Last night, I had the opportunity to speak at a BCM (Baptist Campus Ministries) event here in Rainsville. We had a smaller crowd of college kids, but the worship was fantastic, and I was just thrilled to be invited to share what God had placed in my heart.
Our text last night came from the third chapter of the Book of Revelation, and it dealt with the lukewarm practice of Christianity by the Church at Laodicea. This church had allowed themselves to become comfortable enough in their own
wealth that their walk with God had become something of an afterthought. They were going through the daily and weekly routines of church, but they had allowed apostasy to dilute in them the passion for their own personal walk and relationship with God. This is a tragedy for the follower of Christ, because dilution of our walk with God can happen in a fashion that is hidden within the things that we 'do for God,' or the the blessings that we receive from God. We're engaged with church, but disengaged with real and personal relationship with God. Or maybe we've simply fallen asleep enjoying the blessings that God has provided in our life? Great wealth buys comfortable beds.
The Church at Laodicea was lost in a sea of wealth which produced in them a walk with Almighty God that was passionless, calloused, irrelevant and nauseating to Christ. They were not hot or cold in their relationship with God. They were comfortably lukewarm...engaged in church, but not engaged with God. Does that definition sound like something that you have been through in your own walk with Christ? Unfortunately, it sound very familiar to me.
Christ offers us a solution to repair our lukewarm relationship with Him. It is found in the latter portion of the letter to Laodicea as a declaration and a warning...
19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.
20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. —Revelation 3:19-20 (ESV)
Briefly, let's understand and correct a common misrepresentation of this scripture. Growing up, I was taught that this narrative was a portrayal of Jesus knocking on the door to the hearts of the unsaved...seeking to come into their life and save them. I believed that for many years, and I would say that a large number of Christians still believe that to this very day. However, we must read this scripture in context...
The letter to Laodicea was written to the church. It was written to the followers of Christ...people who composed the House of God within the city. I'm sure there were unbelievers present in the Church at Laodicea, but this letter is written to Christians.
Here, Jesus is not knocking on the door of the unsaved...He's knocking on the door of His children!
He's begging to come in and fellowship with them! This contextual knowledge should bring this verse into an entirely different light as we apply it to our life.
Our salvation is not the end of the story. Our salvation is the beginning of the story. When we make Christ the Lord of our life, our relationship with Him has just been initiated, and it needs to grow. No relationship grows without some sort of fellowship, and that's exactly what will repair lukewarm Christianity...fellowship with Christ.
To grow our walk with Christ, and to avoid falling into nauseating, lukewarm Christianity, our relationship with Christ demands daily attention. It demands more than a three minute devotional thought in the morning by a popular Christian author. It demands more than church attendance. It demands more than spare time and second-place priority. Jesus gave His all, and He demands our all.
Lukewarm Christianity is dangerous, it's nauseating to Christ, and we are all susceptible prey to this ever increasing problem. Our modern culture and the situation of our country and our world is a reflection of lukewarm Christianity. For those with a true desire for relationship with God, He's not hard to find. Once we really experience the love and the warmth of God, we should be drawn to Him like a moth to a flame. It's impossible to grow lukewarm when you're addicted to the flame.
Child of God, listen closely through the distraction...the flame is burning and Jesus is knocking...
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Keith Beatty is a Worship, Missions and Media Pastor living in North Alabama. He's excited and very humbled to be a follower of Jesus Christ!