SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 2008-07-06: "Getting Spiritual Eye Salve"

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There are several sources a preacher uses to get his sermon ideas:

1) The Holy Spirit through God’s Word;

2) Popular culture and media;

3) Association with people;

4) The preacher’s own soul.

This morning’s sermon falls into the latter category. I’ve been extremely active the past ten to twelve days and have dedicated only minimum time to self-maintenance. Mostly, I’ve limited myself to daily physical cardio-exercise. The neglect of the soul became apparent through self-examination and noticing a lot of negativity, especially in close relationships.

Spiritual Pulse

It helps to occasionally take your spiritual pulse. Here’s a few questions to ask yourself:

1) Do I love to read the Word of God and pray?

2) Do I enjoy listening to and singing Christian Gospel music?

3) Do I look forward to gathering together with other believers?

4) Do I practice Philippians 4:8, thinking on those things that are lovely, pure, honest. . .?

5) Is the Fruit of the Holy Spirit evident in my life? (Love, joy, peace, etc.)

6) Am I critical of myself and others, finding fault with small things?

7) Is my anger on the surface and easily triggered?

Spiritual Tune-up

I go occasionally to today’s scripture concerning the Laodicean Church when I feel the need for a spiritual tune-up. This church of John’s Seven Churches of Asia Minor is the one that exemplifies the evangelical church in our Western culture. We have become so affluent we substitute material wealth for spirituality.”  

The Laodecian Church was so materially wealthy that its members didn’t need God. With acquisition and wealth comes worldly pre-occupation. Another way of putting it is that the more you own, the more you are owned. Could this be one of the reasons there is no revival and God’s saints are dry eyed?

I can’t speak for others, but for myself I need to go to the fountain of God’s cleansing love for refreshing, renewal and revival.   



July 6, 2008, Sheepfold Ministries

Rev. Phil Roland


Revelation 3:14-22

“The Laodicean church is most like the evangelical church in our Western culture. We have become so affluent we substitute material wealth for spirituality.”             Pastor Phil


“Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Jesus)      Matthew 19:24


Traits of the Lukewarm Church:


            A. Geography: The Seven Churches of Asia Minor

              Smyrnia, Ephesus, Laodicea, Philadelphia, Sardis, Thatira, Pergamus

                            1. Three are still occupied by people

                            2. All were in what is present-day Turkey

                            3. Most of the people today are liberal Moslem

                            4. 40 miles SE of Philadelphia

              B. Economics – Very Wealthy

                            1. Tourism – Special Water: Extreme Hot or Extreme Cold

a. Hierapolis - Hot-Spa Waters purported medicinal power

b. Colossae – Cold, pure drinking water

c. Laodecia – Luke-warm, nauseating, undrinkable

                            2. Wool Production: Soft, Glossy Black, Very desirable

                            3. Eye Salve – Medicine mfg. from local poppies

                                          a. Believed to cure certain types of eye diseases

                                          b. People came great distances for Laodicean eye salve

              C. One Word Summary: Comfortable

              D. Adjectives that Describe the Church at Laodicea:

Arrogant, Self-Satisfied, Complacent, Independent

Luke-Warm, Self-Sufficient


              A. All Three Economies are Condemned

                            1. Water – “Lukewarm vs. 15,16

                            2. Wool Production, Clothing – “Naked” v. 17

                            3. Eye Salve - “Blind” v. 17

A. Superficial, Shallow, Surface Religion

              1. Pietism

              2. Legalism – Performance Religion

C. External, Formula Christianity

                            1. Routine

                            2. Ritual

                            3. Minimum Effort


  1. A.     Purchase from Jesus Gold Refined by Fire – v. 18a

1. Christ Refines the human soul by His Fire – Mal. 3:2,3

                      “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He

                       appears?   For He is like a refiner’s fire And like launderers’ soap. He will

                       sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And

                       purge  them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the LORD An

                       offering in righteousness.”

2. Genuine Faith was needed

                B. Laodicean Faith needed Refining – 1 Peter 1:6-9

              “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been

              grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious

              than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and

              glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you

do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving

the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.”

  1. C.    Laodicean’s Needed White Garments to Cover Nakedness – v. 18

1. Contrast Black Wool with White Garments

2. White Robes of Righteousness given to the Saints

Rev. 3:4, 5; 4:4; 6:11; 7:9, 13-14; 19:8,14

3. Washed white by the Blood of the Lamb – Rev. 7:14

“So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

4. Nakedness /Spiritual Shame  / Worthlessness – Ex. 16:35, 2 Cor. 5:1-3

“For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.”


”Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door,  I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. “




 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,

‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:

15“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.

16So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—

18I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

19As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

20Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

21To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

22“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”