Pella Chronicle

Religion

June 12, 2014

Hot, cold or lukewarm?

Pella — How many of you out there are coffee drinkers?  Personally, I love hot, black coffee!  But have you ever gotten sidetracked and forgot how long that cup of coffee had been sitting there, and you took a drink and it was lukewarm?  YUCK!!  The second that lukewarm coffee hits your lips, you want to spit it out, right?  Hot coffee is wonderful, and ice cold coffee is good;  but lukewarm coffee is repulsive!

Now you get the picture of what Jesus was saying to the church at Laodicea, the seventh and final church to which He sent a letter which was recorded in Revelation chapter 3, verses 14-22 (take a minute and read it).  From verses 15 and 16 we read His words:  “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot;  I would that you were cold or hot.  So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth!”  Strong words, wouldn’t you say?  Back in verse 1 of chapter 2, we’re told Jesus walks among His church.  And, as He walked through this church at Laodicea and had a “taste” of what they were really like, it made Him sick!  What an eternal shame if an evaluation of my life or my church makes the Lord sick to His stomach!

You see, some Christians know just enough to be dangerous!  They’ve gotten “warmed up” just enough to be saved and then they stop growing.  They know, but they don’t grow!  They have information, but there’s no application and, therefore, no transformation!  They’re not necessarily “cold” toward God as an unbeliever, but they’re not “hot” toward Him either.  The result is an indifference to the gospel, and we remain in a condition of “lukewarmness”!

The people in this church at Laodicea just didn’t take God seriously.  Being a Christian was more of a hobby to them than a lifestyle!  Do you know people like that?  Are you one of them?  Am I?  The truth is, each of us can become “lukewarm” if we aren’t paying attention!  The Laodiceans had tasted that the Lord is good, but never trusted Him to truly rule and reign in their lives.  They knew Him as their Savior perhaps, but they never really allowed Him to be Lord of their lives!  This church was an unbalanced church.  They were so heavy on God’s grace that they made light of sin and, therefore, became very light on spiritual growth.  They were trying to walk in the middle of the road, between the world and the Word of God.  They were sitting on the fence and about ready to fall off!

You see, if we stand in the middle of the road long enough, we’re going to get run over by traffic going in both directions!  Jesus says to this church (and maybe ours), “You are neither hot nor cold!”  They had a mixture of truth and error.  Our adversary, Satan, loves to see this happen.  If he can’t keep you from the truth, he will push you completely past it!  If he can’t keep you from entering into the Christian life through a relationship with Christ, he’ll push you into living it your way, in your own understanding, and in your own strength!  Folks, that doesn’t work.  And frankly (in His words), it makes Jesus want to vomit!

Ephesians chapter 1, verse 22, declares Jesus as “the Head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all!” Yet, in verse 20 of our text (Rev. 3), we find He was left outside, knocking on the door of the church, asking permission to enter!  He had obviously been left out of their plans, programs and purposes!  In fact, they had apparently failed to acknowledge that Jesus even had a say in their lives and their assembly together.

Next week we ask the obvious question: “Do you hear him knocking?”

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