For many people, the book of Revelation is closed to them because it has language that we don’t understand. Even though some of the book might be cryptic, there is a lot that we, as Christians, need to understand in this book. One example comes when the Apostle John writes to the church of Laodicea in Revelation 3: 14-22. John wrote these words:
14 And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.
15 ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
John’s words to the church of Laodicea are forceful. He begins by saying that the church is neither hot or cold. They were not on fire for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but they were also not cold towards the Gospel. This description is eerily similar to many churches that we see today.
In America, churches are everywhere. Where I live, you can’t drive more than a mile without seeing three or four of them. Though there are an abundance of churches, they are often shallow. Theology isn’t important. Truth isn’t important. Even the inspiration of Scripture isn’t important. These churches may have people attending, but are the churches preaching the Gospel with passion? I do not pretend to answer that question for every church, but considering the state of the church in America, it certainly doesn’t look like it. What do we have? We have mega churches that preach about making a better you or sex, but very few actually proclaim Christ and him crucified anymore. The people that go to seeker friendly churches don’t hate Jesus outwardly, but they are not on fire for the Gospel because they simply don’t know it. Unfortunately, the church of Laodicea is a reality here in America.
What does it mean to be luke warm? I think the best description of a luke warm person is an apathetic person. It is a person who doesn’t reject Jesus’ teachings, but doesn’t take them seriously enough to ponder and follow them. What is interesting is that Jesus doesn’t spew out the cold people. This doesn’t mean that people who hate God will be granted salvation, but it does mean that God has more disdain for apathetic people than he does for those vehemently against him.
Jesus makes it abundantly clear what happens to luke warm believers…they will be spit out of his mouth.
Don’t be luke warm!
Thanks for reading and come back for part 2.
The other day I had a conversation with one of my co-workers. She mentioned that her sons had trouble accepting the fact that they were adopted. They rebelled against their adopted parents because they didn’t view them as their real parents. My co-worker went on to say that she would have done it all over again, but it is still difficult to accept that her sons still don’t have much respect for her and her husband. With this story in the back of my mind a sixth grade girl, and her friends, came up to me in the courtyard and began talking.
We chatted for a bit and the sixth grader mentioned that she was born in Korea and adopted. I had to ask her the question, “How does that make you feel?” I wanted to know how she viewed her adoption because of my previous conversation. Her answer surprised me, “I am excited that I’m adopted!” I asked her why and she responded saying, “Because I was chosen. Most parents don’t get to pick their kids, but mine chose me.”
I reflected on this for the entire day because it challenged me to be a person of joy. I am a chosen son of God in Jesus Christ. God chose me. Not because I was more worthy than anyone else, but because it simply pleased him to do so. Ephesians 1: 3-6 says this:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
Just like that little sixth grade girl, our adoption through Jesus Christ should make us joyful . I pray that your joy will be found in God’s adoption of you through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Thanks for reading.
Now a days, truth is a dirty word. For many there is no truth. Truth has become an old-fashioned term because, for many, it really has become meaningless. We live in a society that celebrates post-modernity. Even some, so-called, Christian groups hold to a post-modern worldview, which endorses the concept that truth is subjective. Truth is really only applicable to each individual, and it is based on their experiences. This means, essentiality, that truth for you could be different than truth for me. So, what’s the big deal? Well, is that statement true for everyone or just for the person saying it? Of course, my question is the answer.
Truth is not a dirty word. Truth is beautiful because it is unchanging, certain, and universal. People don’t like truth because they can’t handle the implications of it. For there to be truth there must be a being that is above and beyond it. A being that didn’t create truth, but who is truth. Who am I speaking of? The God of the Bible.
God came in the flesh to reveal himself in a way that humanity had never seen before. This is what he, Jesus Christ, had to say about himself:
‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ -John 14:6, ESV
Jesus, God in the flesh, affirms that he is the truth. This is why so many people cannot handle the idea of truth. If you accept truth, you need to have a foundation for it. The God of the Bible is the only way to accept truth. However, Jesus knew that many would not accept his message. Not only that, while Jesus was being interrogated by Pontius Pilate he said these words:
Then Pilate said to him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.’ -John 18:37
Jesus says that one must be of truth to hear his voice. Today, I want to plead with you to listen to the voice of truth. I pray that God will reveal himself to you and make you a person of truth. We operate under the premise of truth, even though we deny truth often. Thankfully, the God of truth is patient and loving to those who deny truth. I pray that you will become a child of truth.
Thanks for reading.