The Tragedy of Lukewarmness
Revival Series Devotion for June 2nd
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth…Revelation 3:15-16
Every winter, after a person spends any amount of time outside, the first thing they look for is heat to warm them back up. They look for heat in a number of ways. One of those ways is by drinking coffee or hot chocolate. The other is to seek heat by means of a wood stove or furnace. In the summer time, the purpose is the same. The person comes in to find air conditioning to cool them off. They also search for something cool to drink. It is for the purpose of keeping their body at its necessary temperature.
Jesus said in this verse; “I would thou wert cold or hot.”: This statement has not been very well understood in the past as in requires some prayer and study for understanding. Notice there is not just one acceptable temperature, but two. Jesus’ desire was to be either cold or hot. As with all of us who enjoy drinking hot coffee in the morning and ice cold cola during the evening, neither of these temperatures would be disheartening to the Lord. In an arctic climate, the world is a very cold place! If your in a tropical climate, the world is a very Hot place! It is “lukewarm” that is the temperature that God will spue!
As a church in this generation, we are facing some very troubling times. Although some would disagree, the churches greatest troubles are not from the world; they are rather from within. The preaching in most pulpits today do not challenge us to seek God to be number one in our lives anymore. The messenger does not compel the believer to seek to remain pure to God apart from sin as a wife or husband remains pure to their spouse. Have we become a compromised people? Have we become a lukewarm church? Let’s examine this subject and see whether we have or not.
Lukewarm is a temperature that does not shock; it does not change the temperature of a person. Lukewarm is different depending on the climate. Lukewarm can be 90 degrees in Florida, while 33 degrees in Alaska. Simply put; lukewarm takes on the temperature of it’s surrounding atmosphere. In other words, the outside climate changes the church which is lukewarm instead of the church changing it. The reason why we bring coolers to the beach is because we want the temperature of our bottled water to be kept at 35 degrees. If you were to take that same bottled water from the cooler and place it on your beach towel and walk away from it, within a few hours time, the bottled water will change into the temperature of the weather. This is how lukewarm works! The question that stands before us all today is this; are you lukewarm or not? Consider this for a moment. In modern housing, there are two temperature sensing devices; the thermometer and the thermostat.
The thermometer is an instrument that is made with an element called mercury that rises and falls based upon the temperature it is in the midst of. It measures the temperature in an area. A thermometer cannot change the temperature, but the temperature can and will change it. It has no power over the climate. The climate has total control over it!
The thermostat is a very different. It is also an instrument made with mercury but has an added feature; it is tapped into a power source. Instead of allowing the atmosphere change the thermostat, the thermostat calls on the power source it is connected to and basically says “Climate, you will not change me; I will change you!”
The question that must me asked now is this; are you a spiritual thermometer or a thermostat? Does you life move with the temperature of the world, or do change the temperature? The greatest problem with us today, like the thermometer, is that we are not connected to the power of Jesus Christ as we should be. Yes we have to be in the world, but we must spend time with God! Being surrounded by the temperature of the world will try to move us into their temperature. When we spend time with God, the presence of God brings us back into His atmosphere and we return to the temperature He wants us to be!
Lukewarm simply means that the church has the same temperature as the world. Laodicea had become exactly like the world around them. How did this happen? The answer is simple! Like a person in the winter, Laodicea stopped going back into the house to be warmed back up! As a believer, if you do not continually return to God in prayer, in His word, in His presence for continual renewal, refreshing and revival, then you will tragically return to the condition of the world. It’s that simple!
Signs of Lukewarm
If lukewarmness has resulted in a life, then there will be no disguising it! There will be no hiding it! There will be no denying it! What does lukewarm look like? First of all, lukewarm is a temperature that is identical to the world! Spiritually speaking, this means that if you are lukewarm, then you will resemble the spiritual condition of the unbelieving world in sin. If you can sin and not be driven to repentance over it, then you are lukewarm my friend. If you have lost your desire to be in God’s presence, then you are lukewarm. If you no longer desire to walk and please God; then the world’s temperature has gripped you! If God’s will no longer excites you…if seeing people saved is no longer your desire…if sins or addictions have become your pleasures again, then you are lukewarm. Notice the testimony of the Laodicean church;
- Increased with goods
- Have need of nothing
Spiritual lukewarmness looks on the same interests of the world. Lukewarmness can only see what the world sees. Lukewarmness is complacent as revealed with the phrase “have need of nothing.” Laodicean church’s real problem was that they were blind to their real need. It took the word of God to expose them! Their reality was that the did not know that they were:
The greatest tragedy of lukewarmness is that the world robbed the Laodicean church and they didn’t even know it. Lukewarmness will steal from you friend! Laodicea thought they were rich, but were poor, thought they were increased with goods but were naked. Laodicea had been hoodwinked or else had their vision taken from them in a different way by the use of the word “blind.” The ultimate judgment on being lukewarm is found in verse 16. Jesus said So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth! Don’t wait until Jesus does this to you. Return to Him!
You may be at a place in your life where you realize you have become lukewarm and know that you should not be, but you have no power to change. Lukewarmness cannot be remedied by you! The only thing that can change your lukewarmness is the power and presence of God.
The Altar Call:
Are you changing the temperature around you, or is the temperature changing you? Do you realize that either we influence the world or the world will influence us? Do you remember the intensity of God’s presence when you first gave your life to Him? Do you remember the joy of God’s presence as you spent time with God in prayer and His Holy Spirit rejuvenated you and refreshed you continually? Has that rejuvenation ceased? When was the last time you fell tranced in God’s presence? Friend, it is the presence of God that keeps us in the atmosphere we need to be. Lukewarm is a sign that you’ve lost the presence of God! Lukewarm is the result of no fellowship with God! Are the above signs of lukewarmness raging within you? If so, the only remedy is to return to Jesus with repentance. If you will come to Jesus and repent of all sin, return to making Jesus the Lord of your life, then He will come and restore you! He will bring you back into His presence where the temperature of the world will leave you. You will return to being hot; cold, whatever temperature God wants for the climate your in! The signs and tragedy of lukewarmness will leave. Come back to Jesus today friend!