Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. © Copyright 2010 - 2019   All rights reserved. Daniel 11 Explained (condensed ‘one page’ commentary) ‘Matthew 24’ Explained (must match Revelation) The ‘Seals’ Explained (Revelation timeline revealed) Seven Churches Explained (Past & Present Church Prophecy) Note: ‘Sitemap’ shows a complete list of all pages (by category). ‘Homepage’ gives 3 simple steps + timelines + summary. Current Events from Daniel 11 (matching the Middle East) The Abomination (Daniel 11:31) done Recent Events ISIS - Saudi - Turkey (Daniel 11: 24-27) Final Events to the Abomination (Daniel 11: 28-30) Shiites re-take Persia + America’s Role Begins (Daniel 11: 21-23) soon done done Church #7 – Lukewarm Laodicea (Materialistic, Homosexual, and Interfaith)   The Church of Laodicea is a group that should be avoided by Christians because they are in danger of being “spit out,” thus not go to heaven, since they are only “lukewarm.”   The two things that specifically make them “lukewarm” is that they perform ‘good deeds’, yet they have ‘acquired wealth and think they do not need a thing’.  As I will illustrate, there are multiple groups that could fit into this description of being ‘lukewarm’.  Revelation 3:15-20  [7th Church – Laodicea] 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 1. Materialistic   The first and most obvious group that this verse could be referring to are the rich, materialistic people who are described in the Parable of the Great Banquet. (Luke 14:16-24)  They were so concerned with their lives on earth: buying property, conducting business, and getting married, that they didn’t want to go to the banquet when it was ‘ready’.  In other words, they wanted more time on earth, instead of going to heaven, which means that they valued material things more than God and Jesus.  In other words, they lost focus on the main goal of being a Christian, which is to be with Jesus in heaven.  If you skip to the end of the Parable, those materialistic people who wanted more time on earth didn’t get to attend the banquet at all.  It’s ironic because we will have far more riches in heaven than we could ever possess on earth. 1 Corinthians 2:9 “However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him."” 2. Homosexuals and Interfaith   I’m grouping homosexuals and interfaith because they both try to use some of the same arguments to water-down or change Christianity into what they want it to be.  Paul warned about people trying to change the gospel to please men, instead of God.  Galatians 1: 9-10 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!  10 Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God?  Or am I trying to please men?  If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.    Churches should heed Paul’s warning because changing the values of the Church to please men, instead of God, is exactly what the Homosexuals and interfaith ministries are trying to do.  They deceptively use Christian principles, but only in part, in an effort to water-down basic beliefs and make the Church ‘lukewarm’.  a. Homosexuals   One argument that Homosexuals claim is that Christian fundamentalists ‘hate them’ or ‘don’t accept them’ because they are different.  On the contrary, Christians are taught not to hate anyone, but at the same time, Christians are supposed to hate sin and not accept it.  If sin is accepted as being right, when God’s Word says it’s wrong, then that would be changing the gospel (truth).  In the following passage, homosexuality is clearly described as being wrong, as well as many other sins, but notice the point Paul makes at the end. (bold)  Romans 1:26-32 “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. 28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”    The point that Paul makes is that it’s bad enough to continue committing sins, but it’s even worse to “approve” of such things and the people who do them.  That’s exactly what homosexuals are trying to do: gain acceptance for their sin rather than asking forgiveness.  Of course, Christians don’t ‘hate them’ or even object to them being in church, but they should definitely object if any homosexual tries to proclaim that there’s nothing wrong with being a homosexual.  It’s clearly wrong in scripture and that cannot be changed, even if society claims it’s okay and legal to be married.  It’s still wrong because God is the authority who determines who goes to heaven, not society.  That’s not to say that a homosexual is automatically condemned to hell because they could ask forgiveness and refrain from sex, just like an unmarried heterosexual person should refrain from sex.  In other words, they may not be able to change who they are attracted to, but if they can live only as friends and refrain from sex, then they have committed no sin.  As the following passage illustrates, we can’t always control our thoughts and desires, but those thoughts and desires don’t generally become sin until they are “conceived” (converted to words and actions). James 1:13-15 13 When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.  15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. b. Interfaith Ministries   In case you haven’t heard, ‘interfaith ministries’ is a growing group of congregations that combine Christianity with either Islam, Judaism, or both.  Their main argument is that they are promoting peace, love, and unity, which sounds great on the surface, but when you think about it more deeply, it’s just another version of being ‘lukewarm’.  It can be deceiving because they choose selective scriptures to support their cause and accuse those who disagree as being filled with ‘hate’, similar to the homosexuals.  This is an example of the scripture they both use.  Matthew 22: 37-40 37 Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'   38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'   40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."    On the surface, all the commandments being summed up with “love God and love your neighbor” sounds like a simple and complete philosophy, which Christians, Muslims, and Jews can all abide by.  However, the thing that is being overlooked is that Jesus says the “Law and Prophets,” which is the Old Testament, or “ten commandments,” can all be summed up as that.  Yet, He was not including the New Testament and how to get to heaven.  Sure, everyone should “love God and love your neighbor,” but getting to heaven requires a confession of faith that Jesus is the Son of God, who died for our sins, rose again, and will return for those who love Him.  That is the only way for a person to have their sins forgiven, which is the pre-requisite for living with God in heaven.  The fact that Jews and Muslims don’t believe that Jesus was the Son of God effectively eliminates their chance for heaven, so it’s wrong to lie and tell them otherwise.  Giving someone false hope might make them feel good, for now, but it won’t help them in the long run because only faith in Jesus can get a person to heaven.  John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.   The reason Jesus is the ‘only way to the Father’ is that “all have sinned” (Romans 3:21-25), and only through Jesus can a person have their sins forgiven, thus allowing them to be declared ‘righteous’ again by God. (see pop-up)  That ‘righteousness’, through Jesus, is necessary to be with God in heaven.  Trying to achieve righteousness by any other means, either by our own efforts or another religion is just not possible.  Therefore, joining with Muslims and Jews and not emphasizing that they need Jesus to be saved is useless to them and makes Christians ‘lukewarm’ because they are essentially downplaying the importance of Jesus for the sake of peace and unity.  Jesus never compromised His message for the sake of peace and unity.  On the contrary, He said ‘love for Him’ would bring ‘division’, even among families. Matthew 10:34-37 34 [Jesus said,] "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn "'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'   37 Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”    As you can see, love for Jesus should be first and foremost, even above family members!  I think it’s safe to say that interfaith ministries who emphasize ‘loving their neighbor’ and downplay ‘love for Jesus’ to appease other religions are “not worthy of Him.”  However, that’s not to say that a person should resort to hate or violence against someone of a different religion.  Christians should be kind and loving towards everyone.  However, that doesn’t mean we should try to join them, if that means downplaying the importance of Jesus.    When Paul talked about ‘unity and acceptance’, he was talking about Christians being united with each other, not other religions, and accepting those within Christianity who might have other gifts and purposes within the body of Christ, since everyone is equally important.  1 Cor 12:12-13; 27 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body-whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free-and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. … 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.   Paul was certainly not talking about accepting other religions who didn’t accept Jesus as the Messiah (Christ and Savior) because Paul regularly denounced false teachers who tried to change his message of Jesus Christ, crucified and risen.  He called them messengers of Satan.  2 Corinthians 11:13-15 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.   Thus, just because a message may sound good and contain elements of Christianity, such as ‘peace, love, unity, and acceptance’, it could still be a deceitful message from Satan, if they are downplaying the importance of Jesus.  For example, I’ve heard of interfaith groups promoting help for the poor and care for the environment, but if it comes at the expense of promoting Jesus as the Son of God, then they are merely being “lukewarm.”  Examples in Today’s Society 1. The Methodists and Homosexuals   First of all, some denominations have already accepted gay marriage in the church and homosexuals as clergy, but I am emphasizing the United Methodist Church, which is the largest mainline denomination in America, because they are currently battling homosexuals to maintain the standard definition of marriage, as being between ‘one man and one woman’, and trying to exclude openly gay members as clergy.  It has been an issue for decades, but the battle is getting more heated.  If the decision was left to the United States alone, the Homosexuals would probably win, but the United Methodists are a worldwide organization and voting is weighted by membership.  Therefore, the African countries are helping to keep things Biblical, but there is a new vote each year and many in America want to split from the main body, if they can’t get policies changed to their liking.  They are the ones crying ‘hate’ and accusing those who follow the Bible of being ‘too rigid and unaccepting’.  Yet, as I stated above, it’s wrong to approve of sin (Romans 1:32), just to appease certain members of the congregation or try to increase membership.  In other words, if spreading the gospel comes at the cost of compromising the basic principles of the gospel, then it’s not worth it.  Sure, churches should accept anyone who wants to attend, but they should not approve of their sin to get them to stay.  That is just wrong.  Methodists (especially in Africa) are right to hold fast to the Bible, and not give in to homosexuals as other denominations have done.  2. Pope Francis and Interfaith Denominations   Pope Francis has been turning sharply towards ‘interfaith dialogue’, even to the point of allowing a pagan idol to be worshipped at the Vatican, and not apologizing for it.  Notice I specified ‘Pope Francis’ and not the whole Catholic Church, since many Catholic clergy have expressed concern over the pope’s recent behavior, even demanding that he repent.  Yet, Pope Francis continues to be the leader of the church, whom millions follow, so it’s a big deal.    Briefly, the history of the interfaith movement goes all the way back to Nigeria, in the 1970’s, but it didn’t gain traction there until the 80’s and 90’s.  The origin of Chrislam, as it is called, was ultimately rooted in a dream, which is interesting because Islam itself was rooted in a dream, as was the Ottoman Empire, both of whom appear in Daniel 11, starting with verse 5 My point is this: A dream could support the fact that it is part of Biblical prophecy (7th Church), but that doesn’t mean it’s right (lukewarm), just like Islam wasn’t right.  The good news is that the vast majority in Nigeria still consider both branches of the Chrislam movement to be cults.    Many credit Rick Warren for bringing Chrislam to America, but it actually goes back even farther.  Interfaith dialogue in America actually started with Jon Stallsmith, the outreach minister at Grace Fellowship in Atlanta, in 2001, with the simple message: ‘love your neighbor’.  In 2008, a document called ‘The Yale Covenant’ made interfaith dialogue somewhat official by gaining 100’s of signatories from around the world, including Rick Warren.  The message remained about the same as Stallsmith’s, but added: ‘love God and love your neighbor’.  The following year, in 2009, Rick Warren spoke at the annual meeting of the Islamic Society of North America, essentially excluding Jesus from the speech.  No doubt that appearance drastically helped the interfaith movement in America, but it wasn’t necessarily the start.    The interfaith movement took a giant leap internationally, in Feb-2019, when Pope Francis traveled to UAE and endorsed the ‘Abu Dhabi document’, which drew criticism for stating that a “pluralism and diversity” of religions is “willed by God.”  I’m sure that most Christians can see the problem with that concept: By putting other religions equal with Christianity, the document (and pope) are diminishing the importance of Jesus.  As I said above, the motto of ‘love God and love your neighbor’ is leaving out the most important condition for getting to heaven: ‘love Jesus’ (and acknowledge Him as the Son of God).    Pope Francis took another turn for the worse, in Oct-2019, when as part of the Amazonian Synod, he allowed the worship of a pagan idol on Vatican grounds.  The pagan idol was a “Pachamama statue,” which is a wooden statue of a naked woman giving birth, representing ‘mother earth’, which is worshipped with pray and sacrifices in parts of South America.  There is even a video of Pope Francis blessing a Pachamama statue, then receiving it, which was later placed in the Vatican.  A concerned Catholic through the statue in the river, but it was fished out, and Pope Francis apologized for the drowning of the statue, but not for the worship.  On the contrary, the pope defended the activity as part of his push for interfaith dialogue, even though it clearly violates God’s 1st commandment.    Now, the interfaith movement is virtually everywhere in America and around of the world, supporting my belief that it’s a major part of the 7th Church (Laodicea).  The fact that they are using the Biblical notion of ‘love God and love your neighbor’, and doing good deeds for the poor, yet diminishing the importance of Jesus to accommodate other religions, exactly fits the description of being “lukewarm.”  They are in danger of being “spit out” because only through Jesus can a person be forgiven of their sins and thus become worthy to be in God’s presence. Praise Jesus!  Related page: Seven Churches of Revelation (Churches 1-6, including charts, diagrams, and summary) Related page: Gay Marriage and Homosexuality in the Bible (Discussion of Old and New Testament, and current events)