Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich…
Jesus is going to address the church at Laodicea on their terms and their self-perceived strengths. The believers at Laodicea offer humanism or an earthly solution. Jesus offers a heavenly solution.
Locally, the folks in Laodicea had a very extensive and wealthy banking system. The city minted its own coins. The coins had the likeness of Zeus, Apollo, and Aesculpius. They placed their trust in material wealth with the pictures of Greek gods stamped on their currency.
Christ is offering gold refined by fire. He is giving a little advice to the church. In order to obtain the gold, members are going to purchase with their earthly possessions and riches. The church at Laodicea is no different than the rich man who encountered Jesus earlier in His ministry.
Luke 18:22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
The gold Christ is offering has been purified by fire. The impurities or dross have been removed from the gold. Dross is an Old English word that means the scum produced when smelting metals. Dross is impure. Dross is removed from precious metals such as gold by the process of smelting with intense heat and fire.
Wickedness and sin are equated with dross in the following verses.
Proverbs 26:23 Like an earthen vessel overlaid with silver dross are burning lips and a wicked heart.
Psalm 119:119a, You have removed all the wicked of the earth like dross…
The lake of fire is the eternal destination of people who are not written in the book of life. Their sins have not been paid or taken away. They are impure like dross. Eternal fire and smelting will never remove the impurity of sin from humanity. An eternity of fire and Hell cannot cleanse sin from humanity.
Revelation 20:14-15 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Only the blood of Christ can wash away humanity’s dross and impurities. Christ’s shed blood is more powerful and cleanses better than fire. He is the one who purifies and refines. He removes the scum and the dregs.
1 John 1:7b …and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Titus 2:14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.
Make a choice. What is it going to be? True wealth does not come from earthly, material possessions.
Luke 16:13 “No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” -Jesus
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