Laodicea = “the people judge” or “judgment of the people”. If your organization is constantly engaged in a superior, holier-than-thou, we-are-better-than-everyone-else type of attitude, then its love is already growing cold. It is already lukewarm.
As the saying goes, be careful pointing the finger, as the other four are pointing back at you (cf Isa 58:9). In the midst of a society that in spite of its economic issues (or, perhaps even more focused because of them) is still involved in crass materialism, don’t each of us owe it to ourselves and Our Creator to examine ourselves?
Because Laodiceans feel they are already superior, why change? They are already rich. They feel they are already increased in both the spiritual and physical. Most of all, they “have need of nothing”, not even from Jesus Himself. So, why change?
Unfortunately, it will probably be only after God strips them down bare physically that most of them will begin to ponder their true spiritual condition.
You do not have to live in a specific “era” or time period to be unloving, apathetic and uncaring towards another, either. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were judgmental and were only concerned with outward appearances. They could have been loving, reflecting Jesus’ form of love. Or, they could have been as cold as the iron that represented the Roman Empire. However, they were neither, and so they were lukewarm.
Just like the current swarm of Pharisees who pretend to be loving but are more interested in a variety of other idols: the broadcasts, books and articles of a dead man, the place of safety (i.e., saving their behinds), government (needing to be led by men rather than the Spirit), physical blessings (a spin-off of the prosperity gospel), etc.
I am not an evangelist for any particular organization, either. I am interested in spreading the words that Jesus spoke and that (real) Apostles wrote. Sure, I’d love it if you came to church with me on Sabbath. Perhaps I’ll come to yours one day, assuming they really do speak the words of God and not of men. This life is temporary. Our own bodies will decay in the ground and get eaten by worms. Organizations of men will likewise form, split and crumble.
In other words that are probably better than I can say myself:
So, just offering a thought: could that be related to all the other Trojan horses out there in the sense that perhaps, when we think that way, we are not part of Philadelphia at all? Maybe if that is the way I think about myself, maybe I actually should look at the other church descriptions and see if any of those apply to me because the chances are I am going to find some that do, and if I do, then why shouldn’t I look at those and try to repent and overcome them as opposed to simply saying: Ah, it is so good to be a Philadelphian – put my feet up and enjoy this while I can.
You see I am just saying there is a potential danger here. We all think we are part of Philadelphia and because we live in a particular time period, near the end of the age, and because, well Laodicea hasn’t been punished yet, maybe we are just all Philadelphia , but maybe we are not. True Philadelphians won’t have to worry about their fate, if they are true Philadelphians, but how do we know whether we are? Can we honestly examine ourselves in light of what Christ says here to the seven churches and both individually and collectively determine what we need to change? How we can repent; see ourselves as we really are; do we recognize our weaknesses and sins; do I recognize mine; do you recognize yours; do we collectively recognize them; do we have a collective personality or collective character that says: This is the Church of God? Do we recognize the need for the sacrifice of Christ? Do we come to the Passover with the complete appreciation for all that has been done for us?
~ Larry Salyer, http://www.ucg.org/sermons/2008/six-trojan-horses.htm.