Agonizomai: Rev 3:18-19 - Laodicea the Materialistic Church<br>Put Trust in God, Not Materiality

Monday, June 22, 2009

Rev 3:18-19 - Laodicea the Materialistic Church
Put Trust in God, Not Materiality

Rev 3:18-19 - Put Trust in God, Not Materiality

Rev 3:18-19 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.

Those who buy from the Lord buy without price, but at the cost of everything. {Isa 55:1} It is like the parables for those who have been given to understand the things of the kingdom. The unregenerate see a mere contradiction. The children of God see wisdom. The foolish pass by while the wise know that in order to have everything in Christ they must lose all that is not in Him. They must lose their lives. They must be reborn. They "buy" with a worthless life that they must leave behind, and they receive the abundant and eternal life of Christ Himself. They give up what is worthless for what is priceless. Some deal!

The gold represents purity - but it is a purity that is refined in fire. God chooses to put his saints in the crucible to burn off the worthless vestiges of their fleshly nature and to bring forth the gold that is Christ in them. It is important not to think of the refining process as something that reveals the good in us by skimming off the bad. That would be an unscriptural, though commonly held belief in today’s society. What God does is to put us into the furnace with Christ (or to put Christ into the furnace with us) so that what we were is burned off and He is revealed in us.

The same process of trial is visited upon the just and the unjust alike. What is it that makes the difference? This is the victory that overcomes the world – even our faith. {1Jo 5:4} But it is faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ, our Saviour. Who makes one to differ from another? Who makes one to be saved and to persevere in the faith while another remains lost or overcome by the world? Christ!

So the Laodiceans are reproved and rebuked and exhorted by Christ to come to Him as the sufficient and sole supplier of all that they need. All it will cost them is their lives - the lives that they are spending upon themselves, their lusts and conceits, their wants and their own foolish pride. And they will be rich in return, for Christ will be in them working to refine them into pure gold. They will receive righteousness (imputed and experiential) represented by the white garment which is the righteousness of Christ both imputed to and manifested in them.

The shame of their nakedness is the same shame that led Adam and Eve to cover their bodies - but their efforts were mere human works. God gave them the symbol of the atoning sacrifice by clothing them in skins at the cost the life of an animal. Now God speaks of the clothing in righteousness that He gives to all who believe on His Son’s atoning work. The sin nature, which the nakedness represents, will forever be covered by the righteousness that comes from God - the only righteousness that could ever stand His scrutiny, His presence from which earth and sky flee away, His perfect holiness that consumes all that falls short in the least way.

Not only this, but God is the One Who opens the eyes of the blind. He demonstrated physically what He came to do in the hearts of men by the Holy Spirit, His vicar. Such things were acted parables. He will open the eyes of anyone who draws near, having counted the cost by His grace and being committed to the course. In fact, those whose eyes He has opened will draw near and receive that salve which will heal and open them more and more to the eternal Truth and enable them to see past the curtain of lies that Satan has drawn over the entire world. And, unlike the careless Laodiceans, we must continually come to Him so that our eyes may remain open - lest we also be deceived.

God’s discipline is always in love. God’s goodness in this is meant to lead to repentance. His forbearance is meant to lead us to repentance. In fact, all things work together for our good - for those that love God and are (the) called according to His purpose. And those not so called will have no excuse because the same forbearance and discipline that grows a Christian by grace is there to teach a pagan even though he will not hear. And those that will not hear sooner or later, like many if not most in Laodicea, become they that cannot hear. And those that cannot hear become them that shall not hear.

So long as God is calling (and He is very patient, though His patience towards men is not infinite) there remains hope. Today is the time. {Heb 3:7,15,4:7} Let us not harden our own hearts. Let us receive the discipline of the Lord as from His hand and be brought to true repentance through the zealous (eager, enthusiastic, striving, exerting) application of His guidance.


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