Summary: Being lukewarm is unacceptable behavior for a believer and is useless for the kingdom of God. The Lord is looking for believers who love their Lord enough to share Him with a dying and confused world.
Profile of a lukewarm Christian
I want us to glance this morning at the seven churches that John wrote about in the book of Revelation. The one we will look at and discuss is the church at Liodicea. The church that Jesus had some pretty harsh words for. The first six churches that Jesus showed him had some good in each church as well as things that needed to be worked on. He comes to the church at Liodicea and He rebukes them.
He says that He sees what is happening there.
He acknowledges that “Luke warm” is not acceptable.
He says that He stands at the door of the church and knocks desiring for them to let Him in.
To the church at Sardis- You are alive but you act like you are dead. You people just exist
To the church at Thyatira- “I see what you are doing, you are doing more than ever before, but Jezebel has entered and sexually my church is not pure . There is sin in the camp.
To the church at Smynra- I see the poverty, your struggles, see that you desire to be faithful. Hold on There will be persecution, you be faithful and hold on White knuckle Christians
To the church at Ephesus- “You have lost your first love’ repent and come back to me.
Then to the church at Liodicea- I know your deeds, that you are neither hot or cold. I wish you would pick one. Because you are lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth. The Greek word here translated spit actually means to vomit. I will vomit you out of my mouth. You are poor, blind, naked. Worse than that is that you think you are okay. “Those I love I rebuke and discipline”
(v20) 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 him, and he with me.”
What a tremendous invitation by our Lord. To stand at the door of our church, to stand at the door of each one of our hearts and desires to come in if we would just open the door and give him the opportunity to step in. To the one that would do that, he says that He will grant to sit with Him. Just like He overcame, He says we can overcome. If you ever did a study on the church down through history, you will see that pride has always been a problem and these Liodiceans thought they were a superior grade of Christians. They were dumb-founded that Jesus would stand and rebuke them for their actions because they truly thought in their hearts they were okay. The message to Liodiceans was judgement and a call to repentance. “I wish that you were cold or hot” They were criticized for being neutral, for their lack of zeal, being lukewarm. Scholars suggest Liodicea had hotsprings 5 miles out of the city that brought water to the city by aqueducts. The hotsprings brought hard tasting water, but drinkable. The imagery of the aqueducts not that hot water is good, or cold water is bad, but that hot and cold water was useful, but lukewarm water was useless. Matthew 13:44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasures hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy, went and sold all he had and bought the field.” he sold all that he had so he could obtain the only thing that mattered. Lukewarm is indecisiveness, lukewarm is straddling the fence. Lukewarm is trying to get the best of both worlds. Jesus says that He wanted them to commit one way or another. God hates lukewarm because it kills our chances of being useful for the kingdom of God. Parable of the sower is an example of what happens to people with the Word of God.