The One Who Conquers

Lukewarm is Indifferent
Revelation 3:14-16 ESV

“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.

“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.’”

To be lukewarm means to be indifferent, complacent, and apathetic. It means you are neither fully for God nor are you fully against God. You say you believe in Jesus, but you lack any commitment to him. You say Jesus is your Savior and yet you continue living in sin. You say you love Jesus, but you don’t obey him.

Jesus doesn’t want lukewarm followers. He will not confess you as belonging to him. You are either for him or against him. There is no middle ground. You can’t live in sin, doing whatever you want to do, and be a follower of Jesus Christ.

His followers, he says, listen to him and they follow (obey) him, and they are the ones who can’t be snatched out of his hands (Jn 10:27-30).

He also says that if we want to come after him we must deny self and take up our cross daily (daily die to sin) and follow (obey) him. For, if we hold on to our old lives of sin, we will lose them for eternity. But if we lose our old lives (die with Christ to sin) for the sake of Jesus, we will have eternal life with God (Lu 9:23-26; cf. Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9).

Self-Deception
Revelation 3:17 ESV

“’For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.’”

The problem we have today in the church is that too many people are being fed lies and are accepting those lies as truth, and they are willing to believe the lies without question because the lies give them permission to keep on in their sinful practices without guilt or remorse.

They are being told that nothing is required of them by God other than to “believe” in Jesus, and that they are good to go to heaven when they die no matter how they live while still on this earth. But “belief” in Jesus is being reduced to a mere outward confession of faith, or a mere acknowledgment of Christ as Lord, or to words repeated after someone else in a prayer.

So, what they are producing is a large number of converts to lukewarm Christianity, but not to genuine faith in Jesus Christ which submits to him as Lord (master), which leaves a life of sin behind, and which follows Jesus in surrender and in obedience to his commands.

In fact, they are being convinced that they don’t have to submit to the Lordship of Christ or obey him or turn away from their sins. So, they believe they don’t need anything else. They are content with the belief that they are saved and bound for heaven and that nothing can take it away from them.

And, this is because they are self-deceived. They don’t know or they are unwilling to accept that they are still lost in their sins and bound for hell, not heaven, if they refuse to bow the knee to Jesus in humble submission to his will for their lives and if they refuse to obey him and to turn from their sins.

The Good Counsel
Revelation 3:18 ESV

“’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.’”

So, what is the counsel here? It is the gospel. It is that Jesus died on that cross, not just to forgive us our sins, and not just so we can escape hell and go to heaven when we die. He died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (1 Pet 2:24; Rom 6:1-23).

He died on that cross to put our sin to death so that we might be delivered out of our slavery to sin so that we would no longer walk in sin but so we would now walk in righteousness, by the power of God’s Spirit now living within us and for the glory of God (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17).

So, the counsel here is for us to be crucified with Christ in death to sin, to be changed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, and for us to now walk in obedience to our Lord’s commands, by the Spirit of God. We no longer live according to the flesh, but now according to the Spirit (Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9).

This means that our lives are now committed to Christ and to obeying his commands, and our lives are no longer our own, but we belong to Christ.

Be Zealous and Repent
Revelation 3:19-22 ESV

“’Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

This is a warning of judgment against the lukewarm church, which I believe has begun already. I believe that is why we are experiencing all these troubles in America right now. The Lord has been calling his church to repentance for a long while now, and he has been warning of judgment.

But if we don’t repent (turn from our sin) and we don’t follow Jesus with our lives, but we continue to go our own way, doing what we want to do, then he will spit us out of his mouth. And, one day we will hear, “Depart from me, I never knew you.”

So, this is a call to be on fire for Jesus, no longer lukewarm, and to turn away from sinful lifestyles. For now, he is still knocking, and he is still asking to be let into people’s lives who are now resisting him by their lukewarmness and by their apathy to him and to his commands.

And, he is promising eternal life with him to those who conquer sin and who turn their lives over to Jesus in submission to him and in obedience to his commands to his church (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 2:3-6).

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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