Sunday, June 1st, 2014
Christian Pitfalls (Part 8)
These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 'I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My Mouth. Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked--I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock...'
Revelation 3:14-20 (NKJV)
In the process of building up (possessions and walls) only to settle down (in selfishness), a deadly heart condition grows among God's church: apathy. 'Most people's love will grow cold' (Matthew 24:12). Without the continued application of warmth, even new hearts will grow cold--and hard.
Because faith is a walk, love is a verb and righteousness requires practice. 'Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother' (1 John 3:10).
Consider the meaning of apathy: 'Absence of interest in or enthusiasm for things generally considered interesting or moving' (World English Dictionary). Synonyms of apathy include coldness, indifference and half-heartedness.
'So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My Mouth' (Revelation 3:16). God will 'Punish the men who are settled in complacency, who say in their heart, ‘The Lord will not do good, nor will He do evil' ' (Zephaniah 1:12).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: be zealous! 'Fervent in Spirit, serving the Lord' (Romans 12:11). Step out of the Lukewarm Church. Among His Letters to the Seven Churches in Revelation, the Lukewarm Church is mentioned last. Are we now in the last times of which He spoke?
Is this Letter to us? To American Christians who are safe, rich--and complacent? Are we indifferent to the persecution of our brethren in over 50 nations?* Are we staring at reality TV instead of the reality of suffering? Are we texting on our iPhones instead of tending to His children's moans? Are we seeking our next acquisition instead following our Lord's Great Commission?
Only zeal will lift comfy Christians beyond this grey hole. But don't limit your zeal to Sundays. Carry it with you on Mondays--into the mission field of entertainment. 'But now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have' (2 Corinthians 8:11).
To Be Continued...
* Become familiar with the persecution of your brothers and sisters in Christ: https://www.opendoorsusa.org/persecution/about-persecution
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Christian Pitfalls series.