Neither Hot nor Cold? Find out how God feels about lukewarm Christians
By Debra Torres I was watching the instructional webinar on my computer when I heard the speaker mention church.
Hmmm, I thought and considered what this meant.
This man was a leading spokesperson in his area of expertise, and I considered contacting him and having a little chat.
I love connecting with Christian professionals. They show their true colors now and then in my field, and sometimes I can spot them by what they choose to say or write about.
I remember discovering that a fellow copywriter was a Christian by seeing an image of a Bible in her “best reads” list on her blog. And recently, I connected with a prominent Canadian Christian after reading one of his emails where he included a small financial appeal for a mission trip.
I dream of one day writing for a large online Christian ministry, and you never know who has connections where. So I emailed the man from the webinar and introduced myself, telling him about my faith and asking him about his own.
When I read his reply message however, it was like I had been punched in the gut.
Disappointment rose within me as I read that the man “supposed” I could call him a Christian but was quick to mention that he liked to listen to all faiths. He said he takes elements of each in his growth as a good person doing good works.
Ugh. Didn’t the man know that this is the type of “fence sitting” that caused Jesus to say this to the wayward church in Laodicea: “I know you well—you are neither hot nor cold; I wish you were one or the other! But since you are merely lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth” Revelation 3: 15-16!
Elijah also had to deal with waffling like this from the Israelites and challenged God’s people with this: “How long will you hobble back and forth between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow God. If Baal is God, follow Baal.” (Found in 1Kings18: 21.) The Israelites didn’t have an answer for this, but only when God rained down fire from heaven to lick up Elijah’s watery sacrifice, did they decide to turn around.
I wonder though, how long their commitment lasted.
Now I like my tea hot, stinging hot. Sometimes I make myself a cup, just to warm up my ice-cold hands on the mug. And most of the time, when my tea gets lukewarm, I run it over to the microwave to give it a zap. So, I get Jesus’ lukewarm analogy.
And I couldn’t get the image out of my head yesterday of my speaker friend being “spit out” of the heavenlies.
Be hot or cold, but don’t be somewhere in the middle – that just gets God mad, I think.
I liked what the “Free gift from God” blog says about it: “Why does the Lord despise fence sitting in these scriptures? Consider what a fence sitter is like. They are indecisive and cannot come to a decision. They are tossed to and fro depending which way the wind blows. They are attempting to please everyone and so will compromise themselves so as not to upset people. And you don’t know where you stand with a fence sitter as you have no idea which way they will turn.”
Have you ever had a friend who confused you in their loyalty to your friendship? Maybe they talked with you sometimes but other times it seemed like other people were their priority, and then they barely even recognized you when you walked by.
I had a friend like that once. It was my first year at graduate school and I was just beginning to meet people. Jane* had been nice, and we’d even gone shopping in her brand new car.
But after a few weeks into school, Jane ditched me for some other friends and acted like she had never even met me. It was a strange thing, and I thought about how I felt when Jane’s communication towards me turned sort of lukewarm or cold. I wonder now if that was how God feels when we start to let the teachings of other religions influences us.
We serve an all or nothing God though don’t we? One that likes his children “stinging hot” in their loyalty to Him.
The world wants us to think that there is more than one way to heaven, more than one way to living the righteous life. But God says he is jealous for us. In the Amplified Bible, Ephesians 2:4 says that his love is “great, wonderful and intense.” That doesn’t sound watered down or lukewarm to me.
I think it’s important to really examine ourselves and make sure that we’re not sitting on the fence when it comes to our faith.
Have you checked your temperature lately? *Jane’s name has been changed to protect her privacy.
5 Check up on yourselves. Are you really Christians? Do you pass the test? Do you feel Christ’s presence and power more and more within you? Or are you just pretending to be Christians when actually you aren’t at all?
Matthew 12:30New International Version
30 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
Deuteronomy 6:5Amplified Bible
5 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being and with all your might.