Laodicea Revelation 3:14-22.
The Church and the World walked far apart on the changing shore of time;
The World was singing a giddy song, the Church a hymn sublime.
“Come give me your hand,” cried the merry World, “and walk with me this way”;
But the good Church hid her snowy hand and solemnly answered,
“Nay.”“I will not give you my hand at all and I will not walk with you,
For your way is the way of eternal death, and your words are all untrue.”
“Nay, walk with me but a little space,” said the World with a kindly air.
“The road that I walk is a pleasant road and the sun shines always there;
Your way is narrow and thorny and rough, while mine is flowery and smooth.
Your lot is sad with reproach and toil, but in circles of joy I move.
This way as you see is broad, fair one; my gate is high and wide;
There is room enough for you and for me to travel side by side.
”Half shyly the Church approached the World, and gave him her hand of snow;
The false World grasped it and walked along, saying in accents low,
“Your dress is too simple to suit my taste. I have gold and pearls to wear,
Rich velvets and silks for your graceful form, and diamonds to deck your hair.”
The Church looked down at her plain white robes, and then at the dazzling World
And blushed as she saw his handsome lip with a smile contemptuous curled.
“I will change my dress for a costlier one,” said the Church with a kindly grace.
Then her pure white garments drifted away and the World gave in their place,
Satins and silks and sealskins rare and roses and gems and pearls,
And over her forehead fell her lovely hair crisped in a thousand curls.
“Your house is too plain,” said the World with a sneer, “I will give you one like mine,
with kitchen for feasting, and parlour for play, and furniture ever so fine.”
So he built her a costly and beautiful home, splendid it was to behold.
Her sons and her daughters met frequently there, shining in purple and gold.
Fair and festival and frolics untold were held in the place of prayer.
The maidens bewitched as sirens of old, with worldly graces rare,
Invented the very cunning tricks, untrammelled by gospel or laws,
To beguile and amuse and win from the World some help for the righteous cause.
The angel of mercy flew over the Church and whispered, “I know thy sin.”
Then the Church looked sad, and anxiously longed to gather the children in,
But some were off to the midnight ball, and some at the euchre and play;
And some were drinking in bright saloons as she quietly went her way.
Then the sly old World gallantly said to her, “Your children mean no harm.
They’re merely indulging in innocent sport.” So she leaned on his proffered arm.
She smiled and chattered and gathered flowers as she walked along with the World,
While millions and millions of precious souls to the horrible pit were hurled.
“Your preachers are too old and plain,” said the merry World with a sneer,
“They frighten my children with dreadful tales, which I do not like to hear.
They talk of judgement, a coming Lord, and the horrors of endless night;
They warn of a place that should not be mentioned to ears that are polite
,I will send you some of a better stamp. Brilliant and jolly and fast,
Who will show how men may live as they like is and go to heaven at last
The Father is merciful, great and good, loving and gentle and kind,
Do you think He would take one child to Heaven and leave another behind?
Go train teachers up to the times, adopt the stylish way,
We all want entertainment fine, and only that will pay.
”So she called for pleasing, charismatic divines, gifted and great and learned,
And the plain old men who preached the cross were out of her pulpits turned.
Then mammon came in and supported the Church renting a prominent pew
,And preaching and singing and worldly display proclaimed a period new.
“You give too much to the poor,” said the World, “far more than you ought to do.
Though the poor need shelter, food and clothes, why need it trouble you?
Afar to heathen in foreign why lands your thoughts need never roam
The Father mercies will be care our for them: let charity begin at home.
Go take your money and buy rich robes or and houses and motor cars fine,
And pearls and dainty food and dearest and costliest wine.
My children they dote on all such things and if you their love would win
You must do as they do and walk in the ways that they are walking in.”
Then the Church her purse strings tightly the held, gracefully lowered her head
And simpered, “I’ve given too much away. I will do sir, as you have said.”
So the poor were turned from her door in scorn and she heard not the orphans cry.
And she drew her beautiful robes aside as the widows went weeping by.
Her mission treasurers begged and pled and Jesus commanded in vain,
While half of the millions for whom He died had never heard His Name.
And they of the Church and they of the World walked closely hand and heart
And none but the Master who knows all things could tell the two apart.
And the Church sat down at her ease and said, “I am rich and in goods increased.
I have need of nothing and naught to do but to laugh and dance and feast.”
And the sly World heard her and he laughed within, and mockingly said aside,
“The Church has fallen, the beautiful Church, her shame is her boast and pride.”
Thus her witnessing power alas was lost, and the perilous times came in,
And the times of the end, so oft foretold of pleasure and form and sin.
Then the angel drew near to the mercy seat and whispered in sighs her name,
And the saints their anthems of rapture hushed and covered their heads in shame.
And a voice came down from the hush of heaven from Him, who sat on the throne,
“I know thy works and what thou hast said, and how thou hast not known,
That thou art poor, and naked, and blind with pride, and ruin enthralled.
The expectant bride of a heavenly groom, now the harlot of the World.
Thou has ceased to watch for that blessed hope and fallen from zeal and grace,
So now alas, I must cast you out and BLOT YOUR NAME FROM ITS PLACE.”
JEREMIAH 6:16-17 - Thus says the LORD, “Stand in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and you shall find rest for your souls.” But they said, “We will not walk therein.” Also I set watchmen over you, saying, “Hearken to the sound of the trumpet.” But they said, “We will not hearken.”