Daily Devotional

July 23, 2018

Hot, Cold, or Lukewarm?

Because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. – Revelation 3:16

Lukewarm coffee! Terrible, isn’t it, when you are anticipating a steaming hot cup? How about drinking a glass of lukewarm water when the temperature is 100 degrees? Maybe lukewarm 7-Up would be better?

To most of us, lukewarm is repulsive, and it is repulsive to God also. He told the church at Laodicea, “Because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

What does it mean to be lukewarm spiritually? The cold are obviously those who are not interested in pleasing God. The hot are almost as obvious—those who care only for pleasing God. But who, then, are the lukewarm? Clearly, they are the people who are in the middle—not cold or hot.

While it may be obvious that the lukewarm people are in the middle, it may not be so easy to detect how people arrive in this position spiritually. Liquid moves from hot to lukewarm, or from cold to lukewarm, by just sitting at room temperature. What happens to our spiritual lives if we “just sit”?

Our society in the United States expects everything to be easy—consider fast food restaurants, instant pudding, microwave dinners, permanent press shirts, and garage door openers. The next step can so readily be to expect Christianity to be easy also. It is easy to think we want to please God, but without realizing it, we may expect God to also please us! Is that what the Bible says? No! We read in Revelation 7:14, “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb.” Easy? Hardly!

What “great tribulations” do we face? Possibly one of the greatest dangers in our Christian experience is to become lukewarm. The cares of life can distract us from being concerned only with pleasing God. Possessions can become a burden. Remember those at Laodicea, who thought they were rich, increased with goods, and had need of nothing.

Staying hot spiritually takes effort. It takes fighting against being lukewarm with disciplined, earnest prayer and a love for God’s Word and the truth. We must “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). Our ardor will determine our destiny.