Do you know what it means to be “lukewarm”? Are you?

Do you know what it means to be “lukewarm?” Are you?

Revelation 3:16

So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

Checking Your Spiritual Thermometer

Jesus once told the disciples that they must love Him more than their mother, their brothers, and everyone else (Matthew 10:37). Elsewhere, Jesus puts it like this: If you don’t hate your father, mother, children, brothers, sisters and even your own life in comparison to loving Him, then you can’t really be His disciple (Luke 14:26). That’s a very high bar, isn’t it? This doesn’t mean that you are to actually hate them; but when you compare your love for Christ to how you feel about others, it seems like hate in contrast to it. That’s how much we are to be devoted to Christ. Jesus frequently tells us that there is an extremely high cost to following Him and that we have to hate our own lives and our own self-interests and desires in comparison to our love for Him if we are truly seeking to find eternal life (John 12:25). If we seek to save our life or seek what we love in our this life, then we’ll lose it; but if we diligently seek to lose it, we’ll gain eternal life.

Seeking the Kingdom First

Do you seek first the kingdom of God? There is a second part of Jesus’ statement where He says we’re to seek first the kingdom; but the second part is frequently left out, which is that we’re to seek first His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). Lukewarm Christians do the least that they can get away with. They might be consistent in church attendance and they might be generous in their giving, but it’s so much more than that. We are called to live a holy life and not just an adequate Christian life (Luke 6:26). That means we must be doing what God says and not just hearing the sermon or Bible teaching every week (James 1:22). It means getting outside of our comfort zone and telling others about Christ and not denying Him before others, which carries with it some gravely serious consequences (Matthew 10:32-33).

Forsaking All

If we really want to please God, then we’ll sell out for God to the max. Like Jesus giving the short Parable of the Pearl of Great Price, whoever finds this pearl will sell all they have to buy it (Matthew 13:45-46). Jesus is that Precious Pearl of Great Price. He is worth giving up all to follow. Jesus is asking us to renounce all that we value in this world or we can’t really be His disciples (Luke 14:33). That doesn’t mean that we sell all we have; but if we’re more interested in keeping everything for ourselves and not being devoted to Christ, then we might well be lukewarm. And that makes Christ sick to His stomach, as the original Greek indicates in Revelation 3:16 where He spews us out of His mouth, which really means He vomits us out of His mouth. I know that’s gross, but it’s the original language in which it was written.

A Closing Prayer

Righteous Father, please forgive me for the many times that I’ve been lukewarm and not on fire for You. I know You would rather have me be on fire or cold than be in the middle somewhere and lukewarm. Help me by Your Spirit to be authentic, genuine, and fully devoted to You. And in Jesus’ name I pray.


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