So because you are lukewarm – neither hot or cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth. – Revelation 3:16
This was written to the church of Laodicea. Even though this particular church no longer exists, the warning remains for the church today. Churches in general seem to naturally regress to the temperature of lukewarm. It takes no effort at all to reach this temperature. All one needs to do is nothing at all. There is no stoking of the fire nor fanning of the flame. There is no refrigeration or adding of ice to make it cold. Inside the lukewarm Christian, there is a not so obvious indifference that lies at the point of lukewarm. It is very easy to deceive yourself into believing that you are OK when you are lukewarm. It isn’t like the Christian in this position doesn’t care at all, but neither does he care immensely. Here is what C.H. Spurgeon had to say back in 1874:
They were not infidels, nor were they earnest believers.
They did not oppose the gospel, neither did they defend it.
They weren’t working mischief, nor were they working any great good.
They were not disreputable for moral character, but neither were they distinguished for holiness.
They were not irreligious, but they were not enthusiastic in piety nor eminent for zeal.
They were neither bigots nor Puritans.
They were prudent and avoided fanaticism, respectable and averse to excitement.
They had prayer meetings, but very few were present, for they cherished their evenings at home.
I’ve heard many pastors and children’s workers say some form of this one: they don’t mind going to church on Sundays, but neither are they going to commit to helping in the back, volunteering for a team, or being there every Sunday, for they like being able to come and go as they please.
It seems that the early church, as well as the church from 146 years ago, were predisposed to becoming lukewarm. We would be fools to believe that it couldn’t happen to us today. If the fire of God was burning in our hearts right now absolutely nothing could pry us away from Him. If we were cold and completely lost in our sin, we might would recognize our dreadful state and repent, take up our cross, and follow Him. As it stands, the church is content. As it stands, the church is “fine.” When we are content with our finances, we are considered rich. Yet, when we are content with our relationship with God, we could not possibly be in a more wretched state. Blessed are the poor in spirit. That is to say, “Blessed are those who know their desperate need for Christ and His Holy Spirit.” Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
I am about to spew you out of my mouth.
Why is the church in His mouth to begin with? Could it be that individual Christians are His sermons? Does He speak through a group of people called “The body of Christ?” When others see the once cold wretch now on fire for God, there is no denying the existence of a great, mighty, and powerful God who really does change hearts, minds and lives. There is no denying His power when a red-hot soul is looked upon. Yet, when the world sees a church full of indifference, why should they believe in God? Why should He not spew the lukewarm out of His mouth? They can no longer be used as a witness to His greatness! Who cares if you are simply better than you used to be? You may not be cold in sin, but neither are you burning with the fire and the Holy Spirit of Almighty God. Would to God that you and I would be one or the other.
Lord, set my spirit ablaze! I want to love You with all my heart. I don’t want to be lukewarm. I want to want You. I want you to be the ultimate desire of my heart. Don’t spew me out of Your mouth. Use my life. Use it to speak to others of Your greatness and Your holiness.