The other day I made myself an espresso and went back to my desk and got caught up in work. Losing track of time eventually I reached down and picked up my espresso expecting a hot strong shot of my favorite coffee. I sprayed the coffee across the paper I was writing on, my anticipated hot coffee was tepid. I don’t mind an iced coffee in summer, but tepid coffee is horrible.
Did you know that there was a church that provoked the same reaction in Jesus that I had to my tepid coffee?
In Rev 3:16 Jesus says to the church at Laodicea, “You are lukewarm. You turn my stomach. You make me sick. All I want to do is spit you out.”
It seems like the church Laodicea had begun in the heat of red hot spiritual revival. The church was planted in a period of great outpouring of the Holy Spirit. At the start the spiritual temperature of their lives had been hot. They were on fire for God.
But just like my espresso they had become tepid.
I didn’t notice that my espresso was growing cold and it seems like these Laodicean Christians didn’t notice their spiritual lives were cooling and becoming lukewarm.
Instead of returning to the source of spiritual heat, the fire of the Spirit and seeking regular renewal and refreshment, the Laodiceans had somehow become spiritually content and apathetic immersed in their own lives, their own work and culture.
I can imagine what happened because I have seen it in all too many churches. In Lukewarm churches worship becomes little more than habitual for many, and occasional for others. Prayer gatherings become sparse and have more pregnant silences than passionate prayers. It feels like people are just going through the motions.
I find it fascinating what Jesus says to these Christians with lukewarm spiritual lives.
5 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! Rev 3:5
Jesus actually says he would prefer us to be spiritually cold or hot rather than lukewarm. Just think about that, Jesus prefers those who are spiritually frozen, to those who are living lives that are spiritually tepid. I can’t quite get my mind around that.
I think maybe lukewarmness turns Jesus’ stomach so much because he hates being treated as moderately important, he hates when our Christianity becomes a hobby rather than a passion. Jesus feels sick when all we offer him is the left overs in our lives.
I was daydreaming and thinking, what if there was the spiritual equivalent of those thermometers that you stick in meat? I wonder what temperature it would show if it was pushed into my life? I wondered what temperature it would show if it was pushed into Westlake as a church?
Maybe you should wonder about those things too? What temperature would it show, cold, hot or tepid?