Just as God in many and various ways has sought to reveal the truth to us (Heb 1:1), so in many and various ways Satan has sought to keep us from seeing this truth. He has tried to deceive us into turning against this truth, even as we are claiming to believe it. One of his most successful deceptions has been leading God’s people into a grateful satisfaction. They come to feel that the Lord has blessed them with so much light that they really don’t need to pursue it anymore. It can even seem an act of gratitude to God to stop learning and growing. God has favored them with so much truth that they become conservative and discourage further investigation. Revelation 3 has a most serious message for such falsely secure saints:
I know what you have done; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were either one or the other! But because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I am going to spit you out of my mouth! You say, “I am rich and well off; I have all I need.” But you do not know how miserable and pitiful you are! You are poor, naked, and blind (Rev 3:15-17, GNB).
The Greek word for “miserable” above means to be worn out from hard work. The Laodiceans are worn out from trying to please the Lord. At the same time they are satisfied with their efforts and what they believe they have from God. But this combination of hard work and spiritual self-satisfaction does not make God angry, it makes Him sick. The word translated “spit” above is where we get the English word “emetic.” That’s why some versions say, “I am going to vomit you out of My mouth.”