So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
- Hebrews 13:6
Have you ever heard of a lukewarm Christian? Chances are, you are probably familiar with this term. But are you aware of what it means?
A lukewarm Christian is simply a person who claims to be a Christian, but only follows Christ or the teachings of Christ under certain conditions - meaning that their devotion to God is conditional.
Here are some signs of a lukewarm Christian:
Lukewarm Christians are scared to state any of their beliefs - especially if those beliefs go against the popular opinion
Lukewarm Christians become embarrassed when someone close to them publicly proclaims their faith (or prays in public)
Lukewarm Christians decide for themselves what to believe in the Bible
Lukewarm Christians often believe in the prosperity gospel
Lukewarm Christians tend to be fearful overall
Lukewarm Christians are easily swayed
Lukewarm Christians do not find volunteering or serving others important
Lukewarm Christians are sometimes indifferent to sin
Here's the kicker: I know about lukewarm Christianity because I struggle with being a lukewarm Christian. For many years, I was terrified to admit my faith, beliefs, or personal opinions. I feared the mob; sometimes I still do. I used to be embarrassed to pray in public. I was extremely fearful and anxious. I hated serving at church and refused to do it for many years. I believed in the prosperity gospel and expected God to do things for me.
Revelations 3:13-22 talks about lukewarm Christians:
"I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference."
This is a call from John for the church of Laodicea to turn away from selfishness, indifference to sin, and fearfulness of those who need the truth.
When this was written, it was believed that Laodicea had wooden pipes that were engineered by the Romans. These pipes ran for around five miles, and gave hot water to the surrounding area. However, because the water ran for several miles through a wooden pipe, by the time it got to the Laodiceans, the water was lukewarm. So this message that John wrote to them would have hit home. The water the Laodiceans received was not cold nor hot, but lukewarm - good for nothing. The water wasn't cold and fresh, ready to quench their thirst on a hot day. The water wasn't hot, ready to be cooked with or bathed in. Rather, the water nasty. Not undrinkable, but nasty nonetheless.