Philadelphia and Laodicea

1 Samuel 4; 1 Samuel 7  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 10
I would observe that 1 Sam. 4 and 7 remind us of the churches of Laodicea and Philadelphia in Rev. 3 The former presents to us a condition which we should carefully avoid; the latter, a condition which we should diligently and earnestly cultivate. In Laodicea we see miserable self-complacency, and Christ left outside. In Philadelphia we see conscious weakness and nothingness, but Christ exalted, loved, and honored; His Word kept and His name prized.
And let it be remembered that these things run on to the end. It is very instructive to see that the last four of the seven churches give us four phases of the Church's history right on to the end. In Thyatira we find Romanism; in Sardis, Protestantism. In Philadelphia, as we have said, we have that condition of soul, that attitude of heart which every true believer and every assembly of believers should diligently cultivate and faithfully exhibit. Laodicea, on the contrary, presents a condition of soul and an attitude of heart from which we should shrink with ever-growing intensity. Philadelphia is as grateful as Laodicea is loathsome to the heart of Christ. The former He will make a pillar in the temple of His God; the latter He will spew out of His mouth, and Satan will take it up and make it a cage of every unclean and hateful bird-Babylon! An awful consideration for all whom it may concern. And let us never forget that for any to pretend to be Philadelphia is really the spirit of Laodicea. Wherever you find pretension, assumption, self-assertion, or self-complacency, there you have in spirit and principle, Laodicea, from which may the good Lord deliver all His people!
Beloved, let us be content to be nothing and nobody in this scene of self-exaltation. Let it be our aim to walk in the shade as far as human thoughts are concerned, yet never be out of the sunshine of our Father's countenance. In a word, let us ever bear in mind that the fullness of God ever waits on an empty vessel.