“I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” (Revelation 3:18)
Jesus’ counsel to overcome this horrible lukewarm spiritual condition requires people to do three things. All three must be addressed for success in our day and age! They are: “gold tried in the fire”, “white raiment”, and “anoint thine eyes”.
First the gold – in particular Jesus states two things about it: a) you can’t get it anywhere – you must buy it from me, b) this gold must be tried in the fire:
“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)
The true gold can only come from Jesus Christ – you must go directly to him for real salvation and true faith. You cannot rely on parents, friends, even the pastor – to get your salvation. The only way they can help is by truly pointing you to the throne of God and helping you, from the true depths of your heart, to do business directly with Jesus.
The fire will try every man’s work. If his work has built gold into his spiritual house – fire will not burn gold, it will only purify it. But fire will burn up things that are spiritually “wood, hay, and stubble.” Where did the spiritual wood, hay, and stubble come from? Not from Jesus. Jesus only sells us things that are of true lasting spiritual value, and then he further purifies what he sells us with the fire of the Word of God and the fire of trials. This is why he instructs us “to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich.” A lukewarm love and devotion will cause you to buy the idea that spiritual wood, hay, and stubble is good enough – but it will bring you spiritual poverty when the time of the trial by fire comes.
But note again, Jesus said you must “buy of me gold tried in the fire.” You must “buy” it. This is an expression not often used within the context of what we receive from God. But Jesus uses it here to drive home an important point if we are going to get help. We need to see this as something highly valued and desired so much that we are urgent to pay any price for. We live in an age of convenience and complacency. Until we become desperately earnest, we will not be willing to pay what it takes to obtain a faith that has been tried in the fire!
It is your faith that needs to be tried. Your faith is likened to gold – but gold that is fully purified by fire can be stretched to the thinnest and finest degree, but yet not break – because it is pure gold with nothing else mixed. This is the type of faith we need to overcome lukewarmness. Else when the trial by fire comes, we’ll seek for the comfortable place of ease, rather than face the battle head-on and stick to the difficult race. A large part of this battle of faith is against the lukewarm, indifferent religious condition of the so-called “christian” faiths! We are either going to fight the lukewarm, indifferent condition with fire, or we will be overcome with it!
“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7)