Lukewarm Christians (Rev. 3:15-16)
by Larry Cockerham
By Larry Cockerham
We are living in that period of church history that is characterized as "lukewarm." The Laodiceans were neither hot nor cold, and their indifference was absolutely abhorrent to the Lord of glory. So many today are content to come to church and make a token offering of sacrifice and service. But they are "without form, and void," their lives being characterized by externalism, with little or no capacity for spiritual things. John Walvoord explains:
In the history of the human race no one has been harder to reach for Christ than the religionist, the one who is quite satisfied with the measure of his devotion to God and with the items which to him represent religion…. The difference embodied in the term "lukewarm" in this passage seems to extend to their conviction respecting the central doctrines of the Christian faith, such as the necessity of the new birth and the need for a dramatic change in life and perspective required of a true Christian…. The result is churchianity, membership in an organization without biblical Christianity and without membership in the Body of Christ accompanied by the miracle of the new birth.
The city of Laodicea received its water from the hot mineral springs in the area of Heirapolis, some six miles to the north. By the time the water reached the city, it was neither hot nor cold, and possessed a nauseating quality that made it good only for an emetic. According to Warren Wiersbe, "there are three spiritual temperatures: a burning heart, on fire for God (Luke 24:32); a cold heart (Matt. 24:12), and a lukewarm heart (Rev. 3:16)." In this day of complacency and indifference, let us strive to have the burning zeal of Phinehas (See Num. 25:10-18) for Gods glory and service.
Christians today are able to get excited about everything from acupuncture to zucchini, and anything in between. They will yell the loudest and travel the farthest to root for their favorite player or team, yet when it concerns a Bible study or mid-week prayer meeting they are seldom to be found. The Laodicean Christian is comfortable and complacent, and cannot be bothered over trifling things such as Christian growth and discipleship, missions, or stewardship.
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