I see the Church in America as a lot like the Church in Laodicea; lukewarm.
I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. -Revelation 3:15-22
Like the church in Laodicea, American Christians are rich and have prospered. They really don’t have great need like churches in other parts of the world do. But it has made us a little lazy, complacent, and lukewarm.
I was reading a book about the Puritans the other day and learned that their average lifespan was around 35 years old. Half of the children that they birthed died in childhood, usually from diseases. They had great need but, what they did, many of them anyway, was to recognize the value of the time they were given because they weren’t given a lot of it. They made sure to use their time well.
We in the American church live to be over 65 years old and older. Too many of us do not recognize the value of the time we are given and we fritter it away on hobbies, work, entertainment, and now being frightened and hiding because of diseases. Would Jesus say to us that we are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked and we do not recognize it? What will we say when we look back over the years of our lives? Will we have done things that have had eternal impact on anyone else’s life? Will we have done things that have an eternal impact on our own life?
What Jesus is telling the Church in Laodicea and in America is to get hot! Buy gold, white garments, and salve from Me so that you will be rich, unashamed, and be able to see! Live for Me, go for it! Be zealous and repent. Get excited for Me and turn from your worldly lukewarmness.
Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.
In other words, go for it! Give it all you’ve got. It’s worth it!
What He is saying in Revelation 3:20 is essentially, if you hear me knocking, don’t leave me on the porch, invite me all the way in to your life and experience a full, rich and satisfying life with me.