Neither Cold nor Hot

Bill Brinkworth

In Revelation 1 to 3, seven churches are mentioned.  They were not only real churches that were existent at the time John penned Revelation, but they were also prophetic of major characteristics of church ages, in general, throughout history. Many believe that six of the church ages that were prophesied have already passed, and that many of the churches of the current church age are very similar to those of the church of Laodicea.

The church of Laodicea was the seventh church to which John wrote. This was a “lukewarm”, complacent and ineffective ministry (Rev. 3:16). They had riches and many things the world had to offer, but they were doing very little for the Lord. God saw them as “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Rev. 3:17). Their failure to do anything for the Lord disgusted the Father (Rev. 3:16).

Unfortunately, the Laodicean church pictures the church age we are currently in. Like all church ages, not all churches were or are the same. There has always been a remnant doing God’s will and way, but the majority of churches at this time are much like the church of Laodicea. There is more concern for the social interests of man than the spiritual. Clubs, committees, eloquent speakers, church entertainment, paid musicians, church appearance, and not offending anyone have a higher priority than do the needs of a man’s souls. Preaching “Thus saith the Lord” is rarely heard anymore, and if it were, there would be many offended and those that would desert the church. Physical wealth does not cover up the fact that the majority of churches are not heeding the tugging of the Holy Spirit and in God’s eyes are “… poor, and blind, and naked.” The money these churches have may not be the “blessing of God” they proclaim it to be, but a curse that is voiding their usefulness to the cause of Christ.

Part of a Christian’s responsibility is to live the way God commands, and to tell others what God’s Word says. Watering down the message to “fit in”, or “not to offend” is undermining its purpose.  The Word of God is supposed to offend and convict the sinner. This conviction often stops the sinner from his downward slide and turns him around with a repentant heart. Where psychology, psychiatry, counseling, and drugs often fail and mask the real problem, the Word of God exposes the root of the problem, and if allowed will change one’s life.  Drunkards have been converted, their addiction halted, and their lives restored.  Adulterers have been enabled to stop their iniquity, and they and their family have been reunited.  Murderers have also been saved, and their lives changed. God’s Word has changed the lives of liars, cheaters, gossipers, unbelievers, and countless more. There is not one sin that God cannot help one stop, and there is not one life that God cannot change.  Why would anyone want to hide God’s message or water it down after it has done so much for countless lives!

No matter the climate of the majority of lukewarm, worldly churches, until the Lord comes there is still time for personal repentance and a return to God’s ways of righteousness. The door of opportunity for personal revival is still open at this time! There is no reason an individual, or even a local church cannot have revival. There is no reason to be lukewarm and displeasing to the Lord.  We can be as full of zeal, and excitement as the church of Philadelphia (Rev. 3:7-12) and others that purposed to commit their lives to obeying and following the Lord’s commandments. Do not be cold, indifferent, and useless to the cause of Christ; be on fire and effective!

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I [God] will spue thee out of my mouth.”  Revelation 3:15-16

This article was featured in The Bible View #391.

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