Living in today’s society of easy pleasure and materialism, I have realized how easy it is to become self-reliant and complacent. In other words, I often contemplate how our society is a breeding ground for lukewarmness in me and other believers. I am sure that you can agree with me on how easy it is to become side tracked and lose our zeal for God, to think ourselves “alive in Christ” when we are actually dead and Christ nowhere near us.
God’s Word teaches us that lukewarm “Christians” are unacceptable to the Lord.
Don’t allow yourself to become lukewarm. If you are going to love and live for God then do so wholeheartedly.
Just think of what the church and the world would be like if all of us were serious about God; if we all had our focus on pleasing God instead of indulging in flesh-pleasing worldliness.
Lukewarmness is a serious condition. I have recognized signs of it in myself from time to time. I have had occasion to try and fix situations on my own instead of trusting God. There have even been times when I chose to give in to my desires instead of doing what I knew would please God and benefit my spirit; for example, I have stayed home for no good reason instead of attending Sunday service.
I am pretty confident that you have been in similar situations. There are times when the things of God just don’t seem important, or you’d rather do what pleases yourself than what pleases God. Have you ever felt that way? Maybe there are things you like to do that may not please God, but you are attached to them and can’t bear to hear another disagree with its “rightness” for people of God.
These are examples of lukewarmness and each of us must get rid of it and guard against it. We cannot allow ourselves to wallow in the disgusting sea of nominal Christianity. Revelation 3:14-22, our passage for this lesson, contains a serious message of warning to the people of God.
Jesus has no words of praise for the Laodicean church. Instead he rebukes them for their lukewarmness. Many church attendees today are very much like the members of the Laodicean church; in fact, the Laodicean church would fit right in with today’s American church without a hitch.
Of the seven cities of the churches Christ sent word to, Laodicea was the wealthiest and the church was wealthy as well. The Laodicean church members embraced the ways of the world. They didn’t stand for anything. They were indifferent and idle. Does this description ring any bells?
The people of the Laodicean church neglected to do anything for the Lord; they were hard hearted and self-satisfied. They were nominal Christians, Christians in name only, just like countless Christians who occupy numerous pews every Sunday across America.
Just as the church in America is obsessed with “stuff” so was the church of Laodicea. As with today’s professors of faith, the Laodiceans also believed the accumulation of worldly goods and money meant one had God’s spiritual blessings. To the Laodiceans what they could see and purchase meant more than God and eternity. Our passage of scripture lets the church know that material possessions are not where the true value is found. Possessions and achievements in this world are worth nothing compared to eternal peace with God.
So, what does all of this have to do with believers today; how does it apply to you and me?
Just as Jesus gave the church of Laodicea an opportunity to repent, He gives us the same opportunity. Just as the Lord revealed to the Laodiceans how they had deceived themselves, He will also find opportunities to reveal what is in our hearts. What will you do when faced with a look at what is in your heart? What will I do?
Whether or not you are worldly, lukewarm, and will be “spued…out” of the Lord’s mouth will be evident in your attitudes, thoughts, and actions. Do you get angry when the Word hits what you don’t want to let go of? Do you tuck tail and run instead of bend your will to that of God’s?
What do you allow? What do you enjoy? Is there anything you are putting ahead of God? Are you assuming that God will accept something because you don’t want to give it up? Do you prefer to fix situations yourself instead of trust God? Are the things of God boring to you? Do you see no importance of fellowshipping with other saints or spending time in communication with God?
Search your heart. Examine your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to point out any danger signs – anything you need to repent of and turn away from. Do not ignore the rebuke of the Lord.
Rebuke and chastening come because the Lord loves you and wants you back on His path of righteousness. You can continue on doing what pleases the flesh, doing what is right in your own eyes, but you must remember the consequences that come with such a decision.
Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart. Don’t ignore Him. Put aside worldly pleasures. Remove yourself from view so that you can see and hear God. Let the Lord in, open up to Him, fellowship with Him. Confess the sin of lukewarmness in your life and endeavor to worship God and commit yourself to prayer, the study of His Word, and walking in obedience to ALL He reveals.
Just imagine what our lives would be like if we allowed God to rekindle our zeal for Him. What would our families and churches be like? How might the world be affected for the Kingdom if all believers let go of worldliness in favor of pleasing God? It can happen. Let us commit to letting it begin with us.
Until next time,