The Danger of a Lukewarm Heart
Sermon shared by K. Edward Skidmore
Summary: King Amaziah shows a lukewarm heart will become a cool heart and then stone cold.
Series: Obscure Bible Characters
Denomination: Christian/Church of Christ
Audience: General adults
Amaziah’s heart was set on earthly, material concerns. But the prophet re-directed his mind to focus on God and his power: The man of God replied, “The LORD can give you much more than that.”
So Amaziah obeyed God. He dismissed the mercenaries (about 25% of his entire army). And … with God’s blessing … he won a decisive military victory. But then Amaziah does something that jolts us. Verse 14 tells us that he takes the idols from Edom and sets them up. And worse than that, he worships them!
He has just won a great victory … obviously from God’s hand. He has every reason in the world to be praising God, and God alone. But instead he turns to idols. He appeared to be running the good race --- then he made a sudden U-turn. It’s obvious that his heart has suddenly gone from LUKEWARM to downright COOL.
2. The Cool Heart II Chronicles 25:14
God’s prophet points out to Amaziah that what he’s done is not only wrong, it’s flat-out STUPID. If your army beat their army, isn’t that proof positive that your God is better than their gods?
But Amaziah’s heart was not turned toward God. Amaziah had been influenced by the godless culture around him. In those times, people believed that when a nation won a battle it was not because their gods were stronger but because the losers’ gods abandoned them and moved to the other side. By worshipping the idols, Amaziah was thanking them for “helping out” with his victory… as if the one true God could not have done it without them.
What is most disturbing about this account is that one minute Amaziah appeared to be serving God and the next minute he was blatantly bowing down to foreign idols. Have you ever seen anything like that?
· A well-known Christian leader appears to be 100% committed to God’s work, but suddenly appears on the front page in a public scandal.
· A friend or mentor who has helped you grow as a Christian suddenly falls into depression or anger and turns away from God.
· A young Christian is going all-out for God and then suddenly decides to forget the whole thing and go back to his old life.
Since all we can see is the outward appearance, these things seem hard to understand. But if we could see the heart, as God sees the heart, we would surely see a heart that has moved from LUKEWARM to COOL to STONE COLD.
3. The Stone Cold Heart II Chronicles 25:16
Remember how the scripture summed up the condition of Amaziah’s heart: He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, but not wholeheartedly. II Chronicles 25:2
Obedience is important, but it is not enough. God is after a heart that is fully devoted to Him. Amaziah did what was right, but he never put his whole heart into it. He started out with faith, but it was a flabby, lukewarm faith. Even after he sinned by worshipping idols, God … in his mercy … gave him another chance. But look at how he responded to the prophet’s warning:
While he was still speaking, the king said to him, “Have we appointed you an adviser to the king? Stop! Why be struck down?” II Chronicles 25:16a
In other words, I don’t want
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