The Lukewarm Church
14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,
‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”
The Church at Laodicea is the only church the Lord has nothing at all good to say on their behalf. If fact Jesus basically says that this church makes Him sick. He says to the church you are neither hot nor cold. I wonder how many of us after careful examination would have to admit that we are lukewarm christians. Would we admit that our life does not reflect or represent a life that is on fire for Jesus? What do you do that shows you are on fire for Jesus? Notice the question was not what you say? Being on fire for Jesus involves doing something. So what are you doing? You can begin to gather your excuses now, how certain things aren't your gift and how certain things you just can't do, and how busy you are, and how hard your work is, how you don't have time to hardly breath much less do anything else. The I don't have time really sets me back sometimes. We have time to do anything we want to do. Oh don't get me wrong I have made the same silly statement myself. I have said I didn't have time on the same day that I rode my motorcycle for about 3 hours. Now I may not have done what I needed or should have done, but it wasn't because I didn't have time, it was because whatever was to be done was less important than riding my motorcycle. The church at Laodicea was filled with false statements like this. They may have set well with the people, after all they were doing the same thing saying the same things; however, these statements did not set well with Jesus and they will never set well with Jesus. These statements are ridiculed with self.
Jesus says to this church that you are neither hot nor cold. He then says, His desire is that you were either hot or cold. We really need to understand what Jesus is saying here, He would rather us be cold than luke warm. Now if being hot means someone is on fire for Jesus. They are consumed by the ministry and spreading the Gospel. They are consumed by their love for Jesus. They are about their Fathers's business day in and day out, whatever that might be. Then cold would be right opposite. Cold would mean doing nothing for Jesus. Perhaps even lost except He is addressing the church. These individuals after examination of themselves would simply say there is not a great deal of Kingdom things being done in and through this life. Jesus says He would rather have this church or this individual than a lukewarm church or individual. We must ask the question why? Why would Jesus prefer us to be cold than lukewarm?
That is where I will leave you today, answer this question. Write your responses down, send them to me. However, I would ask that you do this with all seriousness. That you look deep within yourself to answer this question. Think about your own relationships. What would you rather have, someone on fire for you, passionately pursuing you or some one stone cold to you? Would you prefer a lukewarm pursuer? One who day to day you really don't know what the deal is? They say all the right things but that is about as far as it goes. After examining this and meditating on your feeling about this matter send me your thoughts, regarding why Jesus would prefer a cold church or individual over a lukewarm church or individual. To effectively do this you have to examine what you consider a lukewarm church or individual, what are the characteristics that make them lukewarm? Email or go to the website and comment. We will continue this all week.