How to Achieve Gold
The British rowing team had not won a gold medal since 1912.
To say that they didn’t have a great rowing program was an understatement.
Then their approach changed – and everything else followed.
They went from being average on the world stage to winning Olympic Gold.
They did this by asking on simple question before they would do anything.
I will tell you this life transforming question a little later.
This message goes hand in hand with where we left off last week
Laodicea is the church, the real problem I think for most of us is that we all believed that we were in the Philadelphian era – obviously that is where we would rather stay.
In order to do this we really need to identify to what degree we are Laodicean!
Are we guilty of acting like a Laodicean?
1. We are Laodiceans…if we are Willingly Blind
Some of the Leaders Will Be…
Isaiah 56:10 His watchmen are blind, They are all ignorant; They are all dumb dogs, They cannot bark; Sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.
Isaiah 56:11 Yes, they are greedy dogs Which never have enough. And they are shepherds Who cannot understand; They all look to their own way, Every one for his own gain, From his own territory.
Isaiah 56:12 “Come,” one says, “I will bring wine, And we will fill ourselves with intoxicating drink; Tomorrow will be as today, And much more abundant.”
Some of the People Will Be….
Ezekiel 12:2 “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear; for they are a rebellious house.
Matthew 15:14 Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”
Notice that this is one of the effects of disobedience:
Deuteronomy 28:15 “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:
Deuteronomy 28:28 The LORD will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of heart.
This ties into the next point
2. We are Laodiceans…If We Know, but Do Not Do
This really is the definition of unrighteousness
Psalms 119:172 My tongue shall speak of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness.
The Laodicean was one that felt he was rich
They accumulated spiritual knowledge; wealth of right doctrine
They know they are spiritually rich and have a large body of the truth
But they come up short on the application of it
They know a lot, but don’t do a lot
They don’t do what they are supposed to do
Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.
Revelation 12:14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.
Revelation 12:15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.
Revelation 12:16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.
Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
The difference was between the degrees of application of the Word of God
What good is it when we stand before God on the Day of Judgment and God asks for an accounting of your life.
If we say that we knew your commandments and your Word and the nuances of Greek and Hebrew…What will His answer be?
The unconverted know of those things
The demons know of those things and tremble
Matthew 25:24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.
Matthew 25:25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’
Matthew 25:26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.
There is an expectation that we are to be abounding in works
1 Timothy 6:17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.
1 Timothy 6:18 Let them do good, that they be rich [same root word used to describe the Laodicean] in good works, ready to give, willing to share,
1 Timothy 6:19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
This is part of the richness that God is looking for that the Laodiceans were not exhibiting
One of the reasons that they came up short in works is found in point 3
3. We are Laodiceans…If we are Apathetic
That is to say that we are lacking zeal and conviction
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
Titus 2:12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,
Titus 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
Titus 2:14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
Christ told the Laodicean to be zealous and repent
There is a need to be on fire spiritually
The Laodicean lacks a resolve for the word of God and fully following and living God’s way
There is a lack of love for the brethren as well
We see both of these in:
Matthew 24:9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.
Matthew 24:10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
Matthew 24:11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
Matthew 24:12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
Matthew 24:13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
John 13:35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 13:38 Jesus answered him, “Will you lay down your life for My sake? ….
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
This is how much we are to care about doctrine and or brother – this is how zealous we are to be!
But it is a Laodicean attitude to believe that we do not need this in our lives:
4. We are Laodiceans…If We Try to be Self-Sufficient
Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
Hebrews 10:25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
The Laodicean is self-reliant and does not see the need for others.
If you recall, the Laodiceans turned down the help of Rome to rebuild their city.
They say that they have need of nothing? What does that mean?
Don’t need other church members; ministry; no more of the Holy Spirit
We are a body
We all depend on one another. We are all members of the body – we cannot function correctly without each other. Where are we without the head, the eyes, the ears, or even the pinkie toe.
We work better together. To believe that we can do it on our own is arrogant, prideful and haughty
Here is how we are to view the body and how we are to act accordingly:
Colossians 3:10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
Colossians 3:11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
Colossians 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
Colossians 3:14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
We both need each other
Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
We have the ability through our presence and good acts to make others better than what they are. And in turn they can do the same for us.
Arrogance, pride and haughtiness are attitudes of Satan and the world that he has influenced
5. We are Laodiceans…If We are a Part of the World
Babylonian system [at the end time when the Laodicean church will be in full swing, if not already]
Revelation 18:7 In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ [pride arrogance]
When we see this in the church it is coming in from the world and Satan
Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.
We are laodicean’s if we conform to the world, if we compromise on doctrine and the truth; if we are spiritually impure and unclean
Come out of of the worldliness John 15-17
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
John 3:18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
John 15:19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
John 17:11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.
John 17:14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
John 17:15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.
John 17:16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM. I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.”
2 Corinthians 6:17 Therefore “COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM AND BE SEPARATE, SAYS THE LORD. DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN, AND I WILL RECEIVE YOU.”
Mud Sticks, Cleanliness Doesn’t
Here is the principle that God wants us to understand:
cleanness cannot be conveyed to someone who is unclean; however uncleanness can be passed on to the clean
Haggai 2:11 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Now, ask the priests concerning the law, saying,
Haggai 2:12 “If one carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and with the edge he touches bread or stew, wine or oil, or any food, will it become holy?” ‘ ” Then the priests answered and said, “No.”
Haggai 2:13 And Haggai said, “If one who is unclean because of a dead body touches any of these, will it be unclean?” So the priests answered and said, “It shall be unclean.”
Haggai 2:14 Then Haggai answered and said, ” ‘So is this people, and so is this nation before Me,’ says the LORD, ‘and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean.
If anyone loves the world, [then] the love of the Father is not in him. This is a conditional statement
These are some of the core problems of Laodicea
We can extrapolate. A whole message and more could be done on each one
It is a good start to our evaluation process
Does this make the boat go faster?
That One Question
This was the single question that the 2000 Olympic team asked themselves every time that they needed to make a decision:
Does this make the boat go faster?
This one simple question
only one question
it brought them the crowning achievement of a gold medal
Going to the gym and working out for an hour or two – Does this make the boat go faster? Yes
Going to the pub – Does this make the boat go faster? No
There is really only one question that we need to ask if we are going to finish our race in the way that intended. It can be just a matter of asking just this one:
Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Are we doing this? Is it our goal… our top priority in our lives
6. We are Laodicean’s…if we do not Heed this Calling
We must be serious about our calling
What does it mean to make our calling and election sure?
2 Peter 1:4 ….having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
2 Peter 1:5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,
2 Peter 1:6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,
2 Peter 1:7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
We talked about these a few weeks ago in the “Putting on the Nature of God” message”…so I won’t belabor the point
2 Peter 1:8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. [human/Satan’s nature] 2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;
2 Peter 1:11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Visualize the Future
It’s not what happens on the day (of Judgment) but it is what happens in all the time leading up to it
Character is not something that can be gotten by fiat or happens on the final day
It is going to take work; not going to be easy
What are we willing to stop doing?
What are we willing to start doing?
But always remember it is worth doing!
1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
1 Corinthians 9:25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
1 Corinthians 9:26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.
1 Corinthians 9:27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
Keep the end in mind – How good will it feel to achieve your goal? It will make everything worthwhile
We like to hear stories about overcoming great odds. Let’s be one of those stories!