Summary: A study on the 7 model churches as described by Jesus in the book of Revelation. Learn why the church is so important, and your part in what He’s up to in these last days.
How to Be a Passionate Church
Series: Will the Real Church Please Stand Up?
October 22, 2006
This morning I want to give you a little science lesson on thermodynamics! Remember that word from high school science class? In case you don’t, “thermodynamics” is a branch of physics that studies the effects of changes in temperature, pressure, and volume on physical systems. That’s the official definition!
The 2nd law of thermodynamics basically states that “everything is moving toward the same temperature”. In otherwords, if you put several objects that have different temperatures in the same environment, they’ll all affect each other, and eventually level off to the same degree. So if you take a hot pan off the stove and plunge it into a sink of cold water, what happens? The pan cools down and the water heats up. Right? After only a few minutes they’re both at the same temperature. That’s thermodynamics! Then let’s say you put your ice-cold Coke in a pan of warm water. What will happen? The ice-cubes melt and your soda gets warm. Again, thermodynamics at work.
Now, that’s all very well and good, if you don’t care if your food’s cold and your Coke is warm. But if you like your food hot and your Coke cold… you’ve got a problem! Let’s do a little experiment with what we know. In front of you I’ve put 6 cups. 2 of the cups contain coffee. 2 contain soda, and 2 of the cups contain milk. I need two people to taste the coffee; 2 people to taste the soda and 2 people to taste the milk. Do I have some volunteers? Now, what I want the audience to do this morning is by just observing… tell me which drinks are cold and which ones are hot.
As you come, I would point out that there is also on this table an empty bucket. I won’t tell you what to do with it; but just do what comes naturally! (DO TASTE TEST)
Okay, I think I’ve made my point. What just happened here? One of the coffee cups was brewed and put out here at the beginning of the service; because it is in such a large room, it cooled off to room temperature. In a similar way, one of the cups of soda was iced down as we started worship; but, again, because of the size of this space, it warmed up to room temperature and became flat and tasteless. I did the same thing with the milk. The law of thermodynamics tells us that little things quickly take on the temperature of their surroundings.
The rule of “spiritual” thermodynamics works the same way. Christians, submerged in this ‘big problem world’, quickly take on the temperature of this world. To the point that they’re not really hot for God, and they’re not really cold for God…they’re just kind of ‘lukewarm’! And Jesus (the Master ‘taste-tester’) has a problem with that! He tastes our lives and has a natural but violent reaction… a ‘gag reflex’. He wants to spit us out! He says in vs. 16 “… because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth” Actually the original Grk. is a little more crude… He says…”I am about to VOMIT you out!”. There’s another word for ‘lukewarmness’ it’s called ‘apathy’. SEE POSTERS
Apathy can affect all of us, no matter what your age, or regardless of your education and income. Because of apathy, husbands and wives stop caring about their marriages. Kids stop caring about their school work. Apathetic teens don’t care much about anything! Their motto becomes… “Whatever”. When employees become apathetic, the quality of their work and the level of their service suffers. The wealthy are unconcerned about the poor, and the poor are indifferent toward the wealthy. Apathy can affect the cleanliness of your home, the condition of your finances, even your relationship with God.
When ‘apathy’ infects the church it becomes a real problem! In the church today…
· It’s keeping us from really ever getting fired up about our relationship with the Lord. It’s kind of business as usual.
· Lukewarmness keeps us from taking a stand against moral injustice and sin in our world. Instead we just blend in.
· “Lukewarm Living” restricts our giving. As a result, missions go unfunded, churches go unbuilt, or unlaunched… outreach is stalled.
· Luke-warm Christians are saying to a lost world that heaven and hell really don’t matter that much…so don’t be too concerned about it!
And so Jesus comes to His church and says…in vs. 15…“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other!” As we just found out this morning… hot and cold are ‘good’… depending on what you’re talking about. Cold is great for a coke, but ‘cold gravy’ doesn’t taste too good. Hot coffee is great… but I’m not a big fan of ‘micro waved ice-cream’! It all depends on what you’re talking about. Jesus isn’t saying, “I’d rather have an ice-cold atheist to a lukewarm Christian”. No! He’s saying, “I want you to be a cold refreshing glass of water to the spiritually thirsty, and I want you to be a “hot healing Jacuzzi” for those in pain… but I can’t stand it when you’re LUKEWARM… because then you can’t help anybody! You’re not good for anything, but to be spit out!” Now, the Laodiceans knew exactly what Jesus was talking about because they didn’t have a natural source of water in their city. They had to have water brought in from miles away through a system of aqueducts and stone pipes. By the time it got to them, it was stale and tasteless! (kind of like Brentwood water!)