Of the seven churches Laodicea gets the biggest rebuke from the Lord. Very little is known of the ancient inhabitants of Laodicea. But because of the Lord's Words to them, much has been assumed. The actual church of Laodicea continued forward well past the age of this written reprimand. Historical writings suggest that Laodicea became a strong center for Christianity. Laodicea was destroyed by an earthquake in 1354, and was never rebuilt. It appears that when Jesus came, and if there were any to be saved that were truly part of the Body they were taken, and all that, remained at Laodicea were corrupted. They continued to play a role in the corrupted attempts to playing church in an age when the Church ought to have been subjective and spiritual rather than objective and materially based.
Jesus is here called "the Amen," "the faithful and true witness," and "the beginning of the creation of God." He knows their works and knowing them intimately He tells them that they are, relative to their faith, their love - their Christianity that they are not cold towards all such things, nor are they hot. And these words are so very poignant - and applicable as we might all look into our hearts and ask: Am I cold...or am I hot? - as a means to discover if we are lukewarm. Then Jesus says, "I would thou wert cold or hot." That's amazing! That God would rather a people be frozen and dead to Him or that they would be on fire OVER being lukewarm.
Why He would prefer they should be "hot" is clear enough; but why would He prefer a state of cold - a state where there was no existence or profession of real faith or love? It's because at least in the case of someone who is cold to God and the things of God...they are honest. And if there was ever one thing that God and Jesus seems to despise is religious hypocrisy, craftiness in God's name, manipulation and deceit. So honesty is one reason why God would perfer cold or hot - but not lukewarmedness. And if someone is being honest before God, they are being more honorable before Him - even if they are cold in their hearts. We can look at the character of Saul of Tarsus, killing Christians and find merit but look to Judas Iscariot who spent three years with the Lord but never really being on fire for him as two good examples of these opposite character traits. Perhaps there is a greater chance of conversion for the honest cold soul before God rather than the religious hypocrite.