Hello, Friday readers! 😉
I am writing this on a Saturday and will post it Friday of the following week. I just write thoughts as they come in even if I am in the middle of a task. Right now, I am in the middle of my lunch eating leftover “isaw,” pork bbq, and “pinakbet” from our last night’s dinner. 😀
That’s how I write articles. They all came from a random thought, a random word, a random verse, or even a random scene. It’s always a spur-of-the-moment thing for me. 😉
For this article, I was bothered by something which I can’t explain (yet again) what it is. It’s possible it came from an observation or something I recently experienced. I can’t pinpoint what it is but somehow, after prayer time and devo, here came the thought – LUKEWARM.
So I typed in “lukewarm bible verse” in our ever beloved search assistant Google and so my research began. Here are a couple of things I found out what the biblical context of “lukewarm” means:
- It was mentioned in the book of Revelation.
- It was addressed to a particular church.
- It has something to do with the status of your faith and your spiritual journey as a whole.
When God Spoke to the Laodiceans
1. It was mentioned in the book of Revelation.
You may find it in Revelation 3:14-21. Parallel verses can also be found in Colossians 2. John’s vision for this church came as a judgment with the call to repent.
“The letter to the church at Laodicea is the harshest of the seven letters to the churches in Asia Minor. By His indictment of their “deeds” (Revelation 3:15), Jesus makes it clear that this is a dead church. The members of this church see themselves as “rich” and self-sufficient, but the Lord sees them as “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked” (verse 17). Their lukewarm faith was hypocritical; their church was full of unconverted, pretend Christians.”
2. It was addressed to a particular church.
This particular church is the Laodicean church, one of the Seven Churches of Asia or Seven Churches of the Apocalypse. Today, it is part of Greek and in the Bible, it is described as a city with great finance and banking. Wikipedia also described it with this statement:
“In 60 A.D the city was hit by a major earthquake. The city refused help of the Roman empire and rebuilt the city itself.”
With all seriousness aside, this made me look up the fault line here in the Philippines via this site: https://philnews.ph/2017/03/31/phivolcs-launch-map-valley-fault-system-guide-users-ensuring-safety/. I don’t know how relevant is this to this part but I just felt I had to post it. 😀
“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” – James 1:27
“It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.” – 1 Corinthians 5:12
3. It has something to do with the status of your faith and your spiritual journey as a whole.
Now for this part, what I have are questions. It is true that church founders and pioneers have all the fire and fervor (hot) when it comes to the faith which ignited church-building just like my great-grandfather. In the case of my great-grandfather and grandfather, it was during World War II – a time of great social instability, political upheaval, and economic downturn. People were hopeless during these times. As I mentioned in my previous article, where there are despair and hopelessness, people will look for a Savior who can help them out of their desolate situations. Thus, the rebirth of churches.
How about the generations that came after them who already grew up in the comforts of the church and everything else is doing well in the country for the most part? Are they more prone to fall lukewarm in their faith? If yes, what can the church do to ignite them since we all know genuine salvation is a personal walk and relationship with God? How do these younger generations experience true and genuine salvation – a need for a Savior?
While re-reading this article, I felt like my late maternal grandpa is speaking through me. 😀 Ah yes, if only I can relive the days when he shares the Word of God, I really think he’ll be perfect in apologetics. The only difference he and I have is that he declares them verbally whilst mine, through writing. 😉
Honestly, when everything becomes smooth in my life now, I sometimes come to a point that I ask God to challenge me. I always tell Him that I don’t want to be “cold” nor “lukewarm” in my faith. Thus, if He will test me like what He did to Job, I am all for it. Why? I know that it will bring fire to my faith. I don’t want to be a coal whose flames are extinguished because of neutrality just because I am living a life of prosperity and comfort – lack of problems.
“Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.…” – Romans 5:3-4
“By your patient endurance, you will gain your souls.” – Luke 21:19
“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” – James: 1-12
Have you watched the movie “God’s Not Dead?” If not yet, pretty please do watch it – it’s an awesome movie. If you watched it already, can you still remember the role of Dean Cain (Mark Shelley)? He plays this rich corporate employee who is so full of himself, self-sufficient, and basically consumed by this world.
While watching his character, the story of “The Rich Man and Lazarus” (Luke 16: 19-31) came into my head:
There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.
So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.
Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.
He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’
Now, we already have Jesus as our bridge from condemnation towards eternity. I do not wish for my soul to lament in torment and anguish because I became lukewarm. Nor I wish for my family to experience the same thing. If I can ask God to send the Spirit to rebuke us even every day, then I will definitely ask Him that – every day. 🙂
Do you have prayers for your loved ones to never fall into the trap of becoming “lukewarm”? You may share them as comments below. ❤
Read more: The Judgment at Christ’s Coming