Turn the Heat Up

Turn The Heat Up. By Todd McKeever
Let's turn the heat up!

You’ve probably heard the term lukewarm Christian before. It’s commonly thrown around as a vague warning that followers of Jesus ought to be fully devoted. But I rarely hear the lukewarm Christian meaning explained. 

This term comes from Revelation 3:16 which says: So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 

We can tell right off the bat that this verse is not positive, but we often miss the true depth of this passage. Revelation 3:16 is painting an incredible picture that has a powerful message for us today. This was also one of those verses that when I first got saved I was terrified of. I really did not want to be God spit. To fully understand it we need to take a closer look at this passage.

Revelation 3:15-17 talks about the church in Laodicea and how they were neither hot nor cold. This church was known for their care of the poor and their eye salve which was used to treat physical blindness. Because they were so focused on caring for the poor, they lost sight of their own spiritual condition. 

In my life and those I know, we can lose sight of our own spiritual condition. We are so focused on maybe thinking that this other certain person needs to hear this message that the preacher is preaching about more than we need to hear it. And so we have this idea that we’re good because we go to church, or we read our Bible, but those things in and of themselves are not what make us good. 

It is our relationship with Christ that makes us good. It is a personal relationship that causes changes in our lives that affect the way that we live. So, we need to have that personal, daily relationship with Christ in order for us to grow and change. 

The city of Laodicea was also known for its lukewarm water which came from two different sources—one hot and one cold. The combination of these two waters created water that was tepid, or lukewarm. This water was undrinkable and nauseating. 

The word that’s used for lukewarm in this verse is the Greek word chloros which means pale green. This color was associated with sickness and death. 

So, when we see Revelation 3:16 in its context, we can understand that to be spit out of God’s mouth is a very serious thing. This is not a minor offense. This is not something that God takes lightly. 

God is not pleased with a half-hearted commitment to Him. He is not looking for followers who are just going through the motions. He wants people who are all in—people who are passionate about serving Him and living for Him every day. 

The Consequences of Lukewarm Christianity
So, what does it mean to be a lukewarm Christian? And what are the consequences of living a halfway committed life to Christ? 

To be lukewarm means to be indifferent, apathetic, or complacent in your faith. It means to go through the motions without any real passion or purpose. It’s living life on your own terms without regard for what God wants or how He wants you to live.  And when we live like this, there are serious consequences. 

In Revelations 3:15-17, Jesus warns the church in Laodicea that He is about to spit them out because they are neither hot nor cold—they are just lukewarm Christians going through the motions without any real commitment or passion for Christ." If we want to avoid being spit out by Jesus, we need to make sure that we are living lives that are completely devoted to Him.  Here are a few practical ways you can do that: 

1) Pray fervently and consistently   
2) Study God’s Word diligently   
3) Obey His commands joyfully   
4) Share your faith fearlessly   
5) Serve others selflessly   
6) Worship Him passionately   
7) Live your life expectantly        

Living a life for Christ isn’t easy—but it’s so worth it! When we choose to follow Him wholeheartedly, He blesses us abundantly (Matthew 6:33). We need to remember that God doesn’t want our half-hearted efforts—He wants us all in! So let us fix our eyes on Jesus and run the race with endurance (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Turn the heat up!


Darlys - November 5th, 2022 at 11:56am

Great reminder!

Todd - November 13th, 2022 at 10:55am

I have always enjoyed this topic of reaching others for Christ. Thanks for the kind comment.