WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
DECEMBER 19, 2021
TOPIC: REPENT OF LUKEWARMNESS
BY T. O. BANSO
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16 New King James Version).
Jesus Christ hates to see His followers being spiritually lukewarm. The church in Laodicea was rebuked because she was lukewarm. She was neither hot nor cold, although she was engaged in some works. Because she was lukewarm, Jesus said He would spit her out of His mouth. “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16 New King James Version).
Being lukewarm is more dangerous to the Kingdom of God than being cold! Jesus hates a lukewarm church. A lukewarm church is distasteful. Therefore, Jesus said He would vomit her out of His mouth. Jesus wants believers to be red hot or effectually enthusiastic. This is how to affect our world for Jesus.
Being hot is better than being cold. But being lukewarm is worse than being cold. Why would Jesus prefer coldness to lukewarmness? Being neither cold nor hot means “Neither acting hostile to Christ, nor zealous for Him. Christ would rather that men should be opposers than formal, apathetic professors” (People’s New Testament Commentary).
Someone who is cold is more sincere than someone who is neither cold nor hot! There is more hope for a sinner to be saved than for someone who is pretending to be saved. Everybody knows where the sinner stands and he can be helped. But the pretender is playing games with God. As put by John Wesley, “Even if thou wert cold, without any thought or profession of religion, there would be more hope of thy recovery.”
Repent! God wants you to be hot or cold, not pretending to be hot whereas you’re not. He wants you to be sincere, and honestly face your spiritual condition. If someone is blind, he could be healed; if someone is sick, he could be healed. But if someone pretends to be healthy or to be able to see, there is no healing for such.
Jesus put it this way: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Luke 5:31-32 New King James Version). He says a similar thing in Mark 2:17 and Matthew 9:12-13.
The church today could be said to be in the state of the church in Laodicea. Our love for Jesus is not hot. We are sick in our Christian profession and service. The church doesn’t see anything wrong, possibly because she is okay financially and materially.
We believe God is pleased with us because of His blessings in our lives. But that is not God’s heart; material blessings are not the right yardstick to measure God’s approval of people’s lives.
The church today has, probably, never in history been as rich as she is, but God never measures the spirituality of any church by her financial and material wealth. The wealth or the material poverty of any church is not an indication of God’s approval or otherwise.
The church in Laodicea said she was rich and needed nothing; she felt self-satisfied and comfortable. However, Jesus described her as wretched and miserable, blind and naked (Revelation 3:17). That was her true state notwithstanding what she said or others said about her.
Jesus told her not to deceive herself by the material possessions she had and to come to Him for true spiritual treasures, righteousness, and clear vision. That is what the Bible means by telling her to come to Him to buy gold – gold that has been purified by fire so that she could be truly rich and also buy white garments from Him, so that she would not be shamed by her nakedness, and buy ointment for her eyes so that she would be able to see (verse 18).
Jesus called the church in Laodicea to repentance and He is calling the church today to repentance too. I want you to compare this church with the Smyrna church. They are just opposites. Jesus said to the Symrna church, “I know about your suffering and your poverty—but you are rich!” (Revelation 2:9 New Living Translation). The Smyrna church was materially poor, but Jesus proclaimed her spiritually rich. This and other things Jesus said about her would not make it attractive to anyone today to want to be a member.
The church in Laodicea said she was rich, but Jesus proclaimed her poor. So it is not what a church says she is or what people say she is that is important, but what Heaven says she is.
Also, Jesus commended the church in Philadelphia, the church which had little strength but obeyed the Word of Jesus Christ and did not deny His name (Revelation 3:7-13).
Jesus doesn’t want a lukewarm church. He wants a church with a passion, zeal, or enthusiasm for Him, not one that is more concerned about what she can get and prides herself on her material wealth. He wants Christians who are fervent in love, prayer study of His Word, soul-winning, giving, and other aspects of Christian service.
1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless” (New Living Translation). The New King James Version renders it thus: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
Choose whom you will serve (Joshua 24:15). Enough of lukewarmness! “And Elijah came to all the people, and said, ‘How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him’” (1 Kings 18:21 New King James Version). But the people didn’t answer him a word.
Don’t let your heart be divided (Hosea 10:2a). Beware of divided loyalty between God and the world. Give your heart completely to God. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8). “Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically” (Romans 12:11 New Living Translation). As the New King James Version puts it, we should not be lagging in diligence, but be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.
Repent of lukewarmness. Don’t let persecution, delayed answers to prayers, or life’s challenges cause you to be lukewarm or to continue to be.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of my lukewarmness. Father, let Your fire burn within me from now and continue to burn. Holy Spirit, help me to serve the Lord enthusiastically. I shall not be lukewarm or cold. I shall be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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