The Putrid Church

I WON'T change and you CAN'T make me!

by Edward Langenback

The Tepid people thought that they were doing pretty well. Success in business was the norm, and everybody got along great. Absent were those who had to disrupt things and raise controversial issues simply because somebody thought that some wrong needed addressing. These people thought that they had enough problems trying to be sure that things were interpreted properly without some overzealous excitable type raising still more questions. Every time new faces came along that asked such questions, the Tepid people had to stop and reexamine what they believed and what it meant. Because of this uncertainty, they didn't like being pressed to take a stand one way or another.

They did hear from other groups occasionally. A neighboring church was full of those annoyingly excitable types. Those people thought themselves to be "on fire". Extra services were frequent, always a revival going on. Extremes in that church made this group nervous. The preacher, while a very loving and caring man, just wouldn't cut anyone some slack and his congregation was just like him. If he thought that he saw some sin or lack of faith in your life, he would come to you expressing his concern and offering to help or counsel. Offering to pray with you or volunteering if he saw a need, always trying to teach something that he thought you had missed. As if people have the time to humor every hotshot who thought something needed God's touch. Besides, how could you be sure that these extreme teachings were right?

That bunch was really overboard. If someone so much as showed signs of a cold, the Onfires were right there with the whole praying and fasting bit. not being satisfied that a person accept Jesus, that a person was expected to rearrange their whole life and surrender everything to God. The Tepid people didn't know how much of that was necessary or right. Much better off did they feel not being like that other church. All that fire and excitement, seemed like it could be going too far in some ways. The Tepid pastor and his congregation had doubts about several things done and preached in the neighboring church. no one had decided yet if the Onfires teachings and beliefs were really good or not.

Then one day, The Tepid people got a note from God. A member of the original twelve, John, who had actually walked with Jesus and learned directly from Him. He had been imprisoned on the isle of patmos for preaching the Word, and had a vision from God. In the vision, Jesus had told him to write what he saw, and gave him specific messages for seven major churches including the church of the Tepid people.

Revelation 3:14-22, "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."

Once the note was read, some decided that it was time to make some serious changes and finally take a stand. Realization dawned that they had been deceived into a false sense of security. But others doubted, wondering how real this vision was, or if the message in fact came from John at all. Still others didn't give it much thought. Thinking that they were doing quite well, thank you very much, Most didn't want to hear about being as wrong like the note accused. Life went on as usual.

The spirit of the church of Laodicea is very much alive and well in many churches and individuals today. Many of us seem to have decided that accepting Jesus is enough. We can then go about our lives, attending a church service now and then to be sure that we have given God all the attention that he needs. Then there are the seekers, those who are always searching and never finding. Looking for God everywhere, afraid of ridicule, persecution, being labeled, they resist committing themselves to the truth and acknowledging it or worse yet, living for it.

We are living in the last days and decision time is upon us. At the end of this age of grace, there will be no more chance to decide. Once Jesus returns and the truth finally dawns there is no changing your mind. It is time to put faith in God, and in the fact that He loves all of us and wants only the best for us always.