“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!” Revelation 3:15-16
Lukewarm Christians… we’ve all seen ‘em. I bet you could even name a few right now. Those are the people who say they are Christians, maybe even go to church occasionally...
...but you couldn’t ever tell by looking at them. They swear, they smoke, they drink too much, they throw wild parties, they care more about their sports teams than they do God… You could substitute any vice or flaw that you think is unchristian here. We’ve all got our criteria for what makes someone a lukewarm Christian. But what about us? What about those things we do in our daily like that makes us lukewarm in our faith? How often do you just sit down and read your Bible, instead of plopped down on the couch and watch tv? When’s the last time you prayed without being prompted by someone else? When it comes time to give your offering to the Church, do you give God what’s first…or what’s left? Have you ever just sat down with someone and shared the Gospel, ever told someone why you are a Christian, ever shared your testimony? Do you even know what your testimony is?
Would you want Jesus to be right next to you in everything you do? Everything? Are there some things you’d just rather keep to yourself? And you definitely wouldn’t share them with people at church?
The letter to the Church in Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22) was written to a group of Christians who thought they had it all together. But Jesus told them (and is telling us) that arrogance and pride have caused them to become lukewarm, neither hot nor cold. And He would rather they either be on fire for Him, or coldly reject Him. But instead, they choose to say they believe in Jesus, yet live like He doesn’t even exist.
Joshua 24:14-15 says, “So fear the Lord and serve Him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped…Serve the Lord alone. But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve.” Choose this day whom you will serve. The indifference that comes with lukewarm faith is sickening to Jesus, and dangerous to His Church. He will vomit out of His mouth those who choose to believe in Him but refuse to live their lives that way.
As we begin this year of discipleship, you have to make the decision. Will you coldly reject the truth of God? Or will you allow Him to set you ablaze? Choose this day whom you will serve. You cannot remain in lukewarm indifference. If you do, then we don’t want you here, and neither does Jesus!
Spend your week in prayer, asking God to point out those places where you are “neither cold nor hot.” How have you been living a lukewarm faith? Ask God to root those out of you, and fill them instead with the fire of His love! You will not be disappointed!
Cori Cypret is the pastor of The United Methodist Church of Coopersville.