Tuesday, 13 December 2016

The Lukewarm Church

Scripture: Revelation 3 v 16 - 19: "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

This is the seventh letter that Jesus wrote to the ruling angels over individual churches.  This church in Asia Minor was called Laodicea, famous for its ointments or eye salves.

Jesus says to these Christians, If your faith and commitment is neither hot nor cold but lukewarm, He will spit you out of His mouth.  When we are born again we are seated in Christ in heavenly places and He is in our heart.  It is a very close relationship.  If you do not have a fervent love and understanding of your part in His life, you could be lukewarm and rejected.

If you are cold it means you have never known the warmth of Jesus so your chance to know Him is still ahead of you.  He says He would prefer you to be either hot or cold because if your faith is hot it means the fire of the Holy Spirit has ignited within you and you are doing the will of the Father. Jesus delights in you and you are blessed. if you are still cold you need to come in from the out.

Many people have found Jesus as Saviour but never become part of a functioning body.  They may be stuck in traditional churches where salvation is never preached and the words of Jesus saying , You must be born again (John 3 v 3) are never heard.  

They sing beautifully, listen keenly to sermons of moral value, put their coins in the collection plate, are satisfied on an emotional level with their devotions but their spirit remains untouched and cold.  They need to throw off the religious chains and meet Jesus face to face, be convicted of sin and cry out for salvation. Then they will be forgiven and washed in the Blood of Jesus.

Jesus sees that Laodicea is a materially wealthy church but He calls them wretched, poor, miserable, blind and naked. This is because they have become proud and self righteous. They are unteachable and have recreated God in their own image. Jesus plays on words saying they are blind and in need of eyesalve.

Sadly out of this last days Church will apostasy flourish like a plague.  Paul writes about it in Thessalonians and says that before the Antichrist is revealed there will be a falling away from the truth by Christians who will be lured into fatal compromise by the enemy of our souls. These are the ones Jesus will spue out of His mouth. 

On the Day of Judgment there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth when Jesus declares I NEVER KNEW YOU! Depart from Me you workers of iniquity. (Matthew 7).  These are people who call Jesus Lord, who do miracles, healings and deliverance from demons in His name, but fuel apostasy through false doctrines that are abounding in churches today.  The enemy has sown his tares among the wheat and these weeds are taking over the whole crop.

Many church groups have already begun the downward spiral as pastors are forced to turn their churches into entertainment centres to keep the flock coming to church at all. The messages are more geared to please people than to minister truth and right moral standing. This is where apostasy starts.  This is the broad way that leads to destruction.  

If we are not in a church where the full gospel is preached and the salvation message is very clear; where the true power of the Holy Spirit is flowing bringing truth, love, joy, peace, reconciliation, ministry to the hurting, worship in spirit and truth, good feeding through Bible Study and prayer, we are in danger of apostasy.

The Interfaith Movement is the mingling of other religions with Christianity. In Numbers 3 v 4 Nadab and Abihu died before the Lord when they offered strange fire on His altar. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever and His judgment for the strange fire of Interfaith will be swift and final. It is the foundation for the One World Religion controlled by the Antichrist. True Christians will suffer severe persecution from this Interfaith movement. 

In Revelations 3 the Lord give promises of great value to those who reject the lukewarm offering and become fervent and faithful followers of the Lamb of God. So repent if you have been lured into the error of false doctrines and worldliness in the church and walk in the light as He is in the light, having fellowship with one another as the Blood of Jesus cleanses you from all sin. 1 john 1 v 7. 

By the wildfire-like spreading of false religion in the churches we need to examine our spiritual standing and the environment we worship in.  Check it out with Jesus.  Ask, seek, knock, and don't be satisfied with glib patronising answers.  No matter how hard it might be, move on as I had to do and follow Jesus to the place He chooses to feed you.

Prayer: Father God we cannot take that which You call an abomination, lightly. We cannot stand confidently before You if we accept strange fire on Your altar. Father teach us to be steadfast and effective Christians who shun compromise and all appearance of evil. We pray that You never be ashamed of us nor spue us out of Your mouth. In Jesus' name. Amen.