These are the faithful words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
The church in Laodicea was the wealthiest city in Phrygia during Roman times. It was known for its banking, textile industry, and medical school. Its major weakness was lack of water supply. God speaks through the writer, John, to describe the community at Laodicea as rich and in need of nothing. Yet God sees their cold and empty hearts – their need is great; they just don’t see it. They are lukewarm in their commitment to God, and He will not tolerate it.
God is judging our churches today; in those that are lukewarm, He is removing His Presence. Those who are on fire for Him are growing, and the Holy Spirit is moving in amazing ways. The church today has become infiltrated by the world and the pressure to conform to its ways. God is looking for the passion for Christ to be restored – for the zeal of His church to return with the message of salvation.
I have a friend who is a missionary to Third World countries, and each time she returns from the mission field, she recounts stories about the Lord being present in her work. She has witnessed God working in miraculous ways, setting the captives free and delivering the people through spiritual, emotional and physical healings. The people are desperate for a Savior, and their faith is simple; they choose to believe. They have nowhere to look but up. The Western world has less need for Christ: materialism, intellectualism, power and prestige – the gods of this age – have eroded our faith. We run after so many things and have so many resources available to us that the need for Christ drowns in the deluge of plenty.
Before Jesus left this earth, He asked the question: When I return will I find faith on this earth? (Luke 18:8) He is not looking for a lukewarm church; He is looking for a church that is totally committed, charged with faith, and trusting Him in all things. It would do us all good to check the temperature of our faith and see if we are totally relying on God or if we are simply lukewarm Christians, forgetting our need for Him.
Heavenly Father, When I honestly evaluate my Christian walk, I am able to see that I am often a lukewarm Christian. Forgive me for allowing the world to fill my life rather than seeking You alone. Give me a passion to believe, a heart on fire, and a willingness to put You first in all things. In Jesus’ name, Amen