I have mentioned before that many COG interpretations of the Church at Laodicea in Rev 3 are somewhat off-base. Many speak of lukewarmness in terms of zeal, particularly as towards zeal to preach the Gospel. However, that is not what Christ is talking about.
As I’ve mentioned in the “Temperature at Laodicea”, Christ also talks about love growing cold, and I argued in that article that the Laodiceans have lost some of their love (another theme that runs through the messages to the churches). Yes, zeal is important, and certainly preaching the Gospel is important. However, they are outgrowths of love. And, as we know from 1Co 13, whatever we do must be motivated by love or it is of no profit to us.
Instead of love, Laodicea display pride and selfishness.
17Because 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: (Revelation 3:17, King James Version)
Some COGs are like this. They feel they have need of nothing. They believe they are rich in the truth, full of doctrine, prophets, apostles, places of safety and have need of nothing. But, they don’t realize that they are lacking in love, humility and a servant attitude. Some are actually spiritually blind, and instead of wearing the white linen of righteousness, they are naked.
Twice now in the past week, I caught a couple of preachers on the radio speaking about the Church at Laodicea. In both cases, the gentlemen made the comment that the enemy was inside of the Church. It wasn’t from outside persecution, but the attitude of selfishness and materialism were attacking it from within.
Can a church be its own worst enemy? Yes, I think it’s possible.