I Am A Lukewarm Laodicean

In today’s Eastridge Daily Reading Plan we read Revelation 3. Oh boy. It’s hard to read these first few chapters of Revelation and not be convicted. From the Church at Sardis with their works-based religion, leaving little room for faith..to the pretenders in the Church at Philadelphia..to finally the Church at Laodicea and their LUKEWARMNESS. Revelation 3:15-16 of The Message says it well:

“I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You’re not cold, you’re not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit.”

And these words from God caught me off guard again, just like they did this April. So, I’ve re-posted a blog that gets quite a few hits still..probably because the message is strong and convicting to us all. Be HOT or be COLD..but don’t try to live in the middle. See if you can relate::


Not long ago I heard my pastor, Scott Moore, say that “there is one degree that changes hot water to steam..and that steam can power a locomotive..but one degree less and you just have hot water.” Think about that..one degree changes the power and usefulness of water.

While sitting on my screened porch this morning enjoying the warm spring air and feeling like the king of the world, and in a quiet moment of self-examination like 2 Corinthians 13:5 asks us to do..

“examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves”..

I realized something..I just might be lukewarm. Maybe only one degree off..but that one degree may be keeping me from becoming the Holy Spirit-powered steam that can propel a locomotive..or a family..or a church..or a community..or the world.

(most of the remainder of this post is taken directly from Francis Chan’s book, Crazy Love which I urge you to purchase)

“It is not scientific doubt, not atheism, not pantheism, not agnosticism, that in our day and in this land is likely to quench the light of the gospel. It is a proud, sensuous, selfish, luxurious, church-going, hollow-hearted prosperity.” -Frederic D. Huntington, Forum magazine, 1890

Profile of the Lukewarm:

Lukewarm people attend church fairly regularly. It is what is expected of them, what they believe “good Christians” do, so they go. (Isa. 29:13)

Lukewarm people give money to charity and to the church..as long as it doesn’t impinge on their standard of living. If they have a little extra and it is easy and safe to give, they do so. After all, God loves a cheerful giver, right? (1 Chron. 21:24, Luke 21:1-4)

Lukewarm people tend to choose what is popular over what is right when they are in conflict. They desire to fit in both at church and outside of church; they care more about what people think of their actions (like church attendance and giving) than what God thinks of their hearts and lives. (Luke 6:26, Rev. 3:1, Matt. 23:5-7)

Lukewarm people don’t really want to be saved from their sin; they want only to be saved from the penalty of their sin. They don’t genuinely hate sin and aren’t truly sorry for it; they’re merely sorry because God is going to punish them. Lukewarm people don’t really believe that this new life Jesus offers is better than the old sinful one. (John 10:10, Rom. 6:1-2)

Lukewarm people are moved by stories about people who do radical things for Christ, yet they do not act. They assume such action is for “extreme” Christians, not average ones. Lukewarm people call “radical” what Jesus expected of all His followers. (James 1:22, James 4:17, Matt. 21:28-31)

Lukewarm people rarely share their faith with their neighbors, coworkers, or friends. They do not want to be rejected, nor do they want to make people uncomfortable by talking about private issues like religion. (Matt. 10:32-33)

Lukewarm people gauge their morality or “goodness” by comparing themselves to the secular world. They feel satisfied that while they aren’t as hard-core for Jesus as so-and-so, they are nowhere as horrible as the guy down the street. (Luke 18:11-12)

Lukewarm people say they love Jesus, and He is, indeed, a part of their lives. But only a part. They give Him a section of their time, their money, their thoughts, but He isn’t allowed to control their lives. (Luke 9:57-62)

Lukewarm people love God, but they do not love Him with all their heart, soul, and strength. They would be quick to assure you that they try to love God that much, but that sort of total devotion isn’t really possible for the average person; it’s only for pastors and missionaries and radicals. (Matt. 22:37-38)

Lukewarm people love others but do not seek to love others as much as they love themselves. Their love of others is typically focused on those who love them in return, like family, friends, and other people they know and connect with. There is little love left over for those who cannot love them back, much less for those who intentionally slight them, whose kids are better athletes than theirs, or with whom conversations are awkward or uncomfortable. Their love is highly conditional and very selective, and generally comes with strings attached. (Matt. 5:43-47, Luke 14:12-14)

Lukewarm people will serve God and others, but there are limits to how far they will go or how much time, money, and energy they are willing to give. (Luke 18:21-25)

Lukewarm people think about life on earth much more often than eternity in heaven. Daily life is mostly focused on today’s to-do list, this week’s schedule, and next month’s vacation. Rarely, if ever, do they intently consider the life to come. (Phil. 3:18-20, Col. 3:2)

Lukewarm people are thankful for their luxuries and comforts, and rarely consider trying to give as much as possible to the poor. They are quick to point out, “Jesus never said money is the root of all evil, only that the love of money is.” Untold numbers of lukewarm people feel “called” to minister to the rich; very few feel “called” to minister to the poor. (Matt. 25:34, 40, Isa. 58:6-7)

Lukewarm people do whatever is necessary to keep themselves from feeling too guilty. They want to do the bare minimum, to be “good enough” without it requiring too much of them. (1 Chron. 29:14, Matt. 13:44-46)

Lukewarm people are continually concerned with playing it safe; they are slaves to the god of control. This focus on safe living keeps them from sacrificing and risking for God. (1 Tim. 6:17-18, Matt. 10:28)

Lukewarm people feel secure because they attend church, made a profession of faith at age twelve, were baptized, come from a Christian family, vote Republican, or live in America. (Matt. 7:21, Amos 6:1)

Lukewarm people do not live by faith; their lives are structured so they never have to. They don’t have to trust God if something unexpected happens–they have their savings account. They don’t need God to help them–they have their retirement account. They don’t genuinely seek out what life God would have them live–they have life figured and mapped out. They don’t depend on God on a daily basis–their refrigerators are full and, for the most part, they are in good health. The truth is, their lives wouldn’t look much different if they suddenly stopped believing in God. (Luke 12:16-21, Hebrews 11)

Lukewarm people probably drink and swear less than average, but besides that, they really aren’t very much different from your typical unbeliever. They equate their partially sanitized lives with holiness, but they couldn’t be more wrong. (Matt. 23:25-28)

It is my intention to peel back the top layers of my life (and yours) and truly examine myself. I believe that I am lukewarm. And that is the last thing I want. I want to increase the fire in my heart by at least one degree..but the only way to do that is through complete surrender.

If you feel like you too may be lukewarm..then I challenge you to use this blog post as a study for the next few days. Look up each scripture references above and see what God is speaking to you in regards to your lukewarm-ness.

If you feel like even the concept of lukewarm is foreign to you, maybe you need to Just Stop and Think. Click the link and hear more about this crazy love I’m talking about.

Which of the descriptions of lukewarm people are you most convicted by? (comment..it’s ok to be real here)

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