Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/ev/ev20050320.htm
CHRIST'S PROPHETIC MESSAGE TO CONTEMPORARY EVANGELICALS
Part III: Christ's Appraisal Of Evangelicalism As Two, Offensive, Judging Factions
A. Christ's Evaluation Of Evangelicalism Illustrated
(Revelation 3:14a, 15-17)
Lesson: Christ views us Evangelicals as an INTOLERABLY ERRANT body of two futile factions -- the Calvinist wing and the Arminian wing that BOTH ERR THEOLOGICALLY AND EXPERIENTIALLY and that SINFULLY SLANDER the other in an effort to DOMINATE the Evangelical movement!
- As Christ prophetically implied widespread needs exist in the ministries to the godly, carnal and lost in our Evangelical era, He has graciously provided a detailed EVALUATION of those needs.
- Revelation 3:14a, 15-17 sharply illustrates Christ's evaluation of such ministry needs as follows:
- Christ's Evaluation Of Evangelicalism Illustrated, Revelation 3:14a, 15-17.
- Our Lord Jesus Christ introduced His address to us Evangelicals by calling US "the Laodicean Church."
- "Laodicea" means "the judgment of [by] the people" (G. H. Pember, The Great Prophecies, p. 279 as cited in J. D. Pentecost, Things To Come, p. 152 [brackets ours]), revealing our key feature as errant judges!
- Christ then illustrated how Evangelicals ACT errantly as judges to the harm of our efforts as follows:
- Where Christ as the divine Judge in each of the seven churches says "These things saith" and "I know thy works," only the messenger of the Laodicean Church among these churches also acts as a judge, but an errant one where Christ notes "thou sayest" but "thou...knowest NOT" (Rev. 2:1-3:22 KJV).
- To illustrate how we Evangelicals thus typically and errantly set ourselves up to judge in Christ's place, Christ likened our state [of Evangelicalism] to the water conduit folly of ancient Laodicea (as follows):
- Laodicea had no water source since it grew up as a financial center, New Bible Dict., p. 716-717.
- To address its need for water, the Laodiceans cemented bored out stone blocks end-to-end to bear hot water overland from nearby Heliopolis and cold water from neighboring Colossae, Ibid., p. 717.
- Yet, as both conduits lay exposed, both yielded lukewarm water fit only as an emetic, Ibid.
- Now, the desired products were BOTH cold AND hot water -- not lukewarm water, Rev. 3:15b. So, in spite of the huge endeavor, the Laodiceans failed to achieve both distinct good goals!
- [The word, ophelon in Rev. 3:15 ("would that") appears in the N.T. [1 Cor. 4:8; 2 Cor. 11:1 & Gal. 5:12] only where an author vents a critical view, Moulton & Geden, Conc. to the Greek Test., 741.]
- The phrase "neither cold nor hot" in v. 15 has the adjectives reversed in v. 16 in the Greek N. T. to read "neither hot nor cold", stressing the futility of the effort, U. B. S. Grk. N. T., 1966 ed., p. 844f.
- We apply this illustration to understand precisely Christ's view of us Evangelicals today:
- Around 1950, leading Evangelicals sought to improve their outreach, so they ceased separating from the world as did Fundamentalists (Rev. 3:7-13 Philadelphia) to be winsome, Ibid., Armstrong, p. 29.
- The aim was to promote Reformed Theology, assuming it was palatable to the lost, Ibid., p. 29-31.
- Well, Arminian Charismatic Evangelicals and Liberal Theology intellects who oppose Reformed predestination doctrine reacted negatively to this, so Evangelicals to split into two camps, vying by self-vindicating rulings of each other -- Calvinists who exalt DOCTRINE and Arminians who extol EXPERIENCE , Ibid., p. 32-36; R. Quebedaux, The New Charismatics, p. 30-31. (This split is evident in the Greek text at 3:17: Christ says " . . . you do not know that it is you [emphatic] who are the wretched and pitiable and poor and blind and naked one [versus your charge re: your foe]").
- Thus, Christ (1) wishes Evangelicals were doctrinally (cold water) OR experientially (hot water) sound, but He finds Evangelicalism is only lukewarm, for both Calvinist and Arminian wings are theologically AND experientially [as He later details in v. 17] REPULSIVE ! (2) Worse, though BOTH wings lack, neither even perceives as much, so (3) each then slanders the other to dominate the Evangelical movement (Rom. 14:9-12), a futile state Christ views as INTOLERABLE! (4) He stands ready suddenly to expel these leaders from effective influence, Rev. 3:16b [Lev. 18:25, 28 and 20:22 pictures people being "vomited" out by the land due to wretched sinfulness, so Christ here implies he will suddenly repulse these leaders from influence [inevitably expressed by His people]!
Application: We Evangelicals must ALL repent of our THEOLOGICAL and EXPERIENTIAL errors!