Monday, June 10, 2013

Are we the Lukewarm church?

Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: pride, overabundance of food, prosperous ease, and idleness were hers and her daughters’; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abominable offenses before Me   Ezekiel 16:49-50

As I read the verse above, something jumped out at me, and whenever that happens I normally stop and ask God what He wants me to learn. I ponder, read, do more research and meditate on it until I hear from God.  In this chapter in Ezekiel, God is chastising Israel for her sins by comparing them to those of Sodom, and saying that Israel has done much worse. It's a very terrifying and humbling passage.  Yet, I sense that God is saying much the same thing to our present day Westernized church.  
In Revelation, Jesus through the Apostle John sends letters to 7 churches, all but one with praises and all, but one, with condemnation.  Of course these were real churches at the time, but many theologians believe that these churches represent "church ages" that will occur until the Lord returns. 
It's a really interesting theory that seems to match well with church history. 
For a more thorough discussion of this, this website is awesome:

Here's a list of the churches and their identifying phrase

Ephesus - Lots of good works, but eventually lost their love for God 
Smyrna - Persecuted church 
Pergamos  - Compromising church
Thyatira - Sexually corrupt church 
Sardis -    Dead church
Philadelphia - Faithful Church
Laodicea - Lukewarm Church

Jesus has a pretty strong message for this last lukewarm church. One to which we should all heed to personally as well as corporately
I know your works and what you are doing; you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth!

For you say, I am rich; I have prospered and grown wealthy, and I am in need of nothing; and you do not realize and understand that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.

Therefore I counsel you to purchase from Me gold refined and tested by fire, that you may be [truly] wealthy, and white clothes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nudity from being seen, and salve to put on your eyes, that you may see.
 Revelation 3:15-17 Amplified

This brought to mind a few other verses in Scripture:  One is something Jesus said diredtly to His followers:  
Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven.
Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name?

And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].  Matt 7:21-23 Amplified

Jesus tells the Apostle John to tell the Laodicean church that they are naked and don't even know it. But if they come to Him, He will clothe them in white linen.  In Matthew 22, Jesus mentions another time when a person was naked without his robe of white linen. This time it was at the wedding feast that will occur at the end of the age for all the true saints and Jesus. But apparently someone tried to sneak in naked without their wedding garment.

But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and
cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
For many are called, but few are chosen.  Matthew 22:11-14

  These are verses that you may not hear too often in church. They are tough verses to swallow. I admit, they cause me to tremble as well. Yes, God extends grace and salvation to those who profess Jesus as Lord, but not all who profess Jesus as Lord are saved.    That is worth repeating  
Yes, God extends grace and salvation to those who profess Jesus as Lord, but not all who profess Jesus as Lord are saved.  

It's more than a mental belief or verbal declaration. It's a HEART issue and a relationship. AND if your heart truly belongs to Jesus, then your life WILL NOT BE  lukewarm for Him.  It can't be. If you truly believe in your heart and are a disciple of Jesus. If He is your Lord and you are following Him above ALL ELSE, I guarantee you CANNOT be a Lukewarm Christian. At least not for long, because God will not leave you that way.

I'm truly frightened for the Western all-grace-focused Church. I fear that most people in church these days have one foot in God's Kingdom and one foot in the world. They love the things of this world and place them as idols in their heart, shoving away any zeal for God.  But what frightens me even more is that these people don't realize they are wretched and poor and naked and that someday if they do not repent and turn back to God, they will be cast from the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. 

Believe me, I'm preaching to myself as much as I am to you. I encourage you to do what I do. Check your heart everyday. Ask God to burn from it anything that keeps you from placing Jesus on the throne of your life. Ask him for the strength, faith, and zeal to be Sizzling Hot for Him and the things of His Kingdom and never to be lukewarm. Then do the hard work. Pray, stay in the Word, and spend time with your Father in Heaven. There are no shortcuts. But the price for eternal life is FREE. It's free, but no one said it would be easy!

But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it. Matthew 7:14 Amplified


  1. Mon June 10th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    All I can say to today's blog is: "Amen, and, Amen" !!!
    Another 'timely word in due season', MaryLu ... and we (I) so need to hear this message and take it to heart.
    Everything you shared is right on, and speaks truth. "We" (me, and, all of us) need to wake up and be more diligent in our Christian faith and walk with the Lord.
    Thank-you for speaking up to share such a powerful and relevant message with us.
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda

  2. So true! Thanks for always reminding me to check myself. It is so easy to see and judge others and yet ignore our own shortcomings. Hugs!

  3. Thanks for the timely reminder, MaryLu! I am also glad you went the faith root, and not the works root on this text. I have seen it used a lot as a push for why we need to do more. But works flow out of our faith and a true, saving relationship with Christ! You can still be lukewarm and do all sorts of good works. Thanks for keeping that straight! And thanks for a reminder that a true faith in Christ is not "easy" as many people believe it is. I think Ezekiel 16:49-50 really does sum it up well, especially with the popularity of prosperity preachers and other false doctrines that have crept into the church. And Christ forgive us for all the times when we fall into this sin!

  4. Thanks for your comments, Ladies! I know this isn't an easy topic. We'd much rather hear about God's mercy and love and grace. All great things! But there's another side to our Father.. He is also a judge. He is also a God of justice and He doesn't want just half our heart.. He wants all of it. We owe Him nothing less for the sacrifice of His Son.

  5. Whoa! You just spoke to my heart today. This has been hard on my mind for many months. I had never heard the churches in Revelations represented Church Ages. However, I had heard they represented different kinds of churches in every age. I’ve been reading Revelations for this reason—to take a look at the churches and what was said to them. Working in a Christian Counseling office in the suburbs of the Balt-Wash Megalopolis, I see all of these churches. I even visit many with family members and friends. Wow, it’s amazing how the Bible can be parsed to say what our agenda wants it to. A big reason to study the whole book.
    I’ve always been fascinated by the different churches Paul wrote to. We sometimes think that because he focuses so much on Grace in one letter that that is all we need to know. The church he wrote that to was one that forced legalism on its members. The other churches needed different instruction, like how to reprimand members who sin. It’s sometimes seemingly very harsh, though always done out of love, and ends with the membership forgiving and pulling the transgressor back into the fold. How do we miss this?!
    Yes, God loves us. He loves us like a Father. One who drew up boundaries for us to live by. These boundaries serve many purposes. One is so we can have a better life. And trusting in His wisdom in authoring these boundaries, we grow closer to Him. The more we obey, the more we see who He is and what He wants. Then the more we trust in Him and yes, rest in Him. It’s not just His love that gives me peace, it’s His Wisdom.

  6. Nicely said, Connie. The Bible must be taken as a whole.. the nice stuff and the hard stuff. Yet, for the sake of filling churches, some pastors only preach the nice stuff. It tickles our ears and brings us back for more. But it's like spoiling a child.. it's ultimately not good for the child and will lead to his destruction. I love what you said about trusting in God's wisdom and boundaries not that He is some tyrant.. but because He is a loving Father who knows what's best for us! Thanks for dropping by!


  7. I think you hit the nail on the head with this MaryLu. It seems that is a whole lot of America's problems today.
    So many sinful ways being accepted as right. This is not pleasing to GOD! I believe we all better get our lives in order with what HE expects of each of us.
    Maxie Anderson