Revelation 3:15-16… “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth” (KJV).
Jesus sees things in our lives that we usually do not. I want to briefly share with you about the dangers of lukewarm living. The word “lukewarm” describes the state of one who is indifferent to the word God says–one who is indifferent to the needs of the local assembly, one who is indifferent to one’s own soul, one who travels life’s pathway with no definite decisions in regards to eternity. The word “lukewarm” is an old adjective meaning “to be moderately warm or tepid; one who is tasteless, good for nothing, fluctuates between apathy and fervor, or is half-backslidden.” Lukewarmness deals with the matters of the spirit in the Christian life. Those matters are indifference, ineffectiveness, impotence, lacking in enthusiasm, the state of being asleep and not being alert. The Lord was saying to the Laodicean Christians, “You are totally ineffective and half-hearted in your faith. I will spew (vomit) you out; I will reject you with extreme disgust.” The word “spew” is a figure of disgust and rejection. Jesus does not tolerate such behavior in Christians. They are like the salt that has lost its savor. Lukewarmness refers to the concept that tepid water tends to produce an irritation in the stomach and results in an inclination to vomit. In other words, lukewarm Christians irritate the stomach of Jesus. That’s a strong word that Jesus gave. Jesus wants you to be a “hot” Christian. Let’s look at a few examples of lukewarmness.
Matthew 5:21-24… Here, we see lukewarmness in bringing a gift to the altar (praise, worship, tithes) while degrading a fellow believer through name-calling and unforgiveness. In this passage, Jesus talks about a man wanting to be on good terms with God. That’s wonderful and the right thing to do, but Lord saw something else–the man was not right with his brother. He was an angry man, using words like ”Raca,” meaning “the empty one, worthless.” He called the man “fool,” meaning “dull, stupid, blockhead, moron.” Over the years I have found that when people start vilifying another it is because they themselves caused the alienation in the first place. Rather than doing the right thing, they try to get “spiritual” in a hurry, wanting to please God through some gift of service. It’s a lukewarm spirit. God wanted this man to get out of religion and into relationship. Many ministries act like this man.
Mark 5:1-17… Here, the area of lukewarmness is seen in not helping to deliver others during their time of need. Fear can block people from doing the right thing. Many people, in the town of Gadara knew about the demon-disturbed man living in the cemetery, but they had no strength nor desire to deliver him. Jesus never went anywhere without finding someone who needed help. He delivered this man who had cried out for help, but the people who knew this man were afraid of the man’s insanity, and when Jesus loosed him they were afraid of the man’s sanity. They requested that Jesus leave their town. God sees whether we care or not. He hears the cry of hurting hearts. Many Christians are afraid of people in need. God sees Christians who are lukewarm when it comes to helping others.
Luke 10:30-37… Here, we see the lukewarmness of being “in the ministry” and passing by on the other side when one sees someone who is hurting. The thieves who robbed the man on his way to Jericho were cruel and heartless and lukewarm. The priest and the Levite did not hurt this man, but neither did they help him. They were cruel and heartless as well. They refused to get involved. They missed an opportunity to be useful. The Samaritan (an unbeliever in Christ) came and ministered life to the wounded man. Jesus sees lukewarmness in the Christian who does not act mercifully and has no compassion or grace towards the hurting.
(To be continued…)
Pastor George Belobaba
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