Officially retired but now employed as a financial systems & accounting consultant for a large international firm on short term engagements.
How Does One Know If God Considers Them Lukewarm?
Symptoms of the Disease of the Lukewarm
Their creature comforts are met under their own prowess; whether rich or not so rich. Through hard work they have a home over their heads, food on the table, ample time for outside pursuits and when convenient, time for religious association with others of likeminded. These gatherings must fit into their perceived needs but never to encroach upon those details of their lives that they keep well hidden. They become great actors and actresses, disguising their true selves so as to not tarnish their reputation amongst their co-religionists. Should any of their secret life be exposed, they will quickly migrate to another assembly or just disappear from the church scene altogether.
These are those who have the ‘itching ears’ of 2 Timothy 4:3: they are who empower the false teachers by being seekers of ‘no personal accountability’ as long as the speaker pleases their ‘spiritual’ needs. This can come in many forms; legalistic doctrine that when followed ensures their future success; the half-truthers who put forward many sound biblical doctrines but will never interfere with one’s personal lifestyle and the biggie - just be happy, sing happy songs, come as you are for God will accept you without qualification. What do they all have in common? Just support this ministry and you will always be in good stead with God.
One of the other tell tale signs is these fellowships tend to be migratory; people who leave for another assembly as the current was not meeting their own perceived needs. Also, acting religious is hard work in itself: exhaustion can set in when your religious life becomes too emotionally demanding. Some of what appears to be casualties of these assemblies are those who are actually saved and when the time is appropriate; God enlightens their minds; they obey and ‘come out from among’.
God's View of One Who is Lukewarm is Not a Pretty Picture
How God Views the Lukewarm Churches - Revelation 3:17
- Wretched - Hebrew ra’ from ra’a’ - evil, good for nothing [physically, socially, or morally], Greek - talaiporos - found wanting [destitute]. As Paul stated in Romans 7:24 - one who is wretched is DEAD; not to the world but unto God. All mankind is dead in their trespasses and sins before God draws them to the Savior.
- Miserable - Hebrew amal - being worn down, Greek - eleeinos - worthy of pity, mercy. Without God, one who is miserable; is to be pitied for they are worn down by the stresses of life and the ultimate fear of death. This speaks of every person on the face of the earth, for by nature we are creatures without internal peace in this world seeking everything but God, searching for ever elusive peace. Christ is the peace of those who are born-again.
- Poor - Hebrew chel’ka’ - unhappy wretch, Greek ptochos - a beggar. Absolutely the opposite message of the majority of today’s churches constantly being fed to their congregations. They require the self-satisfied view of God as they seek after the current status quo when it concerns religion’s intrusion into their personal lives.
- Blind - when God speaks of a person as being blind as in the Revelation passage, it is not a physical blindness but a spiritual blindness. When Christ healed the physically blind, He opened their spiritual eyes to see Him. John 12:40 cites Isaiah ‘ … He [God] has blinded their eyes … that they should not see …’. We were all born spiritually blind but at the appointed time the Holy Spirit opened our spiritual eyes unto belief. Those who claim Christ as Savior have not physically seen Him, yet we believe for we now look unto Him. When one is healed of this blindness, everything changes in one’s life and they learn to see the world through God’s eyes. The religious see the world through their own eyes, with no clue to how blind they are to the Truth.
- Naked - a vivid picture comes across one’s mind of being viewed by God as being naked. As 2 Corinthians 5:3-4 states that we should be earnestly desiring to be clothed from upon high so as to not be found naked before Him. Most everyone has had a dream of being found physically naked and ashamed in the wrong circumstance, seeking to find anything that would cover their nakedness. Spiritually speaking, everything in a person’s life will be exposed on the day of judgment, with no possibility of hiding anything from God; all secrets and sins will be openly on display. It will not be a dream from which one might awake but will be an absolute terror to their soul … forever.
Always Remember, Hope is Joined to the Living
To the Lukewarm, There is Hope.
In Revelation 3:18-19, God does not the address their state of being wretched and miserable but counsels and rebukes the un-Christlike lie they have been living in three areas of their lives:
- Many have replaced the treasure of heaven with the worldly as they have been caught up in the ways of this world. As verse 18 states, God’s counsel is to buy [Greek - agarazo - to redeem] that which Christ has already purchased in the fires of His affliction. When one pursues the temporary treasures of this earth, they openly mock that which our Lord has purchased with His blood.
- When one seeks the things of this world, one does not seek that which is of God to their shame; it is one’s nakedness before Him to whom all will give an account. Remember, judgment begins with the house of God and all should desire to hear - well done My faithful servant.
- The worldly eschew the Word in many ways; some not so subtle. Many leave the Word, its meaning and applications to the professionals; walking in lockstep as they are instructed. Others base their lives on topical books written by ‘Christian’ authors, which often result in confusing doctrines as they waffle back and forth. Worst of all, privately interpreting scriptures so as to fit their desired lifestyle, which is strictly forbidden by the scriptures - 2 Peter 1:20
In summary: worldliness is a cancer that can occur in one whose name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Revelation 3:19 is our blessed Hope, for God will not allow His own to go without rebuke or chastening. Why? Because He loves us so much that He sent His Son to the cross for us. As Hebrews 12:6-8 adds: His rebuke of all of His own is the difference between being a son or a bastard. If one knows the chastening and rebuke at the Lord’s hands; it is proof we are His … forever.