The 7th Church in These Last Days
We are in the dispensation of the Laodicean church and the doors of the church are closed! When we examine Revelation 3:20, we are actually viewing a dispensational change because the church of Laodicea is the 7th and last church of Asia Minor. God is about to change how He deals with man. These [churches of Asia Minor] were actual churches that had actual situations that were taking place during the time of John’s writing. However, the seven churches of Asia Minor, for many eschatologists, represent the total church age. Thus, each carries both an existential and a futuristic or spiritual message that unfolds the mystery of the entire church age. The 7th church is the culmination of the entire church age and describes what the church will look like before the Rapture or the coming of the Lord in the clouds for His bride (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).
Why do I say that? The first three chapters of Revelation establish Christ and His church; chapters two and three describe the seven churches of Asia Minor. The number seven in biblical numerology symbolizes completion, maturation, the end. Therefore, the seven churches unfold for us the events and activities that will take place throughout the church’s entire existence, culminating with the church of Laodicea. When you examine statistics and the history of the contemporary Christian church, you will soon discover that the activities we see happening nationally and internationally in the church mirror the Church of Laodicea. The mentality of Laodicea cannot be reduced to that which reflects the church on the North American continent. I have had the privilege of preaching on multiple continents and establishing churches in North America, South Africa, West Africa, and Asia. I have seen the proof of the effects of the messages stated by the church of Laodicea. I have conducted leadership forums and seminars with international pastors who were extremely frustrated with this new watered-down message that simply appeals to people’s human nature and appetites while ignoring the will of God. The Laodicean movement is not simply in America but has traveled world wide. However, I must state for the record that the message was formed and disseminated on American soil.
The Laodicean message has created a consumer-driven church market where people are no longer seeking God’s will for their life; they are looking for the church that can meet their needs and give them good feelings. This consumerism refuses to promote any message of challenge and change; it is a message of affirmation not transformation. Because of the attitudes and actions of the Laodicean church, Christ is on the outside and only the devil knows who is on the inside. Why is Christ on the outside? Because the doors of the church are closed, even though all around the world, people are saying the doors of the church are open.
We are living in what I consider to be the last days or the last dispensation of the church. In order to substantiate that we have entered the 7th church of Asia Minor era, the church’s behavior must reflect the behavior described in Revelation 3. The seven churches reveal to us, along with other end time passages, that certain behaviors will be prevalent during this time that will delineate each unique dispensation or era of time. Some may be thinking that this sounds subjective and opinionated. “How can you say we’re in the last days and the doors of the church are closed?” I’m not saying this without support. The Bible gives us signs of the end times, which gives us the ability to make prophetic statements. Studying what Paul, Peter, and Christ wrote in the New Testament about the signs of the end times, allows us to discern the times and seasons. In Matthew 24, Jesus, in His Olivet discourse gives us the signs of the end times. Paul writes to Timothy and gives us signs of the end times. Peter writes of the signs of the end times. The reason most folks don’t know the signs of the times is because the signs of the times are in the Bible and the Bible is an irrelevant book to most Christians. Bible study is not promoted over the pulpit any longer. Paul speaks to Timothy and says, “The time will come when men will not endure sound doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:3). Beloved, that time has come!