The Perfect Church had Everything
Those who look at the world through the eyes of faith see the world so differently from those who look at it through the eyes of unbelief. Believers look at the heavens and the firmament and see a universe which declares the existence and the glory of God in every language spoken on the earth (Psa. 19:1-3). Unbelievers look at this evidence and never even think about God. The eyes of those who walk by faith (2 Cor. 5:7) and those who walk by the flesh definitely see two different worlds.
Look at first-century churches using eyes of faith. Most churches were despised and persecuted so much that they often had to meet in secret. James described these churches so graphically when he asked, “Has God not chosen the poor of this word to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him” (Jas. 2:5)? However, there was one church in the first century which was so blessed financially that they did not suffer this way.
Most churches in the first century were the focus of hate from the enemies around them. There was persecution from the pagans. There was even more persecution which came from the synagogues which saw the church as being a great threat to Judaism. However, there was one church who, judging by what is described in the epistle written to them, was not the object of such hate and its attendant opposition.
The suffering of Jewish Christians was especially intense. The book of Hebrews described the reaction of the church to this suffering. “For you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven” (Heb. 10:34). However, there was one church who did not lose its possessions and remained prosperous.
Had you lived in the first century, which of these churches would you like to be the place where you worshiped and served God? A church which endured persecution and were poverty stricken or one which did not have to meet in secret? A church where there was persecution and poverty or one which had none?
Before you answer, let me tell you that the church which did not meet secretly, was not persecuted and retained its possession was the church at Laodicea. The same one which Jesus was about to vomit out of his body! The church in Laodicea saw themselves as “rich. . .wealthy and have need of nothing” (Rev. 3:18). Think about it. How did Jesus see that church? He saw Himself standing outside of it, knocking at the door, wanting? That “perfect” church had everything, except Jesus!