Q. The Bible talks about the church of Laodicea and how they thought they had everything when they did not have Jesus and Jesus is standing at the door and knocking. It seems to me like these people were not truly saved or else why is he at the door. But Jesus throws in a twist and says, “God corrects those who he loves so be zealous and repent”, and many people use that phrase to say that these people are Christians who will go to Hell if they do not repent. What did Jesus mean by that statement?
A. People who interpret the Letter to the church in Laodicea (Rev. 3:14-22) this way don’t understand the meaning of the Greek word translated “repent”. They think it means to change one’s behavior when it actually means to change one’s mind.
As you say, Jesus described the Laodicean church as thinking it has everything and doesn’t need anything. But the fact that He’s standing outside knocking means they don’t have the one thing they need, Him, and in the spiritual sense that makes them wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked (Rev. 3:17). By telling them to repent, He’s telling them to change their minds and admit they need a savior.
This is a model of the liberal churches of today. Many are big and seem to have lots of money, but you’ll never hear a sermon on sin, or on the need to be born again. They don’t have altar calls and teach people that the way to salvation is to join their church.