We usually hear lukewarm describing water. It’s not hot; it’s not cold; it’s lukewarm. But we’re not talking about water here! We’re talking about a church. And we’re not talking about the actual building, we’re talking about the congregation, the people who make up the church. But how can people be lukewarm? It can be confusing at first, but it is much clearer after reading Revelation 3:15-16, which says this:
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
Okay, let’s take a look at this verse. An important thing to know is that this is God speaking. Although He is sending a message to the church in Laodicea, it can also apply to us.
So, back to the question I raised in the beginning: how can people be lukewarm? To understand that, we need to see how people can be hot and cold, because lukewarm is in the middle. The verse is not talking about how in the summer we are hot and in the winter we are cold. It’s talking about spiritual heat and coldness.
–When we say that we are spiritually hot, we are “on fire” for Christ. It’s like we’re super-excited about the Gospel (the Good News), and we are so fired up that we just want to share it with the world. It’s truly amazing.
–On the other side of the coin, being spiritually cold is like we are spiritually dead. It is the exact opposite of being on fire for Christ. We don’t care about God or Christianity or anything related to that. We are spiritually cold.
–To be lukewarm is to be kind of in the middle. We’re not on fire for Christ, but we don’t not care about Him either. We’re kind of neutral.
So what God is saying is that He would rather us be either spiritually on fire or spiritually dead, not neutral. At the end, where it says “I am about to spit you out of my mouth”, it’s pretty obvious what He means–that He’s disgusted with the lukewarm church of Laodicea!
The message here is that we need to make a decision: we need to be either hot or cold. We can’t be lukewarm! Either we are on fire for Christ and love Him with all of our hearts, or we don’t care at all. Which one are you?