Summary: The Last Days is a time of cold, darkness, evil, and danger. It’s the worst time to let down your guard, because the enemy is about to attack!
GROWING COLD ON THE EVE OF DESTRUCTION
1. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes intrigues, once flagged down a cab in Paris. He threw his handbag inside and climbed in after it.
2. But before he could say a word, the cabbie said, “Where to Mr. Conan Doyle?” “How do you know that I am Conan Doyle?” he replied.
3. “Well,” said the driver, “I read in the newspaper that you were taking a vacation in the south of France. I noticed you getting off a train from Marseille; I see that you have the kind of tan that bespeaks of a week or more in the sun.”
4. “From the ink spot on your right middle finger, I deduce that you are a writer. You have the keen look of a medical man and the cut of clothes of an Englishman.”
5. Putting it all together, I felt you must surely be Conan Doyle, the creator of the great detective, Sherlock Holmes.”
6. Conan Doyle burst out, “But you are yourself the equal of Sherlock Holmes since you recognized me from all these small observations.”
7. “There is,” said the driver, “one additional fact.” “And that is?” “Your name is lettered on your handbag.”
14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
1. In this passage, the Lord Jesus examines the Laodicean church – symbolic of the Last Days Church. He checks them for clues to their spiritual temperature and health.
2. The title of this message is “Growing Cold on the Eve of Destruction.”
3. If you study how exposure to cold effects you, you find that as HYPOTHERMIA sets in/ the core body temperature drops. A drop of even 12 degrees is catastrophic.
4. People experience Apathy; shallow breathing; Confusion and memory loss; Drowsiness or exhaustion; impaired speech; Loss of coordination; A slow, weak pulse; and finally, loss of consciousness.
5. These same effects are seen in those who get spiritually cold: -- apathy, confused, drowsy, weak heart, and finally unconscious to spiritual things.
6. The Last Days is a time of cold, darkness, evil, and danger. It’s the worst time to let down your guard, because the enemy is about to attack!
I. CHRIST’S DIAGNOSIS: LUKEWARMNESS
A. CHRIST: THE ONLY COMPETENT JUDGE
1. He’s called the “Faithful & True Witness.”
2. Our opinion of ourselves & Christ’s opinion of us may be very different.
3. He will tell it just like it is. That’s why we need to say, “Lord, what do YOU think about my life?”
B. SUPERNATURAL GAZE
1. He sees beyond the physical; His searching eyes test all things; they examine the motives of our hearts.
2. He inspected the Laodicean church, and He’s inspecting THIS church this morning.
3. It’s not only true that we must all stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ someday, but it’s also true that we do stand before it NOW!
C. HIS FINDINGS
1. He saw a people who were NOT HOT for Him. They were “not so hot.”
2. In Matt. 24:12, Jesus says of the Last Days “And because iniquity shall abound, the LOVE of most shall grow cold” (N.A.S.V.)
3. So the reference to our temperatures has to do with our LOVE, our devotion, our fervor, our passion and excitement/ enthusiasm for Jesus!
4. We all have things we’re passionate about; our jobs, spouses, hobbies – but Jesus wants us to be passionate about Him!
5. He makes an amazing statement: “I wish you were cold or hot.” We can understand why God would rather have us hot than lukewarm. But why would He rather have us cold?
6. “Cold” would mean “godless, completely indifferent to God.” Why would He rather have us godless than lukewarm?