasten as many as I love." The Lord's love lingers long after human goodness has waned. The blind, the naked, the poor, the miserable, are still loved, and therefore reproved by word of mouth and by judgment and chastening correction and discipline.

2 . Because I love, because I reprove, therefore "repent"—acknowledge, deplore, depart from thy sins. "Be zealous;" seek to rekindle the dying fire of holy love.

3 . The Lord's entreaty thrown into a pictorial representation of

(1) patient, long-suffering love: "I stand at the door;

IV. The whole is supplemented by A FINAL ENCOURAGING PROMISE . "He that overcometh, I will give to him to sit down with me in my throne." So the Lord who condescendingly sits at the board of the house, the door of which is opened to him, calls the humble dweller therein to sit with him in high glory on his throne. Happy they who, having ears, hear; and who hearing, obey.—R.G.

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