“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.” 3:15-17
I couldn’t help but hone in on this well-known part of Revelation. It’s easy to read this and wonder what’s so bad about being a mediocre Christian? Isn’t it better than not believing or following at all? Apparently, not.
I currently live smack dab in the Bible Belt of America. Everyone sits through church on Sunday and just about everyone would answer “yes” when asked if they’re a Christian. Come to find out, this means very little. Church seems more like an event to attend rather than a body to belong to, and being a Christian is similar to being an American; it’s something that you claim but it impacts your lifestyle very little. This is frustrating. Not only does this type of religion misrepresent Christianity, it makes it hard to sort out pure representation of the faith.
I’ve heard before that the lukewarm water analogy was very applicable to the people of Laodicea. Their water would get piped in from two different sides, a hot spring and a cool fresh river, and by the time it reached them, it was lukewarm. Too cool to use to bathe and too warm to enjoy as a refreshing drink. It was useless and represented a detestable version of it’s once pure form.
The second half of the Scripture above is chilling. You think you have everything, but you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. Another blatant sign of mediocre Christian living is being oblivious to it. If you’re constantly taking the temperature of your relationship with God, assessing your behavior and adjusting your lifestyle; great. If you’re distant from God, haven’t cracked your Bible in months and feel comfortable tossing up your hands at him with indifference; that’s fine. It’s a starting point. He can work with that.
“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.” 1 John 2:15-17
Access your heart and standing with God. Are you obliviously going through the motions? Is Christianity a box you check or a lifestyle you submit to daily?
What were your thoughts when you read the verses from 1 John?