XLVIII. THE TEST OF THE CHURCH IN SARDIS
WITH THE REMAINING THINGS BEING ABOUT TO DIE—
This also is a picture of the Protestant churches, with which some of the positive things remain but are about to die. Every item of the positive things inherited and received by the present Protestant churches remains in a dying situation.
XLIX. THE TEST OF THE CHURCH IN SARDIS
HAVING ITS WORKS NOT FOUND BY CHRIST
COMPLETED BEFORE GOD—
This also is a portrait of the present Protestant churches, concerning which no work has been found by the Lord completed before God.
The three cases related to the church in Sardis all indicate a shortage of the vigor of the divine life and a lack of the power of the Holy Spirit. To take care of these cases would force us to be enriched in the vigorous divine life and to be empowered in the powerful Holy Spirit. Only the vigor of the divine life and the power of the Holy Spirit can make us living, fresh, and complete.
L. THE TEST OF THE CHURCH IN LAODICEA
BEING NEITHER COLD NOR HOT—
REVELATION 3:14a, 15-16
The main meaning of the Greek name Laodicea is the opinion, the judgment, of the people. When a local church is full of peoples’ opinions, it surely will become neither cold nor hot. Because of its lukewarmness, such a church will suffer being vomited out of the Lord’s mouth. This is to be given up by the Lord because the taste of that church is repulsive. Thus, a church that is full of peoples’ opinions, peoples’ judgments, is terrible. Even we would reject such a church in the practice of the church life, not to mention that the Lord would vomit it out. Peoples’ opinions are versus God’s judgment and authority. This is why the Lord is standing at the door of the church in Laodicea (v. 20), indicating that the Lord has been rejected by that church.
(Elders' Training, Book 10: The Eldership and the God-Ordained Way (2), Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)