Message to Laodicea

14 "To the angel of the church in Laodicea  write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of  the creation of God,  says this:

 

15 'I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. 

 

16 'So because you are lukewarm, and neither  hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. 

 

17 'Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wreched and miserable  and poor and blind and naked,

 

18 I advise you to buy from ME gold refined by fire so that you may become rich,  and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 

 

19 'Those whom I love, I  reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. 

 

20 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. 

 

21 'He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcome  and sat down with My Father on His throne. 

 

22 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit  says to the churches.' "

Lifeboats For Laodicea

 

Why a special outreach for the wealthy?

 

 'Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have  need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wreched and miserable  and poor and blind and naked,'

 

Shipshape- [ship-sheyp] 

1. in good order; well-arranged; trim or tidy.  Free from any disorder.

 

Not a term usually associated with the Church of Laodicea or its members - making God gag and all!

 

Aldersgate Advisors has designed Lifeboats for Laodicea to rescue the "rich" and restore order to the Laodicean Church. Providing local churches with more “ship” –  literally and figuratively - stimulates local churches by generating – more Lordship - more worshipmore membership - more stewardship - more leadership - etc.  

 

As a new outreach, few churches have similar programs, budgets, or resources so Aldersgate and its affiliates can provide flexible turnkey programs for the needs, goals and objectives of almost any congregation.  Designed to be a recurring financial resource to fund the growth of individual churches, we expect first year donations to be at least $1,000,000 for each participating local church.

 

While there are many worthy missions to reach the lost, the poor, sick, hungry, homeless, those in prisons, addicted to drugs, etc and to every country in the world, this may be the first outreach of its kind. This new mission specifically targets the unique spiritual needs of a segment of society usually ignored by most - reviled by some – and yet is probably prevalent in your community – and probably in your very church. 

 

Lifeboats For Laodicea is a special outreach to those with truly extraordinary circumstances and that are “almost impossible” to reach.  If there is any group that truly needs our compassion and help - it is the affluent both in and out of the Church - those that may be considered “rich” by the world’s standards but are ensnared by their possessions and spiritually destitute. 

 

Do we love our rich neighbors as we love ourselves?   Ironically, while many willingly sacrifice everything for fame and fortune- their children, spouses, health, etc, others blame the rich for most of our social ills.

 

Our increasingly covetous, secular society seems to have little sympathy for the spiritual well being or the eternal consequences for our wealthy neighbors.  Rather than viewed with compassion, the affluent are viewed simply as resources to be exploited, their personal life struggles – just entertainment.   When tragedy strikes, many believe they’re reaping what they sowed.

 

Aldersgate,  as an advocate for the affluent helps take wealth to the next level - prosperity. Lifeboats For Laodicea is part of our mission to facilitate the stewardship of the “wealthy” including those already in the Church and as a new outreach program to reach the wealthy that are not in the Church.

 

This is a Christian missionary outreach designed specifically for the wealthy, funded by the wealthy, that speaks the language of the wealthy.  

 

Jesus warned extensively of the dangers of trying to serve two masters.  For the lost, sick, hungry, in prison, addicted to drugs and alcohol, etc, there are numerous missions seeking to help them, but not many, if any designed for the wealthy, ensnared by their possession, addicted to their success.

 

Many scriptures admonishing  the wealthy are well known to both Christians and non Christians alike such as: James 5:1-4

 

“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire.” 

 

and 1John 3:17

 

“But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him.”

 

However, in this increasingly affluent secular materialistic society,  is there a more disturbing scripture than Matthew 19: 23-24,

 

“Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven? And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

 

Yet the affluent with their unique burdens, temptations, and struggles, are rarely looked upon with sympathy or as possibly needing our help.

 

However those ensnared by their pride, fame, fortune, wealth, are usually blinded by their worldly success -“you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. “  They can be especially skeptical and suspicious of someone trying to “help them” as almost everyone in their lives wants something from them.   Besides from their worldly view point, they think they “have the world by the tail” and don’t need any help.  The affluent are often surround by sycophants and have no one willing to tell them the truth.  As such they may never realize their peril – or not until it’s too late! 

 

So just as Jesus made a special direct effort in Luke 19 to personally reach out in a one on one effort to save a rich tax collector Zaccheus, Lifeboats For Laodicea is an outreach designed especially for the “worldly” wise and  wealthy, the affluent who often require personal - one on one attention.    Our mission is to seek and save that which was lost and then to help the affluent be wise stewards of their blessings and lead balanced productive lives and to prosper – just as their soul prospers.  And as per Revelation 3, this is a problem both in and out of the church.

 

Lifeboats For Laodicea helps local churches obtain resources necessary to penetrate the common fallacy of the affluent: “that being rich, they don’t have any needs as their lives are already “complete”.   

 

It’s well established the relationship between material gain and emotional welfare often seems to be inverse.  Even the ancient Greeks learned this from their myth of King Midas who recognized his infamous “touch” was actually a curse after it turned his food, drink, even his daughter into gold.

 

Research on human happiness and contentment reveals that after someone wins the lottery, they are only “happier” for about six months. After the euphoria wears off - they are no happier than before they won the lottery. In fact many are less so. 

 

Even very rich people--the Forbes' 100 wealthiest Americans are only slightly “happier” than average Americans.   With net worths exceeding $100 million, providing ample money to buy things they don't need and hardly care about, 80 % agreed that "money can increase OR decrease happiness, depending on how it is used." And some were indeed unhappy.

 

One fabulously wealthy man could never remember being happy. A woman reported that money could not undo the misery caused by her children's problems.  Thus, it’s no surprise that research suggests rich people are up to three times more likely to kill themselves than those with less money.

 

In fact it’s common that after achieving a certain level of financial success, eventually for an empty feeling, depression, or a sense of restlessness to be expressed by excessive risky, unhealthy pursuits including but certainly not limited to substance abuse and promiscuity.  Is there a more compelling cry for a personal relationship with Jesus?  Yet too often the “Church” and “Christians” are silent.

 

Much of society believes the affluent are simply “getting what they deserve” just reaping what they sowed.  No doubt much evil has been done in the unrighteous pursuit of mammon. Mistakenly though many seem to think all wealth is ill-gotten.  Besides - the wealthy can “afford it” as evidenced by an increasingly disproportionate tax burden.    In the U S, the top 50% of income earners pay 97% of the income tax.  The top 5% of earners pay 60% of all taxes while the top 1% earns only 19.6% of the income yet pay about 41% of all the taxes. 

 

All have received special gifts, some a special blessing to make money.  In fact, it is God that gives us the power to make us rich.  Wealth if used properly as intended, is a blessing and a force for good.  But rather than use their gifts and blessings for the benefit others (1Peter 4:10), many are seduced by the temptations and are ensnared by many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 

 

Being ensnared by wealth is really just another form of idolatry.  It seems to have much in common with an addiction to drugs or alcohol.  Just as drugs and alcohol if abused can cause undesirable and destructive behavior temporarily deceiving an addict from the realities of their actions, so can fame, wealth, success, deceive the affluent!   However the improper use of wealth can be much more devastating.  While the abuse of both drugs and wealth can be catastrophic to the individual, their family, and to society - the misuse of wealth and idolatry can have eternal consequences.  

 

Lifeboats For Laodicea is necessary because society tends to look the other way when the wealthy need help - often with unfortunate results. The news is filled with the numerous personal tragedies of many wealthy, famous, and successful athletes, entertainers, politicians, business professionals and celebrities that are surrounded by “yes” men.  However, these are just the travails of the famous that we hear about.

 

Unfortunately, even just the “marginally” affluent in our neighborhoods, churches and companies, have friends, family, business and spiritual advisers that are equally financially dependent on them.  Thus too few of these “confidants” are willing to tell them the truth and potentially jeopardize their relationship.  It may be because they don’t know the truth themselves or they are afraid of losing their “gravy train”.

 

Even many modern churches may tend to tolerate “ inappropriate behavior” from the “wealthy” in their congregations for fear of aliening potential donors. Unfortunately for many of the affluent, they lack anyone around them that is willing to risk their income and association with the affluent for the true spiritual benefit of the wealthy.  Such failure to correct these lost is not scriptural and is a disservice. 

 

With their wealth, many actually purchase legions of “gatekeepers” to insulate them from truth – at least for a while.  With these literal and figurative “gated communities” it often takes special programs and efforts to reach them. 

 

Aldersgate and Lifeboats For Laodicea – with your help may be the only voice of truth available to many of them.

 

So if not you - who?  If not your church – who?  If not now – when?

 

If you or your church would like to learn how to put more “ship” in your church,

please let us know how we may be of service.

 

Grace Be With You-


 

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