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DO NOT BE LUKEWARM

 

In the book of Revelation, Jesus Christ instructs the apostle John to write seven letters. These are to seven churches which existed in the first century, all of them in what is now Turkey but what was then Asia (Asia Minor) in the Roman Empire. The last letter was to the church in the city of Laodicea. This city was a  financial and banking center; it was very wealthy. In 60 AD a major earthquake caused considerable damage to the city, but the wealthy Laodiceans refused the help of the Roman Empire and rebuilt the city themselves.

 

Some of the other things Laodicea was known for included their cloth trade, the black wool produced in the area, and an eye medicine produced there. It was also known for its unappealing drinking water. There was an aqueduct which carried water from hot springs about five miles south of the city. [1] By the time the water arrived at Laodicea it was lukewarm—neither cold nor hot. Lukewarm water is disgusting to drink. Likewise the lukewarm Laodicean church was disgusting to Jesus:

 

Revelation 3:14-20:  “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: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 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—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. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 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.’

 

The Laodicean church was a reflection of its community: Self-assured, independent, and materially wealthy. Jesus in His instructions to John for the letter to them included elements they knew well: Gold, garments, eye salve—and the allusion to lukewarmness based on their water supply. Just as lukewarm water makes the person drinking it want to spit it out or throw it up, so the spiritual condition of the Laodicean church was sickening to the Lord. They were neither hot—zealous for the Lord—nor cold—outright sinners instead of believers. The Laodicean Christians were complacent and content.

 

They were not bad people in that they were not criminals or outrageous sinners, nor were they very impactful in their community. They had just enough drive to get them to church and to be nice, but no more than that. These believers had become blind to their condition and were utterly unaware of the peril they were in. They had no idea that Jesus Christ was almost ready to vomit them out of His mouth, that they were almost at the point of forfeiting their salvation. Life, materially speaking, was good for the Laodiceans. In their abundance they forgot that their first need was spiritual: A thriving relationship with Jesus. In their going through the motions of “church”, the Laodiceans had pushed Him outside of their services and their lives. He was knocking on the doors of their hearts, desiring to be close to them and to have fellowship with them. It was up to the Laodicean church to respond.

 

While your “Amens” and “yes, Lord’s” are going up, stop and think—are you a Laodicean Christian? Are you lukewarm? Are you casual in your relationship with Jesus Christ, only calling upon the Lord in prayer when you have a need or a want? Do you “check the box” by going to church on Sunday and then forgetting about the Bible the rest of the week? Do you even go to church, or in the wake of covid and live streaming services are you content to just watch church online? Do you care whether or not you fellowship with other believers? Are you so well-to-do materially and financially that you cannot see your urgent need for Jesus on a daily basis? If you are physically able to fast, do you ever fast or not? Do you meditate on God’s Word, or are you consumed with thoughts of the things of the world?

 

You see, none of us are immune to becoming lukewarm. There are times when I have had to repent and regain my own zeal for the Lord. It happens. In the process of living life, even in the process of doing ministry work, it is easy to begin neglecting your relationship with God. The prayer slacks off, the Bible reading dwindles, perhaps even the church attendance decreases. Soon your mind is cluttered with the things of life and of the world. Certainly you can come back to the Lord. If you grow lukewarm you are not in immediate danger of rejection by God, but the longer you stay out there, the less you will want to return to the Christian life. It can happen to anyone. So what do you do if you have become lukewarm? Once you resume living for Jesus, how do you stay on track?

 

Fellowsaint, if you have become a lukewarm Christian, simply repent. Ask God to forgive you, and rededicate your life to Jesus Christ. You will find that He is eagerly waiting for you to resume fellowship with Him. Maintain closeness with the Lord by making Him number one in your life every day. Spend time with Him. He is your Savior. You can simply talk to Him. Pray. Read the Bible—a reliable translation of it. Meditate—think about and talk to yourself about what you have read, as well as about other things in His Word and all that pertains to Christian living.

 

If you do not have a medical condition which prevents you from fasting, then fast at least occasionally. Periodic fasting is not only good for the body, it also puts the flesh down and increases your sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. If you attend a good church, be a regular attender if your schedule permits it. Even if you usually have to work and cannot attend church regularly, maintain fellowship with some other mature believers. That is important, because we can hold each other accountable and help one another as well as traveling on the journey of life together as Christians in a lost and dying world. If you are in a seeker-sensitive church or a legalistic, dead, dull, dry church, get out of there and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to one where you can grow as a Christian and find healthy, Biblical fellowship with other believers.

 

Do not be lukewarm. Do not be a Laodicean Christian. Today it is more imperative than ever that you have a growing, thriving relationship with the Lord. We are living in the last of the last days, the time immediately before the catching away of the (faithful) Church before the Tribulation begins. You do not want to be left behind, and you certainly do not want to forfeit your salvation. No matter how well or how badly your life is going, your need for Jesus Christ is always of paramount importance!

 

John 15:1-8:  “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.  “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

 

Revelation 3:10:  “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I will also keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

 

Philippians 4:6-8:  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1]  Wikipedia article, “Laodicean Church.” Retrieved 10/23/2021.                        

One Response

  1. Good read, lets strive to not be lukewarm but rather to be on fire for the Lord and things he wants us to be about

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