Lukewarm In Laodicea: Revelation 3:14–22 -- By: Gordon Franz

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 25:2 (Spring 2012)
Article: Lukewarm In Laodicea: Revelation 3:14–22
Author: Gordon Franz

Lukewarm In Laodicea: Revelation 3:14–22

Gordon Franz


How many times have your heard a preacher say, “The Bible says, ‘Money is the root of all evil’?” It may surprise you to know that the Bible does not say that money is the root of all evil. In fact, the Bible says, “The love of money is the root of all evil” (I Tim. 6:10).1 Money, in and of itself, is a neutral commodity and is not evil. What is evil is the love for it, and the Christian allowing it to control his/her life.

America is a very affluent society compared to the world around it. How does, and how should, the Church respond to the affluent society around it? There are two basic responses. First, Christians could be “thermometer” Christians, and go up and down with the society around them. Or, second, Christians could be “thermostat” Christians, where the Church sets the room temperature and the society rises to its level. In other words, does the society at large influence the Church, or is the Church a lasting influence on the society in which it is located?

When we examine the letter sent by the Lord Jesus to the last of the Seven Churches of Revelation, we will see that this church was a “thermometer” church, going up and down with the society around it. This letter is very instructive, and lessons can be gleaned from it about God’s desire that the Church be filled with “thermostat” Christians and have a lasting impact on the society around it for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Background To The City

The Geographical Setting Of Laodicea: Where Is It Located?

The city of the church addressed in Revelation 3 is located in the Lycus Valley of western Turkey and was called in ancient times, Laodicea ad Lycum. The Lycus River is a tributary of the Maeander River, a serpentine river that wanders westward from this area to the Aegean Sea. We get the English word meander from the name of this river.

The Lycus Valley runs for approximately 24 miles in a southeast to northwest direction and is about 6 miles wide. Situated in this valley are three famous and important cities, all mentioned in the New Testament. They are Colossae, Laodicea and Hierapolis (cf. Col 2:1; 4:13–16). Colossae is about 10 or 11 miles east of Laodicea, and Hierapolis is about 6 miles north of the city. The major city in the area today is Denizli, about 5 miles south of Laodicea.

Mountains delineate the edges of the valley...

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