The term “lukewarm” is used once in all of Scripture but it is a powerful term. In Revelation 3:16, Jesus makes it quite clear that a lukewarm person is, shall I say, displeasing to the palate. He says that He spews or vomits a lukewarm person out of His mouth because they were neither hot nor cold like water that sat still for days. So let’s get into what it means to be lukewarm and why people holding onto a lukewarm faith will not likely make the cut except they change.
Disclaimer! Some feel this post promotes that some Christians go to Hell…I laugh. That’s the last thing I’m saying here. I’m saying that there are people who claim salvation but only have a “head belief” of Christ and not a lifestyle reflecting Him at all. Similar to Satan. He knows the Word in and out. He believes in Jesus. He once served God but he does not have salvation because although he knows what the Bible says, he doesn’t want to and cannot accept it. There are people just like that.
There are people who have fooled themselves into thinking they’re saved because they said a sinner’s prayer but they have remained stagnant in faith being neither totally for Christ nor otherwise. Sadly, these NEVER had Jesus to begin with. This is not to say that people who are already saved can get unsaved.You cannot lose your salvation once you have it. Scripture says that once we are His, nothing can snatch us out of His hand! John 10:28.
The purpose of this post is to give lukewarm people the opportunity to shake this “head belief” of Christ, truly become saved and start living for Him. It’s easy to think you have much in the world and are rich in it, but really you have nothing because you’ve neglected Christ. Onward!
A Quick Note about the Laodicean Church
In Revelation 3:14 when John was writing to the Church at Laodicea, Jesus wanted to point out to them that they thought they were in need of nothing and thus remained stagnant. They thought they had acquired all there was to acquire spiritually and financially. They believed they had it all. If you asked a Laodicean, they wanted for nothing, nor did they desire to grow, because in their minds they needed nothing and their church had it goin’ on. But this was sad and untrue because Jesus told John to write in the letter that the Laodiceans were really poor, blind and naked!
The Laodiceans are called the Lukewarm Church because they weren’t hot or cold, but rather stale because they believed there was no need for any growth beyond what they had. They went day in and day out, content with their stagnant behavior and idea of wealth when really, they were missing so so much. Later in the letter, Jesus said to them, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Most people think that Scripture pertains only to letting Jesus into your heart and letting the Holy Spirit take over. This is a correct but only partial interpretation.
Remember, Jesus was talking to a whole church in this passage. A
lukewarm church. And He said He’s standing at the door knocking. That’s because, while they think they’re so righteous and upright, Jesus isn’t even in there! He’s not even among them! That’s why He had to stand on the outside and knock and wait until the lukewarm Laodiceans allowed Him to enter. Then, would He be able to dine with them and work and move and live in that church. So in reading, bear in mind, that the lukewarm church, the Laodiceans had an appearance of holiness, ran a whole church, thought they had all they needed, but Jesus was not with them, all that time. He was outside, waiting for them to come to their senses, waiting for them to realize that what they had going on wasn’t anything at all.
Definition of a Lukewarm Person
In writing this article I am by no means declaring who will and will not enter Heaven. I am not determining who will and won’t be saved. The only salvation that I am sure of is my own. But the Bible says that not everyone who professes Christ or who once professed Christ, is actually of Christ. 1 John 4:1 urges us to try these spirits. There will be people who will claim to be of God but really aren’t. The way to distinguish these people is to see if their words and actions reflect Scripture.
A lukewarm person is someone who is somewhere in the middle of “in Christ,” and “not in Christ.” They are neither hot, nor cold, but room temperature. They aren’t actively seeking the Lord but they aren’t denying Him either.
Now, what characteristics might a lukewarm person possess? I feel that all of the characteristics can fall underneath one big umbrella: Lukewarm folks are not doers of the Word but are hearers only and thereby remain stagnant.
A lukewarm person hears the Word of God but they apply it loosely and leniently to their lives. They are not bold about or have strong convictions about the things of God. Yes, Sir or Madame Lukewarm will most likely believe in the existence of Jesus Christ but fail to allow Him to be the Lord of their life. A lukewarm person will interpret the Scriptures in a way that is convenient for them, based on their own understanding, and will pick and choose which ones they will use in their lives rather than taking in all of God’s Word.
You see, Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to lean not on our own understanding but let God direct our paths!
A lukewarm person may or may not attend church. If they do, they may only be going through ritualistic motions because they feel that they should. But they may otherwise be perfectly fine with forsaking the assembly which we we’re also told not to do in Hebrews 10:25.
They would rather hear about the rainbows and gumdrops and unicorns of the Bible and
completely omit the parts about sin. In other words, lukewarm folks dig it when they get a “feel good message” from church. But as soon as sin, and Hell are preached, they flee. P.S., sin and Hell and the Lake of Fire are mentioned more in Scripture than Heaven is. It’s the Bible, people, not Lisa Frank. Sheesh!
People of the lukewarm variety are also more concerned with matters and opinions of the world rather than being busy about the things of God. They are slow to share the Gospel and try to fit in with society. They are interested in being good people rather than living for Christ. They put great value on material possessions and things that will soon pass away. In some ways being lukewarm is basically about being so caught up in worldly riches that seeking the Kingdom is not a concern. I’m not talking about Christians who are just back-slidden and trying to find their way back to the Lord. I’m talking about folks who claim Christ but they’re just as unconcerned with living for Him as they want to be. They say they live for Him but they don’t.
This leads me to my next point about using the word “Christian” loosely.
Lukewarm People Are Useless to God
Note, I used quotations around the word “Christian” when I use it to describe a lukewarm person. Here is why. Don’t let me lose you here. Bear in mind that actual Christians can’t go to Hell or be spewed from Jesus’ mouth.
All one must do to be saved is believe in Jesus Christ and BAM! Salvation! Yes that’s true. But many people including the lukewarm group fail to realize that when you have truly allowed the Holy Spirit to renew you and come into your heart, there is a change in your behavior and in your thought process. A person who is truly saved will see that they must stop sinning, stop trying to please themselves, stop trying to please the world, and begin to live for Christ alone. You don’t just say the magic words and get saved. It has to be genuine.
Those who are not genuine will tell themselves, “Awesome! So now, the blood of Jesus is covering me and forgiving all my sins! I can do whatever I want and get away with it over and over!” This is not the mentality of a person who is saved and in Christ. Sounds pretty lukewarm to me. And think about it, Satan believes in Jesus. He knows more about Him than we do. But he doesn’t love Jesus nor does Satan live for Jesus. So being astute and acknowledging Christ don’t make you a believer. Romans 6:1-2 states clearly that God forbids us to continue in sin with the hopes that grace will abound, for we are dead to sin.
Does that mean that Christians will never sin again? Nope…we will never be perfect but Christians shouldn’t make sin a lifestyle and a habit.
And yes, our works on Earth do hold weight even though we are not saved by our works. Don’t believe me. Read 1 Corinthians 3:13 and John 15:2. Every branch that doesn’t bear fruit/ produce good works or live a Christ-like life gets tossed. It is rendered useless.
Unfortunately this fact goes debated by many so-called Christians because some feel that this means saved people go to Hell. But you can’t be saved and go to Hell. Therefore, if a lukewarm people isn’t saved, their works mean nothing. Would a true Christian filled with the Holy Spirit deny this fact? This encompasses all of the lukewarm characteristics listed earlier. Would a true Christian feel that they can get away with sin just because they said they accept Jesus Christ? That doesn’t sound very genuine or very grateful for the work done on the cross. Can we call a lukewarm person a Christian at all?
Would a true Christian find more value in man and his views than in God and His? Would a true Christian do the minimum just to get by? Would a true Christian use the Bible as a book of convenience rather than a book of 100% truth? Would a true Christian spend more time storing up earthly treasures than looking to heavenly ones? Think of all those things we talked about in the above paragraphs.
People who fall into these categories are not reflecting Christ. So when God tests their actions, they turn up utterly useless. The actions of these lukewarm people did no service to God.
They were stagnant. And when Jesus gets a taste of that stagnant, room temperature water, or lukewarm person He spews them out of His mouth!
If God is spewing you out of His mouth, well that certainly can’t be a good sign. The whole point of this article is to have everyone do a self-examination. Are you lukewarm or are you saved?
See What I’m Doing Here?
I’m differentiating between a lukewarm person and a saved Christian. If Jesus is spewing someone out of His mouth that person has clearly not inherited the Kingdom. That’s not judgment; that’s common sense. A lukewarm person believes he/she is saved. A lukewarm person may call out “Lord, Lord.” But Jesus knows that person never really believed in Him. He knows that He was just an idea.
A saved person may have trials and tribulations in this life but they are SAVED! There’s no getting around that. A saved person has a different life, a made over life. It’s a life that’s different from a lukewarm person. Do not confuse an unsaved lukewarm person with a true believer who may be struggling in their walk. There is a difference. They do not get spewed away from Jesus. He is not complaining that they were neither hot nor cold.
Point blank: A saved person cannot be lukewarm and a lukewarm person isn’t saved. Now can we pinpoint which individuals aren’t saved? Nope. We are strictly forbidden to do that. God is Judge. But He has made it clear that lukewarm is something you don’t want to be because lukewarm people are rejected by Jesus Christ.
Lukewarm friends, come out of your comfort zones and embrace all Scripture, and not just the ones you like. Don’t sin more and more that grace may abound. Do your best to not take for granted the blood of Jesus Christ. Don’t make excuses for why you don’t go to church. Stop excusing why you acknowledge the existence of a God but won’t obey Him. Don’t take too much comfort in your worldly riches. Don’t forget that you too have a work to do for the Lord while on this planet and you must exemplify Him in thought and in lifestyle. Accept Jesus Christ for real not just in your mind. Live for Him, don’t just talk about Him. And when you really believe in Him, He’ll change your life and the newness of your actions will follow that change.
Lukewarm friend, find salvation and don’t be rejected by Christ. Join the saved.
We must all be doers of the Word.
Peace and love!