Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/ev/ev20050220.htm
CHRIST'S PROPHETIC MESSAGE TO CONTEMPORARY EVANGELICALS
Part I: Identifying Revelation 3:14-22 As Christ's Message To Contemporary Evangelicals (1950 to now!)
Lesson: Christ's word to the Laodiceans of Rev. 3:14-22 is a critical call to 1950-current Evangelicals!
- Though all Scripture is God-breathed and equips us unto doing every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17), it would be very important for us to heed God's comments to us in our era WERE He to have made them!
- Well, Christ has prophetically addressed current Evangelicals in Revelation 3:14-22 as we verify below:
- Identifying Revelation 3:14-22 As Christ's Message To Contemporary Evangelicals (1950 to now!)
- First, Revelation contains some prophecy about every believer between John and eternity, cf. Rev. 1:1, 3:
- Rev. 1:1,3 shows the Revelation is God's message to His servants on what will occur in the near term!
- Well, John wrote the Revelation over 1900 years ago (Ryrie Study Bible: KJV, 1978 ed., p. 1785), so for the Revelation to be near term for some of God's servants, there must be sections of prophetic messages in the book of the Revelation that address each Christian's ERA in Church History .
- Then, prophecy experts J. F. Walvoord and J. D. Pentecost note the Rev. 2-3 churches can be 7 successive eras of Church History starting with the Apostolic era (B.K.C., N. T., p. 932; Things To Come, 151ff).
- Next, each Rev. 2-3 message begins with the Greek words, Tade legei which elsewhere in the entire N.T. appear only in Acts 21:11 for a prophetic announcement by the Holy Spirit for a near term event, cf. UBS Grk. N.T., p. 844; Analyt. Grk. Lex., p. 396; Moulton & Geden, A Conc. of the Grk. Test., p. 683. This shows the seven Rev. 2-3 messages are prophecies of consecutive eras of near term Church History.
- Also, the phrase "he that hath ears to hear, let him hear" appearing in each Rev. 2-3 message signals each message is in parable form to be Biblically clarified for the godly, cf. Matthew 13:9, 10-17.
- Well, using this Biblical clarification, we identified seven eras in our "Thru the Bible Synthesis" with the Philadelphian Church of Rev. 3:7-13 being the 6th era of Fundamentalism [ending with World War II].
- Then, in viewing Rev. 3:7-13 in that study, we saw the world would be tried to judge 20th century Liberal Theology's promotion of uniformitarian evolution, a belief also denying the 2 Peter 3:4-9 prediction Fundamentalist's held, that the world would pass away with great heat. So, the close of WWII with the atom bomb was God's evidence of the truth of the 2 Peter 3:4-9 prediction to support Fundamentalism.
- [Note: Teachers often treat the 7th era, the Rev. 3:14-22 Laodicean Church as unregenerates who enter the Tribulation, meaning believers only up to the Fundamentalist era are raptured (Ibid., Pentecost, p. 212f). Yet, Rev. 3:19 shows Christ treats the Laodiceans as God's true sons (Heb. 12:6-8), so Laodicea pictures true Christians, so the rapture comes at Revelation 4:1 (to start the "hereafter").]
- Next, around 1950, "new evangelicals'" tried to boost outreach in (1) abandoning Fundamentalism's separation from the world, (2) by asserting a presumed more marketable Reformed Theology posing (3) and by interacting intellectually with the lost, Armstrong, The Coming Evangelical Crisis, p. 29-31.
- The result of all this has been an unedifying advance of the Calvinist-Arminian divide, Ibid., p. 32-33:
- Charismatics, who are Arminian, reacted to Calvin's predestination in the Reformed Theology posing, going strong on false experience (Quebedeaux, The New Charismatics, p. 30f; Ibid., Armstrong, 179).
- Their preoccupation with philosophy in "New Arminian" evangelicals who tried to reach intellectuals led them to react to Calvinism as did old Liberals and create similar deep error, Ibid., Armstrong, 33f!
- Well, Christ's Rev. 3:15-16 complaint the Laodiceans are neither the desired "cold" or "hot" water (Rev. 3:15) matches this significant twofold classification of evangelicals (who follow Fundamentalism):
- Laodicea piped in cold water from Colossae and hot water from Heliopolis via conduits laid overland, but their exposure to the climate left both pipes bearing lukewarm water, New Bible Dict., p. 717.
- Similarly, the Calvinist wing TRIES to advance doctrinal vibrancy (the desired "cold water") and the Arminian wing experiential vibrancy (the desired "hot water"). Yet, as we will display in coming lessons (esp. Part IV, B, 1, a), there are grave deficiencies in both theologies and their effects on life and ministry due to their having been affected by pagan ideologies! [That things are very wrong in Evangelicalism is clear to 14 key Evangelical leaders who have called for a big change to avoid a "potentially lethal" crisis, Ibid., Armstrong, p. 18.]
Application: Thus, we ALL must HEED it for blessing in OUR lives NOW (Rev. 3:22 and "churches").