From Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News:
Ancient church discovered in western Turkey
An ancient church mentioned in the Bible has been discovered in western Turkey, according to the head of the excavation. Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay visited the ancient city of Laodicea on Sunday in Denizli province and was briefed by Professor Celal Şimşek, head of the excavation team. The professor said they have discovered the Laodicea Church, one of the seven mentioned in the Bible. Şimşek said the church from the fourth century A.D. was found by underground radar search, a system they have tried this year for the first time. “The major part of the church, which is built on an area of 2,000 square meters, has kept its original [status].” … According to the minister, the baptismal pool at the Laodicea Church is even more exciting than the one at Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.”
If you know the story of the first chapters of Revelation, they are letters sent to actual churches in the world, and they also double for church epochs describing types of churches as the Christian Church Age progressed.
John MacArthur wrote: The study of the seven letters has been important because they reveal what Christ thinks about the church–what He thinks about it today, what He thinks about it in the day that the letters were written, and what He thinks about different types of Christians in any age. Revelation 2–3 could well be titled, “What Christ Thinks About the Church.” As we study the last letter to the church located in Laodicea, let me remind you of the significance of these letters. First, each one of the churches was an actual church existing in an actual city around +A.D. 95. Second, the seven churches represent different types of churches. For example, one was dead; some churches are dead. One was a suffering church; some believers suffer for Christ. Third, they typify different types of churches throughout history. Of the seven churches, Laodicea was the worst. Christ doesn’t have one good thing to say about it. If there were any true believers there, Christ doesn’t say anything about them.” Read more in-depth about the Laodicean church here at MacArthur’s site.
Revelation 3: 14-22 says this about the Laodicean Church, which is also the last church and stands for our church age, now. It is known as the Apostate Church:
“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,
‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’
Pretty strong language. Jesus is not vomiting Christians out, because once we’re His we are always His. The lukewarm folks are the ones who have not transformed from cold to Christ and Godly things, to fervently hot for Christ and Godly things. They are sort of around Jesus, occasionally attending church and going through the motions, knowing of Jesus, but not believing IN Jesus. [Art: Holman Hunt’s painting The Light of the World inspired by Rev 3:20’s metaphor of Christ knocking at the door of the Laodicean Church.”]
Can you imagine an entire church where Jesus is knocking on a closed door? I don’t have to imagine, I have attended churches where it was that dead. It is getting harder and harder to find churches where the preaching is hot for Jesus, where the congregation is fervent to follow Him. I’ve found it most difficult to reach a lukewarm person who superficially professes Christ than to reach a person cold for Him. It is really hard to talk with a lukewarm “Christian”, if they will talk about Him at all.
So the actual location and building of the Laodicean Church was discovered this week. Coincidence? There are no coincidences in God’s timing. Look up, for your redemption draweth nigh, and I hope you are fervent for Him!