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Revelation 3:14-21
I’d like to refer to John Bunyan’s, The Pilgrim’s Progress – It is such a vivid account of what we are talking about this morning.
Christian and Faithful travel through a town named Vanity Fair, where, all year round, such merchandise is bought and sold "as houses, lands, trades, places, honors, preferments, titles, countries, kingdoms, lusts, pleasures, and delights of all sorts, as whores, bawds, wives, husbands, children, masters, servants, lives, blood, bodies, souls, silver, gold, pearls, precious stones, and what not." At all times, one can see "juggling, cheats, games, plays, fools, apes, knaves, rogues, and that of all sorts," as well as, "and that for nothing, thefts, murders, adulteries, false-swearers, and that of a blood-red color."
The two Pilgrims cause quite a stir as they are entering the town,.
Their dress is different, speak different and are labeled as fools.
But what really upsets the citizens of Vanity Fair is their attitude toward the goods displayed at the fair. When called to look at them, they turn away, putting their fingers in their ears and crying out, "Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity" (Ps. 119:37). When mockingly asked what they might be interested in buying, they "gravely" reply, "We buy the Truth" (Prov. 23:23). A crowd gathers and taunts them, and finally they are arrested for disturbing the peace. After being questioned, they are severely beaten and locked up in an iron cage to be made a spectacle for mockery and abuse.
We are not like Christian and Faithful, for in the book they were different than the world in many ways and did not have an appetite for it any more. Where they ran from vanity our generation of Believers embrace it. Where they scorned it, we glorify it.
The author of PIlgrim’s Progress, Paul Bunyan, was cast into prison for not accepting a license to preach. Our Christian forefathers tried to flee the world that we as Christians now embrace. But it was also these beliefs and suffering that followed that caused the Gospel to spread like wildfire.
It was the Christian persecuted at Jerusalem that caused the Gospel to spread outward even to Antioch, it was also persecution at Antioch that caused the Gospel to disperse around the Roman Empire, and it was the persecution from the Roman Empire that caused the Gospel to reach even farther than that.
The whole time, Christians had nothing, often wore rags, destitute of nourishing food, but they survived and lived on and won people with their sweet spirit as they went.
Even in the dark ages, the Christians were still persecuted. The Anabaptist, Waldenese, Paulines, Moravians, many different groups of believers have been persecuted for centuries. Even during the reformation, the pilgrims and other separatist groups came to America were seeking religious freedom and they brought the Gospel with them.
They always stood strong in the face of adversity and even the threat of death over the book of God, or baptism, or various other Bible beliefs, and the persecution made them stronger.
But we do not know that life for we live in a day of luxury and relatively without persecution for our faith. This is true in our reality, in our country.
The riches that we our parents desire and we hope for are hurting us more than we may know. My generation more than yours and the generations after me already have it a little harder.
Because we have everything we need, we have no real physical necessities that are not met easily and with little effort.
By the way, it is our wanton desires that put us into debt most of the time this day.
It is not because of what we need, that would be one thing, but now it is because of what we want and what we think we are missing out on that we are often in debt.
We have a problem, because we were all BORN IN LAODICEA.
Let’s Pray.
Loadicea is where the church was that is mentioned in Revelation 3; it was a church with a pastor and the writing of Revelations, but it also represents a church age, or at least a time when the church would become spoiled because of worldly goods and a comfortable life.
This is the day that we live in now. God warns us of some important things especially in the day we live in.

I. The Problems We All Face Being Born in Laodicea

Obviously, the problem of the Christian in Laodicea is both his circumstances of life and his surrounding influences.

A. The Influence

The Influence of the Wickedness of the city

B. The Income

The income or the riches that he had.
The Lord said that the Christians were rich.
In the poorest countries, people all have televisions.
The poor of our country have nice cars, cell phones, internet, computers.

C. The Increase

He is Increased in goods
We have don’t just have one or two coats and extra pair of underwear, we have a multitude of clothing and goods, ladies have to have shoes for everything – you have to have the right color for the right dress, then there is summer and fall differences, let along winter.
Even we men have more than we have ever had – I considered it last night, I have like 7 pairs of shoes and a pair of boots, my point is, in a minor way, we are so increased in goods, but – oh how much more we have – I remember when we got the 25” console tv, that had the wood cabinet, it cost a huge amount, like $200, that was the tv for house, now we have 3 or five.
Remember that first computer your family purchased, it was a huge investment – that thing was dusted, and protected, they even had dust covers back then. Now we have 3 or 4 of those, several tablets, and then we all have a computer in the disguise of a cell phone, but it does far more that our 486’s did in the mid 90’s.
But the increased goods tend to strangle us.

D. No need of anything

Meaning we don’t have any real needs physically, usually having far more of food and idleness than is good for us, let alone all the other luxuries.
Listen, being born in Laodoicea as rich, having stockpiled goods, having no real needs and no real persecution – we are all in a precarious situation.

II. What this Dangerous Combination Can Produce

Bing rich, and full, having lots of things and in need of nothing, it certainly has an adverse affect on our lives:

A. A false belief of self-sufficiency

We are all completely fooled - we think so much is because of us - and the truth is all that we have is because of the mercy and grace of God.
2 Corinthians 3:5 AV
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
That influence, income and increase can produce.

B. An overwhelming desire to gain more

Proverbs 27:20 AV
Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

III. What Christians Born in Laodicea can do for Protection

A. Realize where you are

See yourself as you really are – see your sinfulness, you evil and selfish tendencies. Do not pretend that they are not there and that if they are fed, our big they can grow.
Realize that there are times that we have embraced the entire culture as our own and that there is no difference from us and the world.
Recognize that ability of our “Vanity Fair” to hypnotize us and dupe us into their thinking

B. Buy gold tried in the fire

Get a hold of things that have an eternal value
Proverbs 23:23 AV
Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
Things that are worthy, things that will stand the test of time.
Things that will be without regret and full of merit.
1 Peter 1:7 AV
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
We as believers need to make sure we do those things that are worthwhile. We waste so much of our potential is at best vain and at worst, sinful, and we fall right into it.
Matthew 16:25–26 AV
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

C. Be clothed in white raiment

Nakedness is shame, how naked does one have to be to naked, but the Bible indicates the showing of the thigh and beyond the shoulder. Obviously clothing was to help us cover up our nakedness.
But white raiment covers up more than our physical nakedness but also our spiritual nakedness. We need to get things covered again, get some things right, get some thing dealt with.

D. Apply eyesalve

Worldliness always clouds spiritual vision. We must wake up that to the fact that we can focus anymore, we can see straight, we can’t recognize the spiritual from the carnal.
How can we ever accomplish the work of God if we cannot see what needs to be done?

E. Be Zealous

We are zealous for music, some worship music and musicians. Some worship sports, some worship education, some worship entertainment, we zealously look for the newest device, program, class, album, or season, we get excited about it and ready for it.
But we make not effort to prepare for the things of God.

F. Repent before God

Let’s turn back to God in this area, lets get back to disciplining our own lives to not allow the world to hold the attention that God desires.
Repents of our music, some of you are addicted to rock-n-roll, some are addicted to television, some are addicted to entertainment, some are addicted to video games, others have their attention to food, still others cannot be left by themselves.
God wants our attention again. Will you repent and give it all to him and allow Him to fill you and use you and not to be distracted anymore as a Christian born in Laodciea.
Joel 2:12 AV
Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
Joel 2:26–27 AV
And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.
We started the message with a peering into the book “Pilgrim’s Progress” where Christian and Faithful enter into the bustling but very vain city. By the end of their time there they are both arrested, Faithful being sentenced to death and is slain right away and Christian escaping. As he escapes the snares of Vanity Fair, he takes someone with him, Hopeful, and there would more that would follow his stand and dedication.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be able to stand or die trying to stand for my God, in our Vanity Fair – having been born in Laodicea. I may not get to choose what society I live in, but I can choose how I live in the society God has placed me in.
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