Friday, August 29th, 2014
The Call To Overcome (Part 19)
The Lukewarm Church*
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.
Revelation 3:15-17 (NKJV)
I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You're not cold, you're not hot--far better to be either cold or hot! You're stale. You're stagnant. You make me want to vomit. You brag, 'I'm rich, I've got it made, I need nothing from anyone,' oblivious that in fact you're a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless.
Revelation 3:15-17 (The Message)
Are the Seven Letters of Revelation more than history Papers? If God's Word is deeper than the ocean, higher than the skies and transcends time, yes. Each Letter is written to us. Even more, some scholars believe their sequence is important: 'There is tremendous evidence that Revelation 2-3 is talking about church eras.' **
If so, the first Letter describes the era when Jesus left, and the last Letter describes the era when Jesus returns. Therein, we must consider It carefully. Because I believe we live in end-times apathy: an age where the fate of martyred Christians touches us less than the thought of our next meal or call or errand.
How did this happen? Media bombardment: a 24/7 multi-channel onslaught of terrible news and flagrant corruption; a sensory blitz designed to narrow our focus to one item only: ourselves--and how to get what we want, as dictated by the kings of advertising, industry, entertainment and crime.
We've heard so much and seen so much; we're no longer moved by much. Such was the condition of The Lukewarm Church in Laodicea, a bunch of good-looking fence-sitters: afraid to leave the neutral zone for fear of losing friends, jobs or perks. They were the only church to receive no commendation from Jesus. Does this sound like the majority of our church today? God on Sunday, idols on Monday?
Because 'No man can serve two masters' (Matthew 6:24). Hot on Sunday and cold on Monday combines to form lukewarm Christians. God will not serve that flavor of faith.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: when Joshua led a new generation into the Promised Land, they were tempted to adopt the gods of alien cultures. So he gave them an ultimatum:
'Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord' (Joshua 24:15).
You are the new generation born of the old, brought to this age for such a time as this. To the world, you are startling, relevant and hot. To the church, even more so. Therefore, don't settle on any man's fence, nor any church's gate. Get in gear and grab the reigns. Your job is to lead this charge.
To Be Continued...
* Letter to The Lukewarm Church: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+3%3A14-22&version=NKJV
* Previous AMTC Devotion on The Lukewarm Church: http://www.amtcdevotions.com/which-church-are-you-part-9-the-lukewarm-church
* Additional brief article on the Lukewarm Church: http://www.gotquestions.org/church-in-Laodicea.html
** The significance of the sequential order of Jesus' Seven Letters to the churches: http://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Topical.show/RTD/cgg/ID/360/Seven-Churches-Revelation.htm
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the The Call To Overcome series.