Lukewarm and Loving IT
“‘Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”–safe to do all these detestable things? Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the LORD.(Jer 7:9-11 NIV)
“Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. “Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”(Luk 3:8-9 NASB)
It seems that in the United States we live in and with a sense of entitlement. This mentality has crept into the church. Like the Jews of Jesus day who thought that because they were children of Abraham, they were a privileged and entitled people. John the baptist lays this out this rebuke to them when he says that God can raise up children of Abraham from the very stones. He further says that those who do no bear good fruit will be like trees who are cut down and thrown into the fire to be burned.
The same warning is given to the gentile church a while later in the book of Romans where Paul says the following:
But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. (Rom 11:17-22 NASB)
Paul says that we are to fear and not be conceited for we too can be cut off. I can’t conceive of a reason that Paul would write such a thing in Holy writ unless it were a possibility.
The Apostle Peter Quotes Paul when he writes the following:
Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.
(2Pe 3:15-17 NIV)
When reading the above we must remember that the blood covers an act of sin, not a lifestyle of sin. We do not need to go around fearing that if we mess up we are condemned automatically to an eternal hell. However, we do need to know that thinking that we can live like hell and cruise on into heaven is foolish thinking.
The last church mentioned in the book of Revelation is Laodicea. It is my belief that this church is there both as a real church of that time period and as a prophetic warning of the church that currently exists today. The city of Laodicea was known for an eye salve, known for rich clothing, known for it’s wealth and independence, known for a lukewarm water that was piped into the city. Hot water is soothing and relaxing while cold water is refreshing.
The first thing that Jesus comments about is the church’s lukewarmness and that He is going to vomit it out of His mouth. Lukewarm water is known to make one nauseous.
Laodicea means people’s opinions or people’s judgement and from what I understand is where our word democracy comes from.
You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
(Rev 3:17 NIV)
Laodicea was known for its wealth and was a center for banking in ancient times. It was so wealthy that when they had a massive earthquake that destroyed the city, they refused help from Rome and did it themselves. Hence Jesus saying about the church, “you say that I have acquired wealth(prosperity gospel), and do not need a thing”. Yet Jesus says that they are wretched, poor, pitiful.
Laodicea was known for it’s clothing that nobles wore and yet Jesus says that the church is naked.
Laodicea was known in the ancient world for an eye salve yet Jesus says that the church is blind
I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so 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.
(Rev 3:18 NIV)
Jesus counsel is to buy gold from Him that will last through the fires of trial.
He counsels them to buy clothes from Him so that they may cover their nakedness. Sin exposes one’s nakedness and yet the church here did not realize that they were naked.
He counsels them to buy salve fro Him so that the may have their eyesight restored.
Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. (Rev 3:19 NIV)
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.
(Rev 3:20 NIV)
We are living in a time where God’s grace is being poured out through His Son and He is patiently standing outside the door of His own church requesting access. In all of the pictures I have seen depicting this, the door upon which Christ knocks has no door knob, it must be opened from the inside. While many have used this as a personal invitation for the sinner to come to Jesus, I believe that this is a church where Jesus is not welcomed. It is a church were there are cliques. It reminds me of a dream that I had where I was able to look into a church through glass doors and the people inside were worshiping the Lord and there was a great worship band playing. However, when I looked at the doors, I noticed that there were no handles on the doors. You had to be let in from the inside. And, if one would leave, they had to depend upon someone from the inside to let them in.
A time is coming when it will not be the Lord knocking to be let in but instead it will be the people of the lukewarm church. Consider the following scriptures:
(Luk 13:24-28 NASB)