Pastor's Heart

January 4th, 2016

The Lukewarm Church

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Written by: Gene
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As these End Times seem to be quickly upon us, I feel compelled to look at The Seven Letters to The Seven Churches as written in the Book of Revelation.

The point of this, is strictly for personal evaluation, but I may reflect on the actions and reactions of others to keep me focused.

The letters, were written not as a way to point out the wrongs of others, but for the believer (those who call themselves christians) to make sure their lives are on the up and up when it comes to their walk with Jesus.

The seventh letter is to what God refers to as “The Lukewarm Church…”

Revelation 3:14-22

14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”

It seems to me as I have read the last six letters, that there is a progression that the church follows (or steps that Satan uses to deceive).

  • First the Church starts off strong in its relationship with Jesus, but it soon forgets who their first love is and does things in its own power. They forget their first love and become “The Loveless Church.”
  • Secondly, as they grow, persecution will come, but we must remember that it is only a test. Persecution can never forcibly separate us from the love of Christ. We must stand firm on the faith in the Gospel of Salvation through the Grace and Mercy of Jesus Christ. Jesus understands that we are a “Persecuted Church,” but it is not from what we have done, but only because the world hates Him and has chosen to take it out on His bride.
  • The third progression, is if we choose to take it personally and start to try to please the world as a form of self defense, we risk turning our back on our Lord through becoming a “Compromising Church.” We must stand firm on the truth of The Word, and never waver.
  • The fourth step once compromise sets in, is the question “Did God really say?” Lying “teachers” will try to rise up and cause the church to look to other lovers to satisfy it. But we must remember that God didn’t fail us, it was us who stopped trusting Him when we allowed compromise to taint our faith. We become a “Corrupt Church” that looks to the world for approval rather than the approval of our True Love Jesus Christ.
  • You then find yourself in a “Dead” relationship, and have gone from being an adulterous spouse to wanting out of “this abusive controlling marriage.” You have made your bed with the very ones who were persecuting you, and have somehow started to blame Jesus for your self inflicted suffering, all the while bumming off of His wealth and power.
  • Sixthly, you repent and become the faithful bride. You are back in and Jesus calls you His “Faithful Church.” You understand it was your doing that caused you misery, and you start to embrace the unconditional love of your husband Jesus. You realize that you have a good thing with following His lead, and every time you do, you are blessed even more.

Think about that progression from the perspective of a natural relationship…

You start to date this guy, and are finally happy. Your “friends” however, miss you coming out and partying with them, so they turn against you and call you names for abandoning them.

You don’t want to offend, so you try to please both your new love and your old abusive using “friends.” As your eyes start to wander away, they convince you that your old ways were much more fun, and your new love is a control freak. They say that they are “real friends” because they won’t try to change you (because you are cheap entertainment to them.)

So you start to blame misconceived pain and suffering on the only one who actually wants to see you free and better, but you like using His name , wealth and power. Because you can’t leave His wealth and power, you move in your old boyfriends and new lovers. Jesus tells you that you better make a choice, or He will be forced to allow you to leave and suffer under your new “using and abusive” lovers. He can’t watch you do that to yourself, and He sure isn’t going to foot the bill of your adulterous lifestyle.

So you repent, and realize that all He wanted was to provide for you, and that your old ways were a lie. You finally realize that you messed up, and you rely on your Husband’s unconditional love. You start to enjoy what you two are building together.

But there is this seventh letter; one last deception from Satan that you need to be aware of.

As you bask in the blessings and wealth of Jesus, you stop caring for the suffering people around you. You don’t care about them, because your belly stays full and you realize that they never cared for you.

But, you have forgotten the heart of your Love, Jesus. He cared for you and loved you even when you were down and out. He lifted you up, and gave you His name, power and wealth. He didn’t do all that for you to constantly feed yourself and become fat and lazy. Jesus wants you to share the wealth with others.

He would rather you either refuse His gifts and blessings (cold) or take His gifts and blessings and help others (hot), but He sure doesn’t want you to hoard it all to yourself and stick your nose up in the air as you step over the suffering.

All of His teachings were about loving your neighbors, the Good Samaritan, Lazarus and the Rich Man, and let’s not forget that He himself washed the feet of those under Him.

As we snobbishly and incompletely pointed out the evil of Sodom and Gomorrah, God tells us in Ezekiel 16:48-50, As I live,” says the Lord God, “neither your sister Sodom nor her daughters have done as you and your daughters have done. Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit.”

The lukewarm attitude is so undesirable to our Lord, and it makes us unattractive to Him. He forgives us of our past, and doesn’t want us to return back there, but He knows that our pride will lead to our fall. Watching us fall, is the last thing He wants to witness, but it is what happens when we get all self righteous and lazy (refusing to share His love with others).

You see, while it is true that God’s love for us is all inclusive to us, it is not exclusively for us. His love must be shared. We need to loose that “to heaven with me and to hell with the world” attitude. Yes the world hated us, but it needs Jesus.

Father God, You knew that I needed to be loved, so you sent Your Son to take me as His own.
Jesus, You set aside the benefits of being God, to walk amongst the suffering so that You could retrieve us from that slave trader, the devil. I submit myself to You.
Holy Spirit, help me to live a life that reflects the True Love of the One who is Pure Love.

Lord, I long for Your return to bring me home, but until then we have a Kingdom to build.

 


About the Author

Gene
A husband to an awesome wife, father to 3 beautiful girls, step-father to a beautiful girl and smart son. Preacher, Designer and best of all a Servant to a loving and gracious God.




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