What is your reaction when the coffee or tea that you receive is neither hot nor cold that is according to your order from the cafe? I’m sure some of us will feel irritated and disappointed when the beverage is lukewarm and you can’t really enjoy it as much as you wish.
In Revelation 3:15-16, the term “lukewarm” is being mentioned as God speaks to the church of Laodicea saying:
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
Laodicea was a wealthy town that was known as a strategic banking centre. The city was famous for the soft, black wool it produced and its ancient medicine, particular an eye salve. Laodicea’s water supply was relevant to the message in this letter as the water had to travel several miles through an underground aqueduct before reaching the city. Therefore, the water arrived foul, dirty, and tepid – lukewarm, just like the people in the church.
What is a “lukewarm” Christian? The Bible tells us that a “lukewarm” Christian is someone who’s neither hot nor cold about their faith. Their faith doesn’t mean very much to them. They aren’t particularly enthusiastic about it, nor are they hostile toward it. Instead, they drift along, perhaps going to church when it’s convenient or giving some money to God’s work — but never sacrificing to help others or going out of their way to share Christ with someone. Instead of loving God with all their heart, they are indifferent towards Him, and think about Him mainly when they get in trouble.
Characteristics of lukewarm Christians may include:
- Believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour but not sharing about His saving grace
- Pray only during emergencies
- Rely only on material wealth and own strengths and talents
- Only spiritual nourishment is church on Sunday
- Not sensitive to prompts of the Holy Spirit and continue to sin
- Taking Church’s traditions as the God’s words
As Revelation 3:15-16 puts it; Jesus says clearly detests Christians who are just like the people in the Laodicea church. This is a serious warning to us. Jesus wants believers to repent from being lukewarm. In correction to the church of Laodicea which is rich through producing wool and eye salve; He says in Revelation 3:18:
“I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so that you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.”
If you think you are a lukewarm Christian, below are 3Rs to improve your spiritual condition:
- Read the Bible to be spiritually rich
According to Revelation 3:18, we can become spiritually rich by reading and feeding on His Word. Through His Word, we are therefore able to open our eyes to see God’s perspective.
- Repent from sins
Remember that Jesus paid a costly price to redeem us by shedding his blood on the cross for us. In 1 John 1:8-9, it says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” It is therefore important to constantly confess our sins through prayer and repent accordingly.
- Respond to Jesus
Revelation 3: 20 says “Here I am, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” If you have been complacent about your faith and shut the door of your life to Jesus, now is the time to respond and open your heart to invite Jesus to come and be involved in all aspects of your life.
In conclusion, Jesus had issued a warning to the church of Laodicea about their lukewarm faith. Will you join me to heed His warning so that we will not be in danger of becoming lukewarm Christians?
Brother Leo Deng Yong