The photo is of an ancient Arch still standing, in the Laodicea of Revelation 3.
Years ago in a college class on forensic methods we studied the various techniques used to determine how long a human body has been dead. The methods are many and are often somewhat complicated, but one basic technique is to contrast the environmental temperature with the temperature of the deceased. The point is to see how close the body temperature of the deceased is to the ambient (room) temperature. A dead body, you see, will take on the temperature of its environment. Such was the case with the church at Laodicea.
Laodicea can be loosely translated “mob rule”. It was the democratic church where popular opinion was the law and the concepts of right and wrong were voted upon. Jesus had nothing good to say about it. The church was ineffective and dead.
In Revelation 3:14ff Jesus described the Laodicean church as “lukewarm”; that is, it was neither hot nor cold (it was room temperature) and was thus nauseating and worthy of being vomited out of His mouth. He wanted the church to be either “hot” or “cold” with both terms meaning being different from the world around them and thus capable of having an impact. Being “hot” does not mean being “on fire” and being “cold” does not mean being “dead”; they are both positive terms that describe something that is desirable such as hot coffee or cold water. No one wants to drink hot water or cold coffee. Laodicea was a church that allowed itself to be overly influenced by the world around it with the result being that it no longer influenced its environment, but was rather being influenced by its environment. That is, it was taking on the temperature of its environment. It was dead….
We have probably all heard people say, “Doctrine divides; love unites”. They say this as if to mean they are mutually exclusive — you either have to focus on doctrine or love. These same people often have trouble reconciling the grace of Romans and the works of James. The fact is all doctrines and principles in the Bible are interrelated and cannot be divided. The Jesus that said, “Love one another” is the same Jesus that said, “Except you…”
Modern Laodicean churches are long on tolerance and short on doctrine. They desire reputations for being open-minded about those things that divide people. To the modern Laodicean church what a person believes about basic Bible doctrines regarding Jesus, salvation, the Holy Spirit, eternity, etc. are not important as long as everybody gets along and loves everybody else. They forget that Jesus once said, Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household (Matthew 10:34-36 NASB). Jesus does, in fact, divide people. In fact, He is the greatest divider the world has ever known.
Very seldom, if ever, do modern preachers expound doctrinal texts such as relate to divorce, morality, love of money, hell, etc. These texts, though a definite part of God’s word, are purposefully avoided because they “divide people and hurt their feelings”. It is better, they say, to talk about things that unite like tolerance, getting a positive self image, the psychology of sin from a modern perspective and other such things that make people feel better about themselves.
The apostate church of Revelation 17 will be very inclusive and ecumenical. It will accept just about anyone as a member — as long as biblical truth is not part of their belief system. Even then the mantra will be, “Doctrine divides; love unites”.
Unbiblical Portrayal of God
The God of the Bible is not the god of the Laodicean and modern apostate church. Unitarians, New Agers and others portray God as a doting old grandfather who would send no one to hell and would allow all into heaven. Their god is all-inclusive, tolerate and demands no doctrinal requisites from his followers because he does not label any conduct as actual sin. Every word, thought and deed is to be labeled, defined and dealt with on a sliding scale of mitigating circumstances, so therefore nothing is really sin.. Everything is relative.
The truth is their god is no god at all. He is a figment of their imagination; an idol created by their own expectations and cast in the mold formed by the humanistic wanderings of their own reprobate minds. Their god is absolutely and categorically foreign to the Bible.
-from: Laodicea — Assuming Room Temperature, by Don McGee