As we concluded our study last week of Christ’s Message to the Church, we looked at the “lukewarm church” in Laodicea. It would be wonderful if such a study were just a history lesson. But in reality, it is far more than history. It is for many a present reality.
I have been asked to reproduce the following list I used last Sunday from the Francis Chan book Crazy Love for the purpose of self-examination. We are to “examine ourselves” to see if our faith is authentic. (2 Corinthians 13:5)
- LUKEWARM PEOPLE attend church fairly regularly. It is what is expected of good Christians.
- LUKEWARM PEOPLE give money to charity and to church…as long as it doesn’t change their standard of living. They give if its easy and safe.
- LUKEWARM PEOPLE choose what is popular over what is right when the two are in conflict. They want to fit in both at church and outside the church.
- LUKEWARM PEOPLE don’t want to be saved from their sin…only from the penalty for their sin. They don’t hate sin and aren’t truly sorry for it. They’re sorry God is going to punish them for it.
- LUKEWARM PEOPLE rarely share faith with friends or co-workers. They do not want to be rejected, nor do they wish to make people uncomfortable by talking about “private issues like religion or Jesus.”
- LUKEWARM PEOPLE measure their morality by comparison with the world. They may not be all-out for Jesus, but they aren’t as horrible as this guy they know.
- LUKEWARM PEOPLE say they love Jesus and He is, indeed, a part of their lives but He isn’t allowed to control their lives, their thoughts, or their time or money.
- LUKEWARM PEOPLE love God but they do NOT love Him with all their heart, soul mind and strength. They believe that kind of radical devotion is only for pastors or missionaries, not average people.
- LUKEWARM PEOPLE love others but they do not seek to love others as they love themselves. They love those who are capable of loving them in return (family, friends) There is little love left over for those who don’t love them back or those who slight them. Their love is highly conditional and comes with strings attached.
- LUKEWARM PEOPLE seldom think about eternity and life in heaven. CS Lewis said, “It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”
- LUKEWARM PEOPLE do not live by faith, their lives are structured so they never have to. They don’t want to have to trust God if something unexpected happens…they have a savings account. The truth is, they have all they need and life wouldn’t look much different for them if they suddenly stopped believing in God.
- LUKEWARM PEOPLE are not really that different than an unbelieving person. They probably drink or swear less and equate a partially sanitized life with holiness.
Our answers reveal the truth about the temperature of our devotion to God and perhaps the truth about the genuineness of our salvation. Today, “examine yourselves” and evaluate the temperature of our love for God.
May we find we are on fire and not lukewarm. (Revelation 3:16)