So I got home from church yesterday tired and hungry and needing a kick of caffeine to motivate me. Rather than wait through a whole brewing process I opted to heat up some leftover coffee in the microwave. It was already somewhat warm so I figured half the regular re-heat time should be sufficient.
But when I heard the “ding” and I took my first sip it was obvious my calculations were wrong. Lukewarm! I certainly didn’t want to drink of that cup of coffee with my pork and plum jam sandwich. (Hey, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!)
Lukewarm coffee just doesn’t wash with me—literally, in fact. (The heat helps melt the sticky jam bits off your teeth.) Hot coffee, yes… ice coffee, okay, but lukewarm coffee? No way!
Apparently, the Lord won’t accept lukewarmness either, especially in His Church. Here’s what He said to the church in Laodicea,
“…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.” (Rev. 3:15-16).
This is a pretty serious consequence! The Lord, the God of the universe, would rather spit them out than receive them, because of their lukewarm to His taste!
Well how did the believers in Laodicea get that way? What made them cool half-way down to lukewarmness? And how can you prevent this from happening to you?
The Laodicean believers did just what our Sunday message warned about – they lied to themselves and believed it. They did not see the true state of their hearts. They needed God’s Searchlight to show them…
“You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” (Rev. 3:17)
A church, or an individual, can get so busy doing godly things that they lose track of being godly people. The kind who have honest relationships with their Maker, who keep ‘short accounts’ with Him, who weed out sins before they can grow, the kind who worship “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23,24).
The wisdom of Solomon charges the godly, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Prov. 4:23) — and the way to guard that heart is by frequent applications of that Searchlight.
Notice the Father’s love in all of this. He is warning the Laodiceans. He says I am about to spit you out. He hasn’t done it yet, and He tells them what to do to fix the problem. Essentially He is saying the same thing as our message on Sunday: Come to Me. Let My ‘Tac-light’ shine on you. We can pinpoint and fix this.
“I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.” (Rev. 3:18)
And why is He offering this? Because He loves them… “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline….” (v. 19). He wants to restore sweet fellowship with them… “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” (Rev. 3:19-20)
And that’s a love you can warm up to.