Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11

Seeds of the Kingdom

A Culture of Complacency

by David Cross

29 November 2023

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You say, “I am rich, and I have become wealthy, and I have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.
Revelation 3:17, NKJV

This verse is part of a passage in Revelation where Jesus is speaking to the church in Laodicea. It appears to be a somewhat harsh rebuke in regard to the culture of that church, as Jesus says He will spit out the congregation on account of their lukewarm behaviour. But it’s important to note that Jesus also says to them that He only disciplines those He loves.

The Roman city of Laodicea was a wealthy commercial hub, so self-sufficient that the inhabitants had refused imperial assistance when the city needed rebuilding after an earthquake in AD 60. We can summarise the culture of the city as being comprised of pride, complacency and self-sufficiency. Sadly, these attitudes were clearly evident in the church as well, a fellowship of believers apparently willing to voice the view, “We have need of nothing.”

Jesus wants to shock them, and perhaps all of us in the Church today, out of a lukewarm condition of complacency, because He loves us all too much to just leave us in spiritual ignorance. He declares, “You are poor, blind and naked.” It’s clear that the church in Laodicea, and indeed many churches today, feel it acceptable to bring the culture of the world into the church and to casually align themselves with current popular opinion.

In this passage, Jesus is telling the Church for all time that it is dangerous to think that man’s wisdom and ability are sufficient to meet the human conditions of spiritual poverty, blindness and nakedness. Only by coming to Him with a humble heart can we receive the wealth, sight and covering that are essential for our true well-being, both now and into eternity.

David Cross David is part of the Executive Leadership of Ellel Ministries, with particular responsibility for the Ellel centres in Western Europe. He is married to Denise and they have three grown up children and eight grandchildren. David has been a civil engineer and ski-touring instructor in the Highlands of Scotland. He is passionate about the teaching and practice of the healing and deliverance ministry of Jesus and has written several books: Soul Ties, Trapped by Control, God’s Covering, The Dangers of Alternative Ways to Healing(co-authored with John Berry), an A to Z Guide to the Healing Ministry, What`s Wrong with Human Rights? and, most recently, God`s Way out of Depression. You can follow a daily thought from David on Twitter: @dmcross62


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