12 steps to Laodicea

I of course believe the Lord’s seven letters to seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3 had meanings to the seven historical churches that the letters are addressed to. Even so, the seven letters also gives instruction to all believers. I also believe that these letters are prophetically addressing the seven eras of the Church age on earth.

In the prophetic application Jesus is talking to the predominate visible Christian identity on earth. The letters are in chronological sequence. Jesus speaks prophetically to each person within these seven visible identities through the words in these seven letters.

For the purpose of this post, I will just reflect on the prophetic. In Revelation, Jesus is dealing with the seven church types that identify with Him throughout the entire Church Age on earth. One might even call the letters to the seven churches in Revelation “Acts 2” in advance.  (The message given is how the Church age plays out through time.)

The seven churches in Revelation are Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. I give a full explanations of the message to these seven churches in Chapters 2 and 3 of my Revelation commentary. In short, the seven churches and church ages are:

  • Ephesus – The apostolic church
  • Smyrna – The early persecuted church
  • Pergamos – The church that went into harlotry with the world
  • Thyatria – Roman Catholicism rules in this harlotry with the world
  • Sardis – Protestantism separates from Rome into denominations but becomes near dead when their clergy question the infallibility of the scripture and embrace blind ritual and worldly philosophies.
  • Philadelphia – The missionary orientated church that preaches the good news to the world and looks for the Lord’s soon coming
  • Laodicea – The rich lukewarm apathetic churches of the end times. Their main hope is not spiritual life, it is living their best life now. They live under false security. Christ in not in them.

I firmly believe that the church type that represents most of Christianity today is Laodicea. While it is true that Thyatria, Sardis and Philadelphia still represent many Christians on earth today, the numbers in these identities are declining. Many members of these prior identities are following the 12 steps to Laodicea script.

For example, many Catholics (identified with Thyatria) have even abandoned the teachings of Catholicism. Many are just doing what is right in their own eyes. For many, the Roman Catholic religion is nothing more than a ritual, tradition or a way to appease their own sin guilt. They largely pick and choose which Catholic doctrines they will follow and they reject whatever does not suit their fancy.

The second example, is the liberal mainstream old protestant denominations (Sardis). These churches are declining in members and dying because they just go through rituals and usually teach some social gospel. Some members that were going to these churches were leaving and joining the Bible churches but now they most often are joining with the Laodicean seeker and prosperity mega churches.

The final example is Philadelphia. This church type knows sound doctrine. They teach it to equip the saints and so that others can be saved. They are Bible believing Christians that are looking for the second coming of Christ. Those in Philadelphia are still alive and well, but I think the identity of this missionary era on earth is in decline.

The primary identity of visible Christianity in modern times is Laodicea. It is the most visible church on earth just before the Second Coming. I wrote an article on the Laodicean age several years ago and it still applies. Although I think Laodicea is the church era of today many in Christianity are still identified with one of the earlier church types.

Since many people love twelve steps to almost everything these days. I will give a twelve step program into apathetic Laodicea. The hope is that we all will take heed and not take these steps to lukewarm apathy.

12 steps to Laodicea

  1. Choosing to reject fellowship with other believers
  2. Becoming too lazy and undisciplined to read the Bible on your own on a regular basis
  3. Not taking regular time to get alone to communicate with God (rote prayer does not count)
  4. Choosing to attend a church where the gospel of salvation is not taught and there is no equipping or maturing of the saints
  5. Believing that emotional trips or obsessions over disputed doctrines brings about Christian maturity (even Bible prophecy)
  6. Doing nothing for nobody – not giving offerings for the work of Christ on earth
  7. Believing those who claim that God must give you riches on earth if you follow their formula
  8. Believing that you can have a spiritual relationship with God using mystical techniques
  9. Choosing not to learn from God-given gifted teachers and more mature Christians
  10. Believing that Christ and scripture teach that we should not oppose evil tyrants who are oppressing people and killing the innocent
  11. Never talking about or displaying your Christian beliefs to others
  12. Expecting any interfaith 12 step program to actually bring you to spiritual maturity

Editor note: This article is a modified version of my article written Dec 8, 2009. It is on my old blog.

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About Don Koenig

Don Koenig is the founder of ThePropheticYears website. He has been publishing articles on the Internet on Bible prophecy, biblical discernment and Christian worldviews since 1999. You can find well over a thousand articles and thousands of comments written by Don from the homepage of this website.


12 steps to Laodicea — 10 Comments

  1. Step 10 so since the Bible talks about honoring and obeying authority when is the the right time to rebel like when US was formed how did they know it was time to rebel against England and what scripture did they use to support that conclusion

    also currently today who should we oppose today and how do you know when you should interfear with another nation (go to war with them)

  2. Very good discussion topic Don and well worth the repeat. One type of issue I would probably add today is the churches that stress social justice rather than salvation through belief and faith in Christ and his sacrifice. Item 4 in your list probably covers it, but it is wearisome hearing the social justice warriors lecture in their self righteousness. They want, for example, LBGT privileges and abortion, despite biblical teaching and choose to ignore what the Bible says. This is much more prevalent now than it was when this blog was first written. This is not a disagreement with item 10 above. True evil must always be opposed as we serve Christ.

  3. Hi Jeremy,

    The right time for moral men to take action is when they have it within their power to try to stop the tyrants and evildoers harming others. As scripture declares those that will not care for their own family are worse than infidels.

    The Bible is telling Christians to obey lawful government put in place by God. America was founded to be a people’s republic under God. The Constitution and the people living in this Republic determine what is lawful government.

    We only should get involved in foreign wars for national defense reasons. According to our Constitution we elect representatives to decide matters of war and peace.

    Who should Christians in America oppose? The foreign and domestic enemies that the Constitution speaks of and that many have taken an oath to protect. Those in government subverting our Constitution are not part of lawful government. They are domestic enemies of the American Republic.

  4. Hi Don,
    I have been reading your articles for a few years now. I am from Australia and feel these Marxist socialist issues really ramping up now over here. I have just read 12 steps to Laodicea and not feeling very good about myself now. Any way really just wanted to say hi! And thank you for you very informative blog.

  5. The SJW’s and domestic enemies are in meltdown mode again after Trump’s ban on transgenders in the military. I’m tickled pink.

    I take issue with any church who raises funds to send a group of young people to third world countries to help out for a few weeks then ignore those in need right here at home.

  6. Hi Caitlin,

    Yeah, sending 20 people to build a church building for the unemployed of the third world nations, never seemed like a good use of resources to me. It just proves that sending white people to work in inner city of the United States is far more dangerous and is to be avoided at all costs.

  7. I’ve been meaning to do a study on the 7 churches and their prophetic significance in the Church ages. This is a great booster on the topic, thank you for posting it! If this was a true picture of the Church in 2009, how much more accurate are these words today? Whew, He comes quickly…surely He is at the door!

  8. I like Chuck Missler’s little quip that Jesus was the most anti religious person that ever lived. I think many churches should think about that. Too many people make salvation more complicated than it was ever meant to be.

  9. I thought this quote was quite apropos.

    “In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”
    ― Theodore Dalrymple

  10. This quote:
    “They are Bible believing Christians that are looking for the second coming of Christ. Those in Philadelphia are still alive and well, but I think the identity of this missionary era on earth is in decline.”

    Which only proves why it’s so hard to find these days. There could likely be true believers mixed into other groups, but they are silent because to speak out only marks them for persecution by the others. They have gone underground within the institutional churches. Or become wanderers lost in the wilderness.

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