RWM SERMON- 06-03-09 Luke Warm Lovers
By Bishop Rick Wallace
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot.  I could wish you were cold or hot.  So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”(Rev. 3:15,16)
I will begin by pointing to the fact that the Word of God is eternal.  Although this passage was written by the Apostle John nearly two thousand years ago, it is still very relevant and applicable today.  The message it confers is yet true.  Though Christ here is speaking to the local church in Laodicea, a dispensational interpretation reveals that the local church in Laodicea represents the church in the final days prior to its pre-tribulation rapture.
“These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:” (Rev. 3:14)
Christ is the embodiment of faithfulness and truth and the guarantor and fulfiller of all of God’s promises.  He is the source of creation and He is about to assess the state of the Laodicean church.  His existence as truth guarantees the veracity and accuracy of the assessment.
Although here, Christ ascribes a state of lethargy to the Laodicean church, I would venture to say that the church in Laodicea was once a thriving and fervent congregation.  Paul wrote at least one letter to the church as well as made mention of them in his letter to the Colossians.  The manner at which Paul mentions them gives no reason to believe that at that time there were any major issues or concerns.  The question then arises; what happened to bring this church to a state of tepidity? 
Based on the subsequent verses, it would seem that the church fell victim to their own prosperity.
“Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ —and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, and poor, blind, and naked-”(Rev. 3:17)
Laodicea was noted for being a banking center, producer of textiles (a glossy wool) used to make clothing and carpets, and for producing eye salve for curing eye disorders.  Jesus counseled that their material prosperity had weakened their spiritual state.  He required that they become rich in spirit, and be clothed with the garments of righteousness.  Though they were responsible for improving the physical sight of many, they; themselves were spiritually blind.
Experiencing prosperity can be a dangerous endeavor!  Not many Christians are cognizant of this fact, but prosperity not only arrives as a reward and blessing for the believer but also serves as a test of the believer’s momentum toward spiritual maturity.  Can the believer successfully manage his prosperity or will he become consumed with the gift and lose sight of the giver.  It is my belief that the pitfalls of prosperity are pride, ignorance, self sufficiency, and complacency.  Falling victim to these vices can place you in a very hazardous state of mind.
In any aspect of life, the moment someone becomes complacent, they regress, lose ground.  A complacent person no longer has the fervor and passion that propelled them to that current position and they soon begin their descent.
“I know your works…”(Rev. 3:15)
The beginning of verse fifteen serves notice that Christ is completely cognizant of our works.  You may have convinced those in your periphery that you are an all together Christian.  You may talk the talk and be readily received by the congregation, but God knows the truth.  There are many churches and individual members, who give the outside appearance of being on point; However, inwardly, they are no longer passionately seeking God.  Without passion, there is no fire; without fire there is no heat.
“You are neither cold nor hot.”(Rev. 3:15)
This description describes a condition of indifference and carelessness.  They were not infidels, yet they were not earnest believers; they did not oppose the gospel, neither did they defend it; they were not working mischief, neither were they doing any great good; They were not of disreputable character, but they were not distinguished in holiness.  They were no longer radical in their faith.  They were what contemporary believers would call moderates —another word for lukewarm.  In the late seventies the O’Jays sang a song with the lyrics: “Your body’s here with me, but your mind is on the other side of town.”  This song was expressive of someone that was physically present, but simply going through the motions.  This is what the lukewarm Christian does.  He physically remains in close proximity to the church and its functions, but his heart is distant and aloof to his lover, Jesus Christ.
“Because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth.” (Rev. 3:16)
Here, Christ uses the notorious Laodicean water supply as the analogy for his admonishment.  The water had to be piped in from a neighboring hot spring and by the time it arrived it was lukewarm and mineral rich, which gave it a very bad taste as well as a nauseating affect once swallowed.  So, the Laodicean Church could relate very well to the analogy.  Hot mineral rich water is medicinal, cold water is refreshing, but lukewarm water is just plain nauseating.
Let it be far removed from our account that God would ever access us the title of “lukewarm lover”.  With all that he has done for each of us, we should be fulminating with a passion; a passion to serve, a passion to praise, a passion to become more intimate with our Lord and Savior!
“Because you say, “I am rich, have become wealthy and have need of nothing.”(Rev. 3:17)
Though here, Christ could have been speaking of the fact that the Laodiceans had become engrossed and enamored with their material prosperity, it speaks of the fact that they had become arrogantly submersed in religion, legalism, and liturgical procedure.  They had become convinced through their faulty self-appraisals that they were all that and then some.  They gave an appearance of fervor and passion, but inwardly they were lethargic and complacent.  By declaring themselves to be rich, wealthy, and in need of nothing they were self-glorifying themselves instead of objectively self-evaluating themselves.
Self-evaluation on a daily basis is a must.  This evaluation must not be subjective in nature, but objective in purpose —meaning we cannot measure ourselves by our own inflated ego, but juxtaposed to the standard revealed in the infallible Word of God.
The next question is: Why does Christ prefer the church to be either cold or hot?  The designation to be hot and its purpose is apparent, but why cold?  A cold Christian is much more aware of his shortcomings; he knows he is in need of a change.  The pangs of spiritual inadequacy throb within him daily.  He is not illusionistically trapped inside the cocoon of arrogance.  Whereas the lukewarm Christian goes to church; a lukewarm Christian has some form of a prayer life, he pays his tithes, he even serves in prominent positions within the church, so he has convinced himself that all is well on the Christian front.  Yet, his works are empty; his prayers are perfunctory in nature.  There’s a great deal of pastors preaching to a sleeping church.
There is no doubt that some of those reading this sermon will assume that it could not possibly be meant for them, but are as lukewarm as they come.  My friend, lukewarm won’t do!
There are far too many half-hearted Christians moving about today, they have the semblance of holiness, but are empty shells.  They have come to tolerate the gospel instead of yearn for it.  Lukewarm won’t do!
There is a multitudinous mass of you who have become lethargic, undecided, and unconcerned. Lukewarm won’t do!
If you find yourself at peace with the world, you are a lukewarm Christian.  If you feel you have far more important things to do than worship, you are a lukewarm Christian.  If you can find every reason in the world to fall short of the mark, you are a lukewarm Christian.  I’m here to tell you, lukewarm won’t do!  Christ has become sick to the stomach because of the lack of passion and commitment displayed.  He has read you like a novel.  Lukewarm won’t do.
There are too many that are inadequate in their prayer life.  There are too many that feel they have arrived, but have not come close.  There are too many that have a false sense over prosperity, but are poor in spirit.  There are too many that are content with their spirituality.  I’m afraid that just won’t do!
I pray that a new passion is ignited by this message; a passion to seek his face;  a passion to humble yourselves before him; a passion to stand up for Christ.  Until this passion comes in your life, you will remain lukewarm and lukewarm won’t do.
How can we look at all that God has done for us and remain lukewarm and lethargic in service.  How dare we sleep on our faithful lover?  Today, I offer a challenge.  I dare you to stand up for Christ.  I dare you to live each day for Christ.  I dare you to call on His name with expectancy.  I dare you to catch on fire with His purpose.  When you do, watch God move.
It’s time to get hot for the Lord, it’s time to experience God at a level never before attained.  Its time to get hot!
God is waiting on your commitment.  God is waiting to see you take a stand.  He is waiting to bless you.
“For I know my thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil; to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon me and go and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”(Jer. 27:11,12)
This is God’s promise and desire for us, to bless and prosper us, but we must be aligned with His will for our lives.  There is no place for the lukewarm lover.  There is no place for the uncommitted soldier.  This is not the time to succumb to the paralyzing force of mediocrity.  This is not the time to slip into a comatic trance induced by the tranquilizing drug of gradualism, nor become sedated by the soothing balm of complacency.  It is time to stand up.  It is time to lift our voice in praise.  It is time to resist our innate proclivity to give in to temptation.  My friends, it’s time for a revolution; a spiritual revolution.  Look within yourself. Do you have what it takes to burn hot for the Lord?
Be warned; There is no room for lukewarm lovers!
May God bless and keep you
Sincerely
Bishop Rick Wallace
Founder and President
Rick Wallace Ministries
100 Men of Purpose
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