Lukewarm Christianity. It was a term I heard often growing up in the church. It’s described in the book of Revelation where God speaks to the church of Laodicea. This past week, I had a really difficult time letting go of this passage. In our American culture, it is so easy to fulfill our needs and desires with worldly things. We live in a culture of excess. So many of us focus on feeding our flesh with this world, that we forget it is God alone who can meet our needs. The people of Laodicea were rich by earthly standards, but God refers to them as poor, naked and blind (Revelation 3:18-19).
So what made the people of Laodicea lukewarm? It was the fact that they couldn’t shake their worldly desires. Instead of relying solely on God, they relied on the riches of this world to satisfy their needs. They had one foot in the Kingdom of God and one foot in the world. Just like the believers of Laodicea, many of us today struggle with trying to serve two masters. (Matthew 6:24)
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“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.” – Revelation 3:15-17 (NLT)
8 Ways We Can Avoid Lukewarm Christianity:
1) Stay in the Word. – God’s Word is our ultimate source of truth and power. The enemy would love nothing more than to keep us from it, which is all the more reason to study it thoroughly and know it by heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
2) Seek accountability. – God established His church as a unified body. His desire is for us to encourage one another and build each other up in the faith. We can’t do that if we aren’t spending time with other believers. Whether in a church setting or a small Bible study – we were meant to live out our faith together. (1 Thessalonians 5:11, Galatians 6:1-2)
3) Rely on the Holy Spirit. – After Jesus ascended into heaven, God sent His Holy Spirit to us as our helper. He has many jobs here on earth, including revealing God’s truth and encouraging us to persevere in our faith. We can rely on Him for strength and guidance. (Romans 8:26, Galatians 5:16-17)
4) Pray without ceasing. – Be in a constant state of prayer. Never close the line of communication between you and God. Recognize Him in all that you do. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
5) Flee from temptation. – Some temptations can’t be avoided – rather we simply need to say no and persevere. Others, however, can be. We can avoid places and situations where we know temptation will be present. (1 Corinthians 10:13, Matthew 5:29-30)
6) Practice what you preach. – This is often easier said than done. At some point in our Christian walk, we will all have moments where someone could call us a hypocrite. We know the truth, but we still have slip ups. The important thing is how we handle these moments. Are we willing to repent and make things right? God loves His children, and He will always welcome us back with open arms. (1 John 2:1-11, Revelation 3:19)
7) Live for eternity. – It’s so easy to forget sometimes that this life is but a brief moment compared to eternity. For children of God, this world is not our home. We belong to the Kingdom of God and have eternity to look forward to. This worldview should be at the forefront of our minds as we live here on earth. (Matthew 6:33, Romans 8:18-25)
8) Be prepared for battle. – There is nothing the enemy hates more than a Christian who is genuinely living out their faith and walking with the Lord. Be prepared for Him to attack. At the same time, however, be encouraged by the fact that the Lord is with you, and you will never fight alone. (Ephesians 6:11-12, 1 Peter 5:8-9)
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.