“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 you out of my mouth. – Revelation 3:15-16
This verse in the book of Revelation is a hard truth to swallow, no pun intended!
Jesus is speaking to the church in Laodicea. He declares that they are, “Neither cold nor hot.” A church filled with people who claim to believe that salvation is through Him, yet, they do not live their lives as living sacrifices. From the continuing text, we can see that this is not pleasing to Him. Everyone must make a decision. He desires that people be either spiritually cold or hot in their faith. For Him, a lukewarm Christian is no Christian at all!
True and living faith in the Lord Jesus Christ produces good works in the life of a Christian. The name of our youth group, The Vine, is dedicated to this truth. “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5
Good works are a natural byproduct of knowing and loving Jesus. They are the result of our salvation, not the cause. We honor God with our actions because He first loved us and has redeemed us by the cross of Christ. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10
Imagine that there exists a green pasture with a fence directly through the center. On the left side of this fence, you see fifty white sheep. On the right side, you see fifty black sheep. To your surprise, you can see one lone gray sheep balancing perfectly on the dividing fence. These sheep represent those who believe, those who deny, and those who are undecided in the Person of Jesus.
Imagine that Jesus arrives at the pasture and takes away the white sheep. Moments later, the enemies of God come and take away the black sheep. After a few minutes pass, the single gray sheep says, “Thank goodness I remained neutral concerning faith in Jesus!” All of a sudden, Satan approaches the gray sheep and says, “Do you take me as a fool? The fence you stand on is mine.”
As simple as this story might be, it paints an accurate picture of those who remain lukewarm in the faith. Jesus does not ask that our devotion to Him be partial. His desire is that we would love Him with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength.
Jesus is the Vine. Those who believe in Him are the branches. A branch disconnected from its source will wither and die. “If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.” – John 15:6
Let us not be lukewarm in our faith or distracted by all that the world has to offer. Jesus is worthy of all that we are!