[Column] Don’t Be Lukewarm

Don’t  Be Lukewarm

Written By Rev.Dr. Joshua Hong

Senior Pastor of Full Gospel Church of Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.

 

The Lord rebukes the church of Laodicea, one of the seven churches in Asia Minor as follows: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot (Revelation 3:15).” He tells us He knows the works of the church of Laodicea. He is not referring to activity but to spiritual state of the church. There is not a mention of the number of church members or an amount of church donation received. Lord tells us about the degree of spiritual fervor by the members of the church of Laodicea.

Let this be a cautionary reminder to us. His concern is not how long we have attended church, how many times we have read the Bible, or how many years we have served in the choir. Instead He is closely observing something else even right now: our spiritual “temperature.” We may be able to deceive others but we cannot deceive Lord because Lord watches us with the eyes of a flame like fire. What would His observation of you or our church be like?

Lord warns the church of Laodicea that He would spew it out of His mouth because of its lukewarmness. There was a hot spring in Laodicea. The water in the hot spring gave a unique taste because of its high concentration of minerals. It had to be consumed when either hot or cold. Otherwise, it induced nausea. Likewise, lukewarm faith is unsavory. The biggest problem in the modern church is that Christians lack fervor. Adoration and desire have grown cold. The reason we are missing dynamics in our spiritual life is that we insist upon spiritual life in the comfort zone. Such Christians do not realize they are naked (Revelation 3:17).

Lord criticizes lukewarm faith. His warning is directed toward those “Christians”  by title only. The nominalism of faith drives people out of church, enervates church, and weakens the credibility of church in society. To bring about the spiritual revival of churches today, there needs a recovery of individual encounters with Christ. Many Christians boast a long history of church membership, a variety of positions in parish council, and regular attendance at Sunday services. Yet their hearts have grown cold. The confession of our sincere love for Lord is weak. Even in praise and prayers, there seems to lack fervor or power. Paul speaks of such Christians as follows: “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away (2 Timothy 3:5).” Lord clearly tells us to turn away from lukewarm faith.

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