Lukewarm and Loving It! – Part One
When given a choice, the vast majority of people will take lukewarm over hot or cold every time. On cold winter days we turn the heat up so we are as “warm as toast” – lukewarm, not hot. On hot summer days we turn the air conditioner on and bring the room temperature to moderate or lukewarm – no longer hot but also not too cold. Lukewarm!
Why do we do this? Because people don’t like extremes. And why do we like things lukewarm? Because it’s comfortable. But settling for comfortable will paralyze your spiritual life every time. This is why so many believers are so anemic spiritually. They don’t take the Bible seriously, not because of any great theological conviction but simply because it makes them uncomfortable.
Working with the poor or connecting with people who are “different” takes us outside our comfort zones. Sharing our faith, tithing, giving, serving, caring, stretching, connecting, and praying are all essential for a living faith but often don’t happen, usually because they are risky, inconvenient, or difficult. We would rather put our faith in neutral, give in the compromise, and settle for a lifeless, boring faith than experience the kind of discomfort that creates growth.
The amazing thing is this: almost no one starts out this way. Few brand-new Christians are lukewarm. Most new believers have a vibrant faith. Worship is new and fresh. The Bible is becoming an open book. Stunned by God’s amazing grace, they can’t wait to help their friends experience the same. Then something happens. Their romance with God turned to routine. Delight turns to disillusionment. Enjoying God is replaced by enduring life. And another church-attending, cross-wearing, lukewarm Christian is produced.
They have fallen prey to a number of things that destroy their passion and thus their spiritual growth and health. And, we will discuss those in this new series of daily blogs.
Jesus, Matthew 22:37
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
Lukewarm is not good enough … Following Jesus means being passionately in love with Him.
It seems that today Christians want to attend church but not necessarily follow Jesus. They want to be “good” but not too good. They want to be “right” in what they believe but not to the point of fanaticism where it changes the way they think and the way they live. Growing up we would have called this “having your cake and eating it too.” Not possible. You cannot be lukewarm and follow Jesus. He told us that…
“I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit (vomit) you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:15-16)
Chad Walsh wrote:
“Millions of Christians live a sentimental haze of vague piety, with soft organ music trembling in the lovely light from stained-glass windows. Their religion is a thing of pleasant emotional quivers, divorced from the will, divorced from the intellect, and demanding little except lip service to a few harmless platitudes. I suspect that Satan has called off the attempt to convert people to agnosticism. If a man travels far enough away from Christianity he is always in danger of seeing it in perspective and deciding that it is true. It is much safer, from Satan’s point of view, to vaccinate a man with a mild case of Christianity, so as to protect him from the real thing.”
Christians seem to want to attend church but not necessarily follow Jesus. Let’s continue tomorrow and look at why this is true.