Hello Marilyn,"Hi Joe, welcome to the Five Doves, where we can discuss differences of opinion calmly while still basking in the love of God. We are a bunch of believers trying our best to plumb the depths of the information that the Lord has given us in the Bible. As I think you already know, we can disagree without being disagreeable, and sometimes, two heads are better than one."Ty for the welcome, and I agree that we should behave respectully and maturely in spite of any disagreements we may have."I am inclined to say the Laodiceans are true believers, just because I think that they have to be "in Christ" to be spewed out of his mouth, but let's look a little closer. Maybe I missed something. What do the scriptures say?"You mentioned Mt 7:21-23.
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
That just might not apply to the Laodiceans, because in Rev. 1:20, there are "SEVEN churches", not six. It says, "the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the SEVEN CHURCHES."
In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus is addressing people who thought themselves believers, and quote works unto Jesus, prophecies, casting out demons, etc etc. These were people who were clearly involved in a church.
People who unfortunately believed in another Jesus, or Gospel, and obviously had no understanding that it is the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ that has saved them. Since they quote nothing but their own works. See 2 Timothy 1:9, and Titus 3:5. Also, I am not debating on whether or not Laodicea is a Church, clearly it is a Church.
"The number 7 means perfection and completion. When applied to the 7th church group, it speaks of completion. Granted, they are not yet perfect. They are just lukewarm, but they are a church."
I agree with your view on number 7. However, the "not yet perfect" part I do not agree with.
Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
Those that are in Christ, are perfected forever. Also, how is one sanctified? Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
The Laodiceans like I said are blind, miserable, poor, wretched, and naked. Galatians 3:26-28 shows the believer has put on Christ, ie imputed with His righteousness. Again see Romans 4:20-25, and Romans 5:17-19. The very fact these people are "Naked" shows they are not in Christ.
"We get to the meat of the matter in verse 19. It says, "As many as I LOVE, I rebuke and CHASTEN (KJV, or "discipline" in the ISV; Gr. paideia, education, training, meaning correction by disciplinary measures): be zealous therefore, and REPENT."
Who needs just to repent? believers or nonbelievers? Nonbelievers need just to accept Christ. When they do, all their past sins are washed off the slate. Believers just need to confess their sins committed after they accepted Christ so God can forgive them, thus bringing all their sins under the blood of Christ."
Again, I must disagree... Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Was Jesus addressing believers, or unbelievers when he said this? Mark 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
Unbelievers need to repent, and believe the Gospel. Mark 2:17
When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Mark 6:12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.
Let's look at Heb 12:5. It says, "My son (a son of God, i.e., a believer), despise not thou the CHASTENING of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: FOR WHOM THE LORD LOVETH HE CHASTENETH"...
That fits the Laodiceans. Rev 3:19 says, "As many as I LOVE, I rebuke and CHASTEN: be zealous therefore, and repent."
I totally agree that Jesus rebukes and chastens His own, however, Jesus is making a statement here calling these men to repent. A call to repent is not made to just believers, but unbelievers as well.
John 7:38 says, "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." This extra filling of living water, or, as in the case of the foolish virgins, oil of the Holy Spirit, is what the lukewarm Laodiceans need.
Without the Spirit, we are none of His. Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Beleivers are: Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
The very fact they do not have oil, is proof they were never of Christ. Jesus also says to them "I do not know you" Jesus knows His sheep. John 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
Rev 7:14 says, "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."
Ok, now this is a whole different can of worms, LOL. I am pretrib, and believe in only one rapture. This group of people are the same people you find in Revelation 6:9-11, these are believers who converted during the Tribulation period, they are not part of the seven Churches, also Jesus makes a promise to this group that is not made to the Church. Jesus promises the Church that we shall rule and reign with him during his Kingdom, this group however...Revelation 7:15-17 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
This group, shall have the honor of being with Jesus in His temple 24/7, and serve Him in His temple. This is what Jesus said to all believers before the Tribulation period: Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
The reality is NONE of us are "worthy" just like none of us are righteous, see Romans 3:10-18. We are made worthy, righteous, and perfect by the work of Jesus Christ, not our works. Our works are the result of being saved, and not the cause of being saved. Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Thank you for your time, and God Bless