Get Ready: Are You Hot, Are You Cold, Are You Lukewarm?

Revelation 3:15-16  (NIV)  I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!  So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

In John’s vision, recorded in the book of Revelation, Christ instructs John to write a message to the seven churches of Asia Minor. The message to Laodicea in Revelation 3:15-16 is one of judgement with a call to repentance.   The Laodiceans were being criticized for their neutrality or lack of zeal (hence “lukewarm”).

It is not a positive reference.

Tepid

Apathetic

Indifferent

Uncommitted

Unconcerned

World-weary

Uninterested

Wow, do you want any of those words applied to you [all synonyms for lukewarm]?  Probably not.

Pastor Chan is writing in chapter 4 about the lukewarm and I hope you do not see yourself in this chapter.

Chances are that you will…chances are I will too.

What does Christ demand?  Full commitment.

Have you ever done research on the 12 Disciples?

What did He say to them when they joined his ministry?

“If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s shall save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? (Mark 8:34-36).

What happened to them?

Peter and Paul were both martyred in Rome about 66 AD.   Paul was beheaded. Peter was crucified, upside down.

Andrew went to what is now Russia and was crucified.

“Doubting” Thomas was probably most active in the area east of Syria. He died there when pierced through with the spears of four soldiers.

Phillip had a powerful ministry in Carthage in North Africa and then in Asia Minor where he was arrested and cruelly put to death.

Matthew the tax collector and writer of a Gospel, ministered in Persia and Ethiopia. Some of the oldest reports say he was not martyred, but many others say he was stabbed to death in Ethiopia.

Bartholomew had widespread missionary travels attributed to him and on his travels he met his death as a martyr for the gospel.

James the son of Alpheus ministered in Syria. The Jewish historian Josephus reported that he was stoned and then clubbed to death.

Simon the Zealot ministered in Persia and was killed after refusing to sacrifice to the sun god.

Mattias was the apostle chosen to replace Judas. He was sent to Syria with Andrew and put to death by burning.

John is the only one of the company generally thought to have died a natural death from old age.   This is not to say that he did not suffer.  Of course he was exiled to the island of Patmos.  An early Latin tradition has him escaping unhurt after being cast into boiling oil at Rome.  In short, he suffered for his faith.

What does Jesus ask of you and me?

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”

That’s a heavy duty request.

It’s no wonder that we have to admit to being “lukewarm”.

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