“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, be that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word and hast not denied my name. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” – (Rev.3:7,8,10).
“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 spew 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” – (Rev.3:14-20).
God opened the door of faith here in the New World nearly 400 years ago. The Godly, persecuted Christian pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock in 1620 and established a Christian Nation., the U.S. and because of an abundance of God’s Holy Spirit in many people we established a nation of freedom and liberty for all. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” – (2 Cor.3:17).
I believe the good church of Philadelphia stands in particular for our nation during the first 300 years but during the last 100 years we’ve fallen downward a long ways to the worst church – Laodicea. We were a Godly Christian nation and we took the flaming torch of God’s Word and preached the gospel boldly to the world. The U.S.A. was born in Philadelphia and will die in Laodicea. Philadelphia is the birthplace of the U.S. and was the nation’s capital during our colonial days through the Revolutionary War. Independence Hall in Philadelphia is where the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. There the Liberty Bell rang out our nation’s freedom. It had the nation’s first bank and first U.S. Mint and first insurance company. It took its name from the church of Philadelphia in Asia in (Rev.3) and it means ‘brotherly love.’
But during the last 100 years our nation of brotherly love has fallen greatly and is sadly lacking in brotherly love. It’s no longer ‘love thy neighbor’ but ‘hate thy neighbor.’ We are using our freedom and liberty to sin against our neighbor until now we are the most violent nation in the world, per capita. “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion of the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another” – (Gal.5:13-15). What happened to this country of brotherly love that was built upon the firm foundation of Christ on Plymouth Rock? It has turned antichrist and ungodly and wicked and soon we will lose our liberty and become a dictatorship. Except for a remnant, we are no longer Godly Philadelphia but we have become covetous ungodly Laodicea. Riches and covetousness and love for things have turned our hearts to love the world and the things of the world instead of Christ. Riches have destroyed our faith. We have forgotten God’s Word – “Hearken, my beloved brethren, hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” – (Jam.2:5). The U.S. has become, as a whole, the rich of this world, poor in faith. Philadelphia has become Laodicea. This is God’s spiritual report card of the U.S.
The name Laodicea comes from laos (people) and dikao (to rule) – the rule of the people. Democracy, in other words. This church runs by popular vote and popular opinion, not by God’s Word. This religiously correct church agrees with the wicked politically correct crowd. We see this plainly with the wicked sin of sodomy. The Laodicean pastors lead the gay rights marches in direct opposition to God’s Word. It’s the democratic church in our democratic U.S.
That which once was the church of the ‘open door’ has become the church of the ‘shut door’ with Christ knocking outside of the church door asking the Christian pretenders inside the church to come to Him and be saved. The church of the open door and the open Bible has become the church of the closed door and no Bible in church and nobody saved in many years. Satan’s ministers (2 Cor.11:11-13) stand in the pulpits not preaching to get people saved or born again. Instead of preaching the gospel to every creature, people with dark skins are not allowed through the door – to our great shame. We are to show brotherly love to every saved person no matter his skin color. We must not deny Christ’s gospel to anyone.
The message of the church of Laodicea is the message to the U.S. church in its final stage of apostasy today. We are a lukewarm church and the object of Christ’s abhorrence. We are neither cold nor hot. Our churches are filled with professing Christians who manifest some interest in the things of God but fall far short of a true testimony of a saved saint of God. We are not so cold as to totally forsake Christianity and the church and yet not hot for Christ and born again of the Holy Spirit. We are worldly in our lives but make a show of Christianity. Being lukewarm we are utterly obnoxious to Christ. Far more hopeful is the state of one who has been untouched by the gospel and makes no pretense of being a Christian than one who joins a church and professes to be a Christian and yet has never been saved and born again. There is no one farther from getting saved than the one who makes an idle profession without true faith. They have an outward religious worship without the inner reality. How many have outwardly conformed to requirements of their church without a true state of being born again into the family of God? How many church members are far from God, yet by their church membership have satisfied their own hearts and have been lulled into a sense of false security? No one is harder to reach for Christ than the religionist who is quite satisfied with his devotion to God. Far easier to win are the harlots and publicans than the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The lukewarm are the fake-believers and make-believers in our churches.
In these lukewarm, Laodicean churches the preachers don’t preach on the necessity of the new birth and the dramatic change in life. If the shepherds never make clear “ye must be born again” and don’t preach on wickedness and sin and the divine remedy provided alone in the Savior, one can hardly expect the church to be better than those who lead it. The result is churchianity and membership in an organization without membership in the true body of Christ accompanied by the miracle of the new birth. Christ said He will spue these fake believers out of His mouth.
church of the
Except there are
still some Godly Philadelphians left here in the U.S. and are waiting for the
rapture that is promised to them in (Rev.3:10). Christ will keep them from the
great tribulation hour by taking them up and translating them to be with Him
during this time of God’s wrath. I believe the Lord Jesus is on the verge of
vomiting the Laodicean group out of His mouth and taking out the true saints in
the rapture. Some of this remnant of Philadelphians in the
Another name for
the Laodicean rich-minded and things-minded
need more mega-churches that look and sound like an episode of American Idol.
People look at all these gargantuan Laodicean churches and the millions of
dollars worth of cars in the parking lot and all the well dressed members and
see a church that is rich and increased with goods and successful, but is seen
by our Lord as wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. In
these cool, seeker churches, Jesus has become nothing more than an advertising
hook-line, a touchstone for personal prosperity and a means to an affluent
career tract for pastor- CEO’s and their corporate leadership teams. Following
the world, they deceive themselves into thinking they’re successful. These
mega-churches are just copies of Catholic Cathedral Monstrosities with millions
being spent on churches made with hands. It’s time to go back to ‘small’ Bible
churches that meet in homes like the early church and building the true church
not made with hands. The Laodicean church of the
Are you saved and born again? If not, repent of your sins and by faith in Christ believe in your heart and you will receive forgiveness of sins and become a born again new creature in Christ – (2 Cor.5:17). Do not play the church hypocrite and go on being a make-believer and a fake-believer. Jesus said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again” – (Jn.3:6,7). Be saved and turn your back on the deceitfulness of riches and become one of the poor of this world rich in faith and one day you will inherit all things.
Lukewarm church members are half-hearted people lacking Bible convictions. They are tepid with no enthusiasm or zest or zeal for the Lord Jesus and His Word. That’s why the Lord Jesus tells the lukewarm, covetous Laodiceans, “Be zealous therefore, and repent” – (Rev.3:19). Zealousness and repentance is the Lord’s remedy for lukewarm Christians.
Take heed to God’s report card of the U.S.
The U.S. Church – from Philadelphia to Laodicea.
Pastor Mike Storti
5000 N. LaCholla-
Would love to hear from you!