Hot – Cold – Lukewarm
Where does your mind immediately take you when you hear the words hot, cold, or lukewarm? No doubt, five people would have five different answers. So that we are all on the same page as we think about these three words, may I suggest that we use them as a means of examining our relationship with God.
Come with me to The Church at Laodicea where God had sent the Apostle John to address the Christians. “I know you well – -you are neither hot nor cold; I wish you were one or the other! But since you are merely lukewarm, I will spit (spew) you out of my mouth!” [Rev. 3:15-16]
Whoa—back up! Let me read that again! “I wish you were hot or cold, but if you are lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth.” I don’t know about you, but that word lukewarm grabbed my attention. Why, that’s the same thing I do to a mouth full of lukewarm coffee! It is so disgusting to me that I immediately spit it out of my mouth! Would God really do that to me if I were a lukewarm Christian?
Questions buzzed around in my brain. What precisely does lukewarm mean? A quick Goggle search yielded this definition as it pertained to a person’s attitude or action: UNENTHUSIASTIC.
My next buzz questions was: What caused The Church of Lacodicea to become unenthusiastic that produced a lukewarm attitude in regards to their relationship with God? I believe we find the answer in verse 17: “You say, “I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.”
You see, the city of Laodicea was affluent, rich, and prosperous. It was known for 3 main things: wealth, black-wool textile industry, and housed a world-renowned medical school which discovered a miracle eye-salve. The city was so rich that it needed no financial assistance from Rome in rebuilding after a major earthquake. So, we have Christians living in the richest commercial center of the ancient world, which, no doubt, yielded them much personal wealth.
Next buzz question: Is Jesus scolding them for being wealthy? I don’t think so.
It was then that I had my “Aha moment.” Could it be that The Church of Laodicea had become so secure and self-reliant in their natural habitat and had no need of anything, that the same self-reliant attitude had spilled over into their spiritual life and their relationship with God?
It took me back to my early years of being a Christian where I was totally dependent upon God to supply every piece of clothing I wore, food for my family, and His guidance to solve all my problems. I jumped out of bed in the early mornings hours to talk with the King of Kings before rushing off to work. Oh yeah, the two of us were engrossed in a very intimate relationship with one another and I relied totally upon Him for everything.
Had I now developed an attitude that seemed to be apparent in The Laodicean Christians? “You are no longer hot and enthused in your pursuit of me; you are not excited and on fire about the faith.” “You are not cold either, because you have not left the faith, you still go to church, call me your Savior, but———
I didn’t like the sound of where this nudge might be leading, so I went quickly into my prayer closet to do some soul searching.
How about you? Have you become self-reliant and handling things all by yourself lately?
Good news!! We are God’s children; He really does not want to spit us out of his mouth. So, He has provided a way out of being lukewarm.“ For whom the Lord loves, I rebuke and chasten.” “Be zealous therefore and repent.” (vs 19)
“I already feel my spiritual temperature warming up.”