Revelation 3:16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. (NKJV)
The title of this series is a famous line from the Star Wars movie where Darth Vader tells Luke Skywalker that he is his father. In the same way, this letter in Revelation was written to the church at Laodicea, and God is saying, “lukewarm, lukewarm… I am your Father. I am displeased. Change your ways.”
It’s important for you to be able to recognize the difference between condemnation, which you are free from (Romans 8:1), and conviction, which God uses to tell us something is wrong in our life (John 16:8). Condemnation comes from Satan in the form of self-focused false guilt. Condemnation will be vague, degrading and leave you feeling hopeless. Conviction comes from God and is the feeling that something is wrong but God tells us specifically what to change to make things “right”. Conviction is uplifting because it brings Godly correction and leaves us feeling blessed and hopeful. Keep this distinction in mind as you consider that questions that follow.
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When you honestly think about yourself, do you consider yourself a “good” person, and at least “more good” than alot of people you know? Are you selfish? Are you prideful? How would people around you answer those questions about you? Do you ever put anything before God (examine your checkbook and schedule if you really want to know)? Are you ever deceitful or dishonest? Do you ever lust? Do you ever criticize? Are you ever unthoughtful or inconsiderate? Are you ever lazy or undisciplined? I ask you those questions so that you can reconsider your first answer: Do you think you’re a good person?
- Job 15:14 “What is man, that he could be pure? And he who is born of a woman, that he could be righteous? (NKJV)
- Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. (NKJV)
- Proverbs 20:9 Who can say, “I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin”? (NKJV)
- 1 John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (NKJV)
- Romans 6:17-18 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. (NKJV)
- Galatians 5:16-26 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (NKJV)
Do you ever feel broken hearted over your sin? Do you ever feel helpless and totally dependent on God? Do you know that there are parts of your life that are not totally surrendered to God? Do you have hobbies, possessions or interests that you would honestly not want to give up if God asked you to? Do you focus more on your success, achievement, appearance and personal goals than you do on your spiritual growth and discipline?
- Matthew 9:12-13 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (NKJV)
- Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart- These, O God, You will not despise. (NKJV)
- Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (NKJV)
Do you obey God’s commands to the best of your ability all the time, in all parts of your life? Have you ever taken a close look to see if you’ve ignored or become lethargic about certain areas such as entertainment, spiritual disciplines, materialism, language, etc? Are you stubborn, self-willed or stuck in your ways? Are you demanding, opinionated and inflexible to any degree? Are you quick to talk and slow to listen? Do you criticize others for failing to be consistent in the disciplines that come easy for you while ignoring your own failures in those disciplines that are more difficult for you personally?
- 1 Samuel 15:22 So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. (NKJV)
- 1 Peter 1:14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; (NKJV)
- Hebrews 5:9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, (NKJV)
- James 1:19-20 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (NKJV)
Is your faith in Jesus Christ a regular topic of conversation with the people who you regularly encounter? Can you talk as naturally and comfortably about the things of God as you can your family, work, sports or news? Are you as educated about the fundamentals of your Christian faith as you are about the fundamentals of your job, your favorite sport or how to operate your DVD player? If someone were to ask you today how they could be saved, could you truly answer it? If someone asked you if God really exists, could you show them the answer? Do you find your heart racing and your forehead sweating whenever you’re faced with talking publicly about your faith? Do you find yourself avoiding the subject or changing the topic? Do you replace any mention of Jesus or God with a generic mention of “church”?
- Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. (NKJV)
- 1 Peter 3:15-16 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. (NKJV)
- Mark 8:38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” (NKJV)
- Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (NKJV)
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My intention is to draw your attention to what God thinks about lukewarmness. The good news is that God makes it clear that He loves the people He wrote this warning too. So you can be sure He loves us too and simply warns us for our own good. The church as Laodicea was rich, content, materialistic and satisfied with their “goodness”. This accurately describes the western church today in general. Given that, we are fairly warned and wise to heed the rebuke offered to them: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” (Rev 3:19-21; NKJV; emphasis mine)
Lord God, Help us seriously think about what is lukewarm in our life and seek to change it immediately. Help us to realize how disgusting it is to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Application: My intention is to draw your attention to what God thinks about lukewarmness. The good news is that God makes it clear that He loves the people He wrote this warning too about being lukewarm. So you can be sure He loves us too and simply warns us for our own good. The church as Laodicea was rich, content, materialistic and satisfied with their “goodness”. This accurately describes the western church today in general. Given that, we are fairly warned and wise to heed the rebuke offered to them: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” (Rev 3:19-21; NKJV; emphasis mine)
James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?