by Randy Chambers, 2013-03-30
Revelation 3:15-16, NIV: 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.
Am I hot or cold? Am I lukewarm? Perhaps the first question to ask would deal with what standard I am using to determine if I am hot, or cold, or lukewarm. Do I use my church as a standard? It was the entire church of Laodicea that was considered lukewarm. Many churches today “teach as doctrine the traditions of men.” The church has members who are Christ-like, but the church itself is not the standard to look to. Do I use my own understanding as the standard? My understanding may be influenced by “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 Jn. 2:16), or the “worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth” (Mt. 13:22). Scripture tells me not to trust my own understanding but to trust God (Prov. 3:5-6). The only standard is Christ. Only in looking to Him will I avoid a lifestyle that has” a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Tim 3:5). Once we acknowledge Him as the standard, we have a decision to make—will I “throw off everything that hinders” (Heb. 12:1-3) so I can follow Him fully, or will I be content to remain lukewarm?