So far we have seen that people who are lukewarm have: undeveloped faith, uncommitted hearts, undeveloped character, and an unrepentant lifestyle. Today, let’s look at the fifth indication that someone is lukewarm as a Christian.
The fifth characteristic of a lukewarm believer is their unread bibles. Jesus said, “People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Lukewarm Christians seem to follow a different verse that is not in the Bible. “In the beginning was the word, and the word sat there an unopened app on your home screen.”
Unread bibles lead to undernourished, undeveloped Christians. Recently, while in Turkey, I was part of a presentation where the Bible was presented to three different ethnic groups who now have the Bible, for the first time, in their own language. The look on their faces and the hunger in their hearts was amazing. And, we get up every day and have a shelf full of bibles in our own language and think nothing of it – and often don’t read it.
The starting point for living as a citizen of the Kingdom and a disciple of Jesus is thinking well. Paul wrote to he Roman Christians living in a very worldly city, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).
The big question for the Romans, and for us today, is this: How do we live a transformed life while living in a not-at-all transformed world? Where do we find wisdom, strength, and encouragement to live a God-honouring life? The key to changing your life is to the change the way you think.
This verse of Scripture doesn’t say, “Transform yourself.” You don’t transform yourself – you are transformed. Your part is just changing what you think about. Then the transformation happens.
All change starts in your thoughts. Scripture says, “As (a person) thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7 NKJV). The secret of changing your life is to change your thoughts. Then you become transformed.
A pastor wrote: “I once had the opportunity to see the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. I stood inches away from sacred documents thousands of years old. The Bible has stood the test of time even though it has been banned, banished, and burned. The Bible has survived criticism. Theologian Bernard Ramm said, ‘A thousand times over, the death knell of the Bible has been sounded, the funeral procession formed, the inscription cut on the tombstone, and the committal read. But somehow the corpse never stays put.’ The Bible’s critics have tried to explain away every aspect of the Bible to destroy its authenticity, but the Bible has withstood every attack by its enemies. The Bible is indestructible – so it’s too bad almost nobody reads it.”
When we are hungry physically, we can eat and become full, so we are no longer hungry. The exact opposite happens with our spiritual lives. The more you worship, the more you want to worship. The more you read your Bible, the more you want to read your Bible.
When we stop reading the Bible, we stop craving the Bible. When we stop going to church every week to worship the God who created us, we develop a smaller and smaller appetite for going to church.
Every week, circumstances and situations conspire to shrink your heart and shrivel your spirit. People are rude to you. People criticize or misjudge you. You face disappointment and worries, and you get bone-tired and fatigued. if you don’t nourish your spirit, your heart will grow cold and hard. Your spirit will decay. In old age, you will become that crotchety, cranky, grumpy, irascible person you never liked. No one wants to turn out like that. You don’t have to die before you die.
Stop being lukewarm – read your Bible and come alive.