Is it even possible to have a church if Christ is not at the center of it? Alarmingly, yes.
“This is the most startling thing recorded in the New Testament, that it is possible for a church to be outwardly prosperous and yet have no Christ in its midst, and be unconscious of the fact. This is a description of a Christless Church. Oh, the EXCLUDED CHRIST. Excluded from His own nation, for they Rejected Him; excluded from the world, for it Crucified Him; excluded from His Church, for He stands outside its door Knocking for Entrance.” Larkin, Clarence. Clarence Larkin Collection – 6 Complete Larkin Books [illustrated] . Kindle Edition.
Any in the Church who would think themselves morally superior to Israel based on Israel’s rejection and crucifixion of Christ might well consider that the history of the Church, as described in the second and third chapters of Revelation, is also one of idolatry, apostacy and decline. It culminates in a near-complete rejection of the Savior by the church at Laodicea; an organization that is “rich” and ‘has need of nothing’.
How similar is this picture of Laodicea to the religious life of Israel at the time of Christ; observing the rituals and forms, waiting for the Messiah but failing to recognize Him when He appeared in their midst?
Flesh is flesh and can never be dressed up to be acceptable to God. The Jews of Jesus’ time and Laodicea today are in the worst possible condition anyone can be regarding their salvation. They know not that they are miserable, poor, blind and naked.
The similarity between Jesus’ ministry then as he went about preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and now as we witness Him standing at the door knocking, calling to those with ears to hear the Gospel of Grace is stunning. Christ on the outside, calling to those on the inside. The difference is that our Lord will not be crucified again.
Israel and Laodicea: It is ironic that both groups are bound for the same judgments in the Tribulation. At that point though, God’s focus will be on the redemption of a remnant of Israel. Those within the lukewarm Laodicean fellowship must open the door to Jesus before the”fullness of the Gentiles”: the close of the age of grace.
A remnant will be saved out of Israel through the Tribulation, and the victory of our sovereign Lord be manifested throughout the Earth. Then, every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord! Listen for His knocking, open the door now and allow Him in. The day of salvation is always today.
- Adapted from #91237724/Jankovoy-adobe stock.com
- #124994153/Isara-adobe stock.com
- Don’t Mess With Israel by Greg Lauer @alittlestrength.com