Agonizomai: Rev 3:14 - Laodicea the Materialistic Church<br>Christ the Only True Witness from Eternity<br>(Loading for Bear!)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rev 3:14 - Laodicea the Materialistic Church
Christ the Only True Witness from Eternity
(Loading for Bear!)

Rev 3:14 - Christ the Only True Witness from Eternity - (Loading for Bear!)

Rev 3:14 And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.

Finally we come to the deluded, self-satisfied church of Laodicea. In order that the contrast might be that much more convicting, the Lord is described as the "faithful and true witness" when, as we shall see, that is the very last thing that Laodicea can be called.

By comparison with Christ, of course, we all fall short in faithfulness and truth. Compare the statement in Re 19:11 where He is called faithful and true or the declarations of John 1:17,14:6 where He is identified as truth personified. Compare the statement in Lu 4:18-21 or Heb 10:5-7 where he is seen as the willing fulfillment of the (eternal) purposes of God and Php 2:5-8 where His faithfulness to the will of the Father was expressed in the putting off of glory for the ignominy of a criminal’s death.

He is also the last Word on everything - the "Amen." What has been freed or bound in heaven by Him shall be freed or bound on earth by Him, through His people. {Mt 16:19} He has dominion and authority over all things, and He was before all things. He is the beginning of God’s creation - not meaning that He Himself was created first, because He is the Eternal Son (remember Miguel Servetus’ error), but that He is the Creator Who was in the beginning. {John 1:1,Col 1:15-18}

These Names of Christ not only describe He who is about to pronounce upon the faithless, but reflect His supreme authority, His right to judge and the absolute finality of His judgments. It is as if Christ is "loading for bear" here in a moment of final call to the deadened consciences of the Laodiceans. All warnings are potential blessings. All threats are the appeal of love to repent before it is too late. But there will come a moment when repentance is no longer possible. Remember the words of that little poem by Dr. J. Addison Alexander ...
There is a time, we know not when,
A point we know not where,
That marks the destiny of men
To glory or despair.

There is a line by us unseen,
That crosses every path;
The hidden boundary between
God’s patience and His wrath.

How long may we go on in sin?
How long will God forbear?
Where does hope end, and where begin
The confines of despair?

An answer from the skies is sent;
"Ye that from God depart,
While it is called today, repent,
And harden not your heart."


2 Comments:

Blogger Derek Ashton said...

Tony,

That's a great poem. For me this year, one of the great discoveries has been this: "patience" is an act of God (or perhaps the lack of an act), but not an attribute in the technical sense. He is eternally just, and He is eternally merciful, but He is only patient for a time.

The liberals (from whom I've learned a thing or two) miss this completely and want to make patience an eternal attribute of God, so that He never demonstrates justice or executes judgment, but flows with some sort of ambiguous, sugary "love" which is roughly equivalent to the sentimentality which moves Santa Claus to be nice to everyone. This is why they cannot bear the full teaching of the cross.

But there is no salvation without propitiation, and there is no grace apart from wrath satisfied. And there is no sensible Christianity without the cross.

11:03 am  
Blogger agonizomai said...

Derek,

Sorry about the delay in posting your comment and my response. Work cycle and the necessity of sleep intervened.

What you have stated is, I think, well conceived and expressed. I would only add that I don't think the liberals alone have a corner on trouble with sentiments like those expressed by Alexander.

That aside, I think you nail it properly. The extent of God's patience has been decreed from eternity, but is being revealed as an act (or series of acts) in time. That realization is something we ought to discover with fear and trembling, and not risk tempting God by presumptuously testing His patience.

Blessings,


Tony

3:02 am  

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