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.”
The Bible constantly reminds us to be alert, be on guard and evaluate our life for this dreaded lukewarmness:
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (NKJV)
Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; (NKJV)
2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. (NKJV)
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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Is the majority of your effort, emotion, energy and talent spent in the acquisition of more possessions, a higher level lifestyle or the power and popularity that accompanies it? Do you spend great amounts of time on your appearance and image physically with comparatively little time spent on the spiritual? Do you seek the praise and recognition of other people while being in different about the approval of God? Do you love to be first, to be noticed and to get all the attention from those around you? When you look at your schedule, your checkbook and your thoughts could it be described simply as “me, me, me”?
- John 12:42-43 Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. (NKJV)
- Romans 2:29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God. (NKJV)
- Matthew 6:5 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. (NKJV)
- Philippians 2:4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (NKJV)
- 1 Corinthians 10:24 Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being. (NKJV)
Are you content with your knowledge of God and truth? Do you hunger each day for God’s Word and to know Him more? How does your time reading GOD’s Word compare with reading MAN’s word, religious or not? Do you learn God’s Word simply to be better at arguing your points? Does God’s word merely increase your biblical knowledge or does it change your life? Do you believe that you have pretty much nailed down the correct interpretation and application of God’s Word and Bible study is more or less a refresher course for you? Do you read God’s Word with emotional and spiritual indifference? Is it a boring task that must be accomplished so it can be checked off your list of things to do? Do you read the Bible and study be grudgingly simply out of duty?
- 2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (NKJV)
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NKJV)
Do you have an ongoing daily concern about ridding your life of anything that doesn’t draw you closer to God and bring Him more glory? Does the thought of ever-increasing Christlikeness dominate your thinking? Do you think about how many people you influence each day? Do you take seriously your responsibility to imitate Christ so that whoever imitates you is also being Christlike? Do you regularly ask God to have Holy Spirit reveal any sin or lack of godliness in your heart? When that sin is revealed do you ask God show you how to remove it from your life and replace it with godliness? Do you routinely compare your life, behavior or and attitudes to the Scripture to show where you do not measure up and ask God for the ability to discern where change is needed?
- James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (NKJV)
- Psalm 51:9-10 Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. (NKJV)
- John 16:7-8 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (NKJV)
- Leviticus 20:7 Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. (NKJV)
Are you still convicted and heartbroken when you sin, or just feel a little guilty? Or have you accepted certain sin in your life by rationalizing it, becoming desensitized to it, or simply ignoring it? Are you complacent or defeated about sending in your life? Have you fallen for the deception that God will excuse our sin because we are “only human”? Do you compare yourself to the world or to God’s standard? Does the presence of sin and evil repulse you no matter whether it is in your life or someone else’s? Do you take pleasure in sin in any way such as sinful humor, sinful entertainment or sinful conversation? Do you hate sin with a passion, a true passion?
- Luke 5:8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” (NKJV)
- 2 Timothy 3:1-5 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! (NKJV)
- Romans 12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. (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?