In Revelation Chapter 3 verses 14-22, Laodicea is being rebuked by the Lord because they have put hope in wealth from this world. Is it wrong to have wealth? No. Is it wrong to have “need of nothing” of the Lord because hope and trust is instead in this wealth? Absolutely.
The Laodiceans have deceived themselves in thinking that their earthly wealth and garments, that are not purified holy and righteous, will last forever, but in REALITY they are “miserable and poor and blind and naked.”
In verse 18, Jesus tells them to “buy” from Him “gold refined by fire.” This is TRUE wealth that lasts forever. He says without this wealth our “nakedness” shall “be revealed” because the first wealth is temporal and not of His Spirit, which lasts forever. So in order to be clothed with garments that last through fire, we must be clothed with His garments which can only be bought with His “gold refined by fire.”
But how do we get this “gold refined by fire”? Let’s first start by looking at the refining process. In order to be refined, one must go through the fire. What’s the fire?
Peter describes it as such in 1 Peter 1:6-7, “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though it is tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Trials prove your faith by fire.)
Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. Isa 48:10
It is by the fire of affliction that we are purified and cleansed. To purify by fire is the best way to refine and remove dross. Fire used to refine gold is often at temperatures above 1000 degrees celsius. This is a high enough temperature to burn anything that is not pure. True gold DOES NOT burn but anything that is not gold will burn, including dross and fake/counterfeit gold. So if our faith is counterfeit and not true to the Lord or not pure, it will also burn when we are put through the refining process of affliction.
It is by faith that we are saved. So if we truly seek salvation, it is a blessing to receive these trials and afflictions which purify and refine our hearts to be more in tune with His glory, praise, and honour.
Back to Revelation 3:18, His gold is bought. How is it bought? “I thought everything was free in Christ Jesus.” Yes, it is free, for everyone who is willing to pay the price. 🙂
To those who are willing to be His disciple there is a cost. A cost of losing oneself and live only for Him. A cost of transferring credit of glory and ownership to His will and pardon. A cost of trial and affliction but in return receive gold. (Lu 14:26-28)
We all know many who have heard the costs but are unwilling to pay. Their thoughts are on now and not eternity. For if we cherish our life on earth, we will perish in the end. So buy His gold, with your life. All else in this life fails and falls apart because moth and dust and fire eat and remove it. (Lu 9:24,25)
Many people would not entrust huge treasure to those who are unfaithful. Our Lord is no different. He seeks faithful stewards of His riches, not those who do not value His Word. So…. “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test?” 1 Cor. 13:5