Summary: What would Jesus say to a lukewarm Christian? The letter to the Laodecian church tells us.
1. Illus. of D. W. brother
• In a tough time of life. Drove car out to lake he loved, and used a pistol to commit suicide.
• Autopsy performed to rule out foul play. Showed it was indeed suicide.
• Autopsy revealed an ironic fact. He had liver cancer advanced enough that it would have been terminal, but not advanced enough to know he had it!
• Here is a guy going about his daily business with no idea he had this terrible disease inside his body.
2. Jesus said the church of the last days would battle a cancer just as insidious as the one Doug’s brother had. It is the cancer of complacency. Jesus describes it using the word “lukewarm.” When you are lukewarm, you’re not close enough to Christ to be sold out, and you are not far enough from Christ to be totally indifferent. Instead, you are somewhere in the middle.
3. You love the Lord…sort of (Don’t want to be a fanatic or something, right?). You serve the Lord…kind of (You have other obligations to be responsible for, right?). If this is you, you need to be aware of the price-tag attached to your lukewarmness.
4. Text: Jesus described for the Laodecian Christians the high cost they were paying for being spiritually lukewarm.
5. Today: Christians who are spiritually lukewarm will pay a very high cost.
6. What is the cost of lukewarm Christianity?
I. LUKEWARMNESS HINDERS CHRISTIAN INTIMACY
1. See vss 15-16. Vomit = "Emeo.We get our word “emetic” from it. An emetic is a medicine designed to make you throw up. Lukewarm, complacent Christianity makes Jesus sick!
2. What does it mean to be vomited out of the mouth of Jesus? Probably several things, but the major picture would seem to be this: A Christian spewed out of the mouth of Jesus is no longer in intimate fellowship with Him. Reinforcing this picture is vs 20. “I want to have fellowship with you, but have to change some things first.”
3. Principle: If you settle for lukewarm Christianity, you need to know that it will cost you your fellowship and intimacy with Jesus Christ.
4. Illus. of my grandparents
• My grandfather and grandfather lived in same house for 40 years, and were married for almost 60.
• After he passed, my grandmother said one day, “I still feel him here in this house. Its like he is swinging in the swing with me, lying beside me in bed at night, and walking through our fields with me. I can’t see him but I can almost touch him.”
• Do you remember when you had that kind of intimacy with Christ? When you couldn’t see Him, but He was so close to you that you could almost touch Him? Lukewarmness destroys that kind of intimacy!
5. You say, “wait a minute Tim. Only sin can hinder my fellowship and intimacy with Jesus!” Right!
6. The sweetest thing this side of heaven is to walk in fellowship with Jesus. Lukewarmness destroys that sweet intimacy.
II. LUKEWARMNESS DISTORTS YOUR SPIRITUAL VALUES
1. See vs 17-18. They were focused on the physical and material. “Look how comfortable we are. Look at all the things we’ve accomplished. Look how much stuff we have accumulated.” Jesus wanted them to focus on the spiritual and eternal.
Gold refined in the fire… According to I Peter 1:7, this refers to faith in Jesus purified in the trials and tribulations of life.
White garments… According to Revelation 19:8, this refers to acts of righteousness done for the glory of Jesus.
Eye salve… John 16:13 would lead us to believe that He means looking at the world through Holy Spirit quickened eyes.
2. Lukewarmness distorts your spiritual values. Lukewarm Christians place little value on eternal things that Christ values greatly, and they place great value on earthly things that Christ values little!
3. Illus. of switching pricetags (Something to Think about, #913)
• Vandals broke into large department store and swapped price-tags.
• $395 camera priced at $39.95, while a $10 box of stationary was priced at $69.95!
• You would have expected chaos, but amazingly it was 4 hours before an employee sounded the alarm and the store shut down!
• Lukewarmness is a vandal that creeps into our lives and changes the price-tags on our values! Eternal things that should be valuable to us become very cheap and little thought of. Earthly things that we should place little value on become sought after and precious.
4. See Matthew 6:19-21. Jesus said your heart and treasure go hand in hand.
5. There is a simple test that will indicate what you value. Look at your checkbook and your calendar. You are going to invest your money and your time in the things you really value. You have to work, and you have to provide a certain basic level of food, clothing, and shelter. After you cover those basics, where do you invest your money and time?