Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lukewarm OR Chrstian?

Rev. 3:15"'I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered 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.'"

This church was at one time a growing, thriving body of believers, but something happened along the way to change all that. Could it be prosperity? Could it be that over time they began to see that they had much and that they started to think they didn't really need to depend on God? Could it be that 2000 years, or so ago, this church could have just as easily been called the American church?

It is difficult for the rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven; Jesus told us that. It is impossible for someone to serve both God and money. We will either love one and hate the other or vice versa. Prosperity is dangerous because it takes our eyes off of Christ, as our Provider, and turns our eyes onto ourselves. We can often be found thinking or saying, "I just need to work a little harder, or smarter or longer". Maybe we have been slothful in our business, but maybe we are not supposed to be so prosperous because God is protecting us from falling to this place of prosperity.

Jesus called these people "Luke warm" and I have heard the term "Luke warm Christian"; I have said it before myself. But what part of this passage would make us think that Jesus has in mind that these people are His sheep? Does "spit you out" sound like they are His own? Shouldn't "Buy white robes" make us wonder why Jesus would ask them to purchase something He has already purchased on the cross for them? "Luke warm Christian" is an oxymoron. There is no such person. You are either lukewarm, being spit out, or you are a Christian. They don't go together. In Heaven there will be no lukewarm saints; only hot ones. Hell is where the lukewarm people will go.

This realization should make us really examine ourselves and see if we are of the faith. We should be working out our own salvation with fear and trembling, because this is a very important thing to be sure about; the MOST important thing. What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul? The answer is "Hell". That is his return on his investment. If we trade our lives for prosperity on earth, we will have a bill to be paid for all of eternity in Hell.

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