This letter gives us another secret to growth and change to those of us who are feeling a little bit complacent. Maybe we feel a little more bored than blessed when we connect with church … Perhaps we feel a lot more attached to this world than we’d like - (who doesn’t struggle with that?) and looking us straight in the eye Jesus says - “I want you to see your need as you never have before. Then I’d be able to meet your need as I never have before.”
John writes this way to the church in Laodicea - “To the angel of the church of Laodicea write, ‘These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds that you’re neither cold nor hot … I wish that you were one or the other … But you don’t realise you’re wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you get from me gold refined in the fire so you can become rich and white clothes to wear so you can cover your shameful nakedness salve to put on your eyes so you can see.” (Revelation 3:14 ff)
Not easy words from Jesus but they end with his remarkable promise - “Look! I am standing at the door and I’m constantly knocking. If anyone opens the door I will come in and I’ll fellowship with him; I’ll relate to him, I’ll dine with him and he’ll fellowship with me.” (Revelation 3:20 – Message)
Jesus attacked one sin more severely and more directly than any other. It was the sin of self-righteousness. And, we can find it everywhere. It’s the sin that we’ll have to deal with more often than any other in our lives. It’s so subtle, it often catches us by surprise … this sin of judging others.
Paul, writing to the church in Rome is clear that only God has the “right” to judge - "Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others ..." (Romans 2:1)
John’s gospel reminds us that our hope always remains in Jesus - “Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and does not come under judgement, but has passed from death to life.”