Because You Are Neither Hot Nor Cold?
In Revelation 3, Jesus rebuked the church at Laodicea for becoming complacent in their faith.
“I know your works”, He said, “you are neither hot nor cold. So, because you’re lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth.”
I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because yo are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:15-16)
Now, it’s often interpreted that being hot is having passion for God, and cold is against God. If you have no passion, then you’re lukewarm. Therefore, Jesus is saying, “Either be all in or all out. It’s the ones in the middle that really make me sick.”
But, how does that make sense?
Jesus was not telling a church, “I’d have more respect for you if you were just against me.”
Laodicea was abundant in riches, and the church benefited from the wealth of the city. It got to the point where they thought they didn’t need anything from God. But Jesus said, “You are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked. You have nothing apart from Christ.”
For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. (Revelation 3:17-18)
For all of Laodicea’s luxuries, there’s one resource they didn’t have: water.
Nearby, Colossae had refreshing cold water; and Hierapolis had medicinal hot water. But what happens when you channel that water in? It becomes lukewarm.
If you’re expecting a cold drink and it’s warm, or hot water and it cools with all those mineral deposits in it, you’re gonna spit it out.
What Jesus was saying to them was this:
“You are far from the source. You cannot refresh nor offer healing to anyone because you’re far from Me and My word.”
This people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are fare from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men. (Isaiah 29:13)
Many churches today have sought after wealth and prosperity, and they’ve forgotten the word of Christ.
Jesus says, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline. So be zealous and repent!” (Revelation 3:19)
But, if you cling to this world instead of Christ, He will spit your name out of his mouth on Judgment Day.
…when we understand the text
- Jesus in HD 141: A Man Born Blind (A 1st-Person Rendition)
- Jesus in HD 164: So Near, and Yet So Far
- Jesus in HD 163: “From That Time On…”
- WWUTT: What the Orthodox Church Believes? (Eastern Orthodox, Russian, Greek, etc.)
- Confessions of a Closet Christian 34: Why Does God Feel Like A Product I Have To Sell?