What is going on Butterfly Fam? I pray that you are all safe and prospering as we are still in the middle of a global pandemic. I want to get right into it because Jesus did not come to play with the church in Laodicea and quite frankly he is not here to play with us either.
Pre- Corona my Pastor, Dr. Calvin Tibbs, had started a weekly trend of reading the book of Revelation as a congregation during service. While there were a few chapters that definitely made me go "Whoa!", Jesus' letter to the church at Laodicea made me cry. I was LEGIT SHOOK. It made me repent and I hope that by the end of this (if you fall into the lukewarm or cold category), you will want to change your mind and repent as well. Most of you are going to hear what I have to say, but not everyone is going to hear what God has to say, because Jesus says that your ears must be spiritually attuned to what he is trying to communicate with us. Now, I know that I am not physically speaking but you are still hearing the Word of God through this post. I'd suggest pausing from your reading for a moment to quickly ask God to reveal to you his heart through this blog post.
Okay, so what is a "luke-warm Christian"? In Revelation 3:14-22, Jesus describes it as being neither hot or cold. That's cute. BUT, I took a look at a few different versions of this scripture and my Lord! A "Lukewarm Christian" is one who is not beneficial in one way or another. Another version says that they are spiritually useless. I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound like a place that anyone would want to be. It's even uncomfortable reading that! I will be the first to tell you that the closer I get to God, the more I realize how much I have been operating as a "lukewarm" or for the purposes of this blog, saved-ish Christian. It's important that I'm transparent because the whole foundation of this site is to share my journey in hopes that it inspires at least one person to become a new creature in Christ. So, since we're family and there is no judgement... I struggle with my mouth. I sometimes say whatever is on my mind and it is not all the time speaking life. I know full well that you can't bless people with the same mouth that you curse with. I've literally prayed to God that he choke me with my words every time I am about to say something that is not holy or not speaking life, especially regarding other people. I don't know what your condition is but I pray that God remove all the warm areas of your life and make them boiling hot for him. So let's get into it:
1. The Condition of A Lukewarm Christian
A lukewarm Christian is generally one that has a neutral spirit. They, most times, don't like to take a stand on moral issues or doctrinal affairs and they don't get upset about much of anything. I can remember a time when I was younger and was asked about my position on being Pro Life or Pro Choice. I very vividly remember stating that I was Pro Choice to avoid conflict but I knew that in my heart of hearts I was a believer of the word of God and being Pro-Choice went against that. I was trying to remain as neutral as possible to not upset the group that I was in front of. If there was a picture next to Lukewarm in the dictionary, there would have been me cheesing in shame. It was such a tragedy. Here I am, on fire for God and full of zeal but being silenced by culture. One of the greatest sins of Christians today is the sin of silence. Right is right and wrong is wrong! It's impossible to make an impact when you're afraid to take a stand. I think we've all been to the place where we straddled the fence with one foot in the kingdom and one foot in the culture.
How does Jesus feel about this? Revelation 3:14-16
15 ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold (invigorating, refreshing) nor hot (healing, therapeutic); I wish that you were (I.e. alive, productive—beneficial in one way or the other) cold or hot. 16 So because you are lukewarm (spiritually useless), and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of My mouth [rejecting you with disgust].
I chose this version because some of the others say that Jesus said that he would spit or spew us of his mouth. I think that the visualization of a person vomiting is much more appropriate for the level of disgust that Jesus has for lukewarm Christians than a seemingly simple spit. Jesus is literally saying that lukewarm Christians make him sick to his stomach. He is nauseated by lukewarm Christianity.
2. The Symptoms of A Lukewarm Christian
Most Lukewarm Christians are that way simply out of fear. We've already painted the picture of a Kingdom Citizen with one foot in the Kingdom and one foot in the culture. This is the kind of person who goes to church on Wednesday and Sunday and sings all the songs and quotes all the scripture. But, when Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday come... they're quoting Cardi B and rapping about "the world". Especially as a millennial, I believe that this is caused by the fear of missing out and/or the fear of not being cool. Pastor David Tykes hit it right on the nose when he said, "Lukewarm Christianity is caused when a person has no desire to lose Christ for the world, but he has too much desire for the world to forsake its call in favor of discipleship to Christ."
Another symptom of lukewarm Christianity is complacency. These folks in Laodicea had a "Thanks God, but I don't need anything" kind of attitude. Although true, it's sad that some of us, if asked what we need from God right now, would have to really search. Let's face it, some of us have all that we need. Maybe not all that we want, but some people are just satisfied. They have know idea (or they do) that what we have is pennies compare to what God has for us. The clout that we think we have, has nothing on the favor that is readily accessible to us from the Father. Jesus is always trying to do something in our lives. Jesus was trying to do something in the lives of the Laodiceans and all they wanted to do was throw money at him because they thought that they were sooooo rich and didnt need anything.
How does Jesus feel about this? Revelation 3:17
17 Because you say, “I am rich, and have prospered and grown wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked [without hope and in great need],
*This synopsis is inspired by the Enduring Word Commentary*
The church at Laodicea lacked a sense of spiritual poverty. They looked at their spiritual condition and said rich, then wealthy, then claimed to not need anything. It wasn't that the church of Laodicea wasn't spiritually poor because they were. They were just blind to it. Laodiceans were famous for their wealth, but the Christians of the city were spiritually wretched, miserable and poor. They were famous for their healing eye salve, but they were spiritually blind. They were also famous for their fine clothing, but they were spiritually naked. It's interesting to see the contrast between what they think they are and what they really are. What Jesus sees in us is much more important than how we see ourselves.
3. The Cure for A Lukewarm Christian
Jesus tells us very clearly what we must do when we find ourselves in a spiritually lukewarm position. He first want's us to change our value system. He counsels them to buy from him. It is sort of like when you've been used to one thing for a very long time, you start to see that thing as being the best or even the standard. You are completely oblivious to all of the better versions of that thing, but you go with what you know. I used to value popularity, so I placed value on having material things, friends and being overly involved in extra curricular activities. So much so, that I'd skip class in college to go practice a song to sing at an open mic because I knew all the cool kids were going to be there. It was't until God really spoke to me about how the sin I was living in was really a matter of life and death that I started to change my value system. I started to value my relationship with Jesus, I focused on using my gifts for his glory and I (though I still struggle with this) constantly remind myself that I am a FRIEND of God. He then tells us to put on his white clothes. He is asking us to choose righteousness. When we are Lukewarm we sometimes choose to do things that don't necessarily hurt anyone or is not a direct action of sin, but it is also not beneficial to the kingdom of God. A persons soul is the most valuable thing in the Kingdom of God, because Jesus says, "What shall it profit a man if he gains the world and loses his soul?". The most valuable thing that you possess is your soul in relationship with God.
The second cure for this tragedy is a change in spiritual vision. Jesus wants us to see things differently, so he begs them to put on his eye salve so that they can really see. If we see things the way that Jesus sees things, we'd know when we are naked, we'd know when we are wretched and pitiful. The Bible says that man looks on the outward appearance but the Lord looks on the heart. What if we asked God to give us his eyes? What if for 30 seconds we were allowed to look inwardly at ourselves with the eyes of God? What if we could see other people the way that God sees them? The bible says that the closer that we get to Jesus, the more you can see the things the way that he does. So the second cure is simply to see things differently, the way that Jesus does.
The third cure is to change your energy. I know that us millennial's like to say "keep that same energy". But, NO. Don't keep that same energy. God is fussing at us because he loves us. It's a fact that he only does this to those he loves. You ever got a whooping and then went back to do the same thing? Probably, right. But, eventually you changed. You saw that a particular action got you in trouble every single time. You saw that your parent was more and more disappointed every time. Jesus will rebuke and chasten us in that same manner. His rebuke sounds like; "Be earnest". also known as. BE LIT FOR ME! Jesus wants us to be boiling hot for him. I remember growing up, there was this girl in my church group who was legit lit for Christ and lit wasn't even a thing then. I remember thinking sometimes like wow she is just extra. But, in all honesty she was a normal Christian and I didn't realize that I was a lukewarm, hypocrite at best subpar Christian. At first she used to intimidate me, but then she started to inspire me. Boiling hot Christians will either intimidate you because you are perceiving them to love Jesus more than you do or they will inspire you to repent and stir up a zeal like no other in you.
Finally, he wants us to let him in. Jesus wont go anywhere that he is not welcomed. In my study for this blog, I read about a piece of art that depicts Jesus standing outside of a door with a lantern knocking, but there is no door knob. The controversy surrounding the image was "how is Jesus supposed to get in?". The artist came out and said that was the point. We have to let Jesus in from the inside. I was shook. Often times we wait for Jesus to come in and rescue us from ourselves but we are not even aware that he can't get in unless WE open the door for HIM. He wants to sit and eat with us and make us hot again. He wants us to be useful for the kingdom. He doesn't want to spit us out but we are so nauseating to him when we are lukewarm that it makes him sick and he has to. Repent and invite Jesus in.
How does Jesus feel about this? Revelation 3:18-22
18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold that has been heated red hot and refined by fire so that you may become truly rich; and white clothes [representing righteousness] to clothe yourself so that the shame of your nakedness will not be seen; and healing salve to put on your eyes so that you may see.19 Those whom I [dearly and tenderly] love, I rebuke and discipline [showing them their faults and instructing them]; so be enthusiastic and repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, your sinful behavior—seek God’s will]. 20 Behold, I stand at the door [of the church] and continually knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him (restore him), and he with Me. 21 He who overcomes [the world through believing that Jesus is the Son of God], I will grant to him [the privilege] to sit beside Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down beside My Father on His throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear and heed what the Spirit says to the churches.’ ”
Join me in prayer to close it out;
Father God in Heaven,
Please forgive me that I have relied more on the things in my life than on your precious son Jesus Christ. Forgive me that I have become stale and have relied only on Sunday morning for my spiritual nourishment. Open my eyes to see what you see. I have been in denial or just plain blind to my spiritual state of well being. Make me sensitive to your instructions Father God. I admit that I have been religious with you and not relational. I know that you will not allow me to remain in this lukewarm position, because you love me. Thank you for loving me. Father I come asking for a spiritual newness and a boiling hot energy for advancing your kingdom. Lord expose me and help me to make repentance a habit. Holy Spirit enter the secret places of my mind and help me to see the truth. Reveal to me the source of my sin's power and replace it with the everlasting power of Jesus Christ. Lord, I want to live a full and boiling life for you. I declare that these things be done in Jesus precious name. Amen
until next time fam.