In the Book of Revelation, Jesus gives a harsh warning to the Church of Laodicea. He says, “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would you be either cold or hot? So because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:15-16). This verse often describes someone whose faith isn’t evident in their actions.
A lukewarm Christian may still believe in God but doesn’t let their faith guide their decisions and actions. Their belief is simply surface-level. They have a faith that is somewhat anchored but not based on anything substantial. They’re not fully committed to following Christ. And while they’re not opposed to Christianity, they’re not passionate about it either. Therefore, their spiritual lives are stagnant. They’re not growing closer to God or further away from Him. They’re just stuck in the middle.
If this describes your faith, take heart; it’s never too late to recommit yourself to Christ and allow Him to transform your life. Start by reading His Word, spending time in prayer, and attending church regularly. These things will help anchor your faith and prevent it from becoming lukewarm.
What is the Origin of Lukewarm?
The word “lukewarm” has a fascinating origin. It is derived from the 14th or 15th century when Luke was spelled lewk. This means that the word tepid was spelled the same way as the name Luke. Interestingly, the term “lukewarm” has been used for centuries and has retained its meaning throughout the years. When something is lukewarm, it is neither hot nor cold, which can be applied to many situations. For example, you can have a lukewarm cup of coffee or a lukewarm attitude towards someone. In either case, lukewarm is not particularly positive or negative. It simply means that something is not very exciting or enthusiastic.
What are the Characteristics of a Lukewarm Believer?
A lukewarm believer identifies as a Christian but isn’t fully committed to the faith. They might attend church occasionally and give lip service to their belief in God, but they don’t indeed follow Christ’s teachings. Lukewarm believers often live according to their desires and goals rather than strive to please God. As a result, their relationship with God is superficial at best.
While they might claim to love and serve God, their actions often betray their true feelings. If you suspect that someone might be a lukewarm believer, pay attention to how they live their life. Do they show more interest in worldly pursuits than in spiritual matters? Are they quick to anger or judgmental towards others? Do they frequently backslide into sinful behaviors? If so, they might not be as committed to Christianity as they claim.
Why is Being Lukewarm Bad?
Being lukewarm is terrible because it’s the worst of both worlds. It’s not hot enough to be useful, but it’s also not cold enough to be helpful. In the Bible, Jesus talks about people who are “lukewarm” and says they are vomited out of His mouth. He calls them people who are “neither hot nor cold.” This implies that God will reject those who are only half committed to Him in the end. It’s also significant because it demonstrates how much God wants us to be devoted and not be indifferent toward Him. When we’re lukewarm in our faith, we’re not giving God our all. We’re holding back, and as a result, we’re not experiencing all that He has for us. God wants us to be wholehearted in our devotion to Him, and being lukewarm won’t get us there.
How Can We Avoid Becoming Lukewarm?
The easiest way to avoid becoming lukewarm is to be aware of the dangers of complacency. When we become comfortable with our faith, it is easy to take it for granted. We no longer see the need to grow and mature spiritually, so we become content with where we are. This attitude is reflected in our prayer life, Bible study, and service to others. Our passion for God starts to fade, and we become satisfied with just going through the motions.
It’s vital to realize that becoming lukewarm is a genuine danger in our Christian walk. Matthew repeatedly warns us against being lukewarm (Matt 5:13; 6:24; 10:42; 12:30; 16:26; 25:41-46). When we become lukewarm, we risk losing our first love for God (Rev 2:4-5).
Who Were the Lukewarm Believers in the Bible?
The lukewarm believers in the Bible are known as the Laodiceans Saints. These individuals had received baptism and entered the kingdom, most likely also receiving the Holy Ghost along the way. However, they failed to remain faithful and fearless, choosing instead to pursue other things.
The Laodiceans fell into two extremes: on one side was an overabundance of self-reliance; on the other, apathy. They did not maintain their spiritual passion, nor did they cultivate it. As a result, they allowed their relationship with God to dwindle until it became barely recognizable.
Just as the Laodiceans lacked spiritual depth, these individuals lacked a genuine connection to God. Today, many people within religious organizations appear active but are spiritually dead because of their lack of faithfulness. They might go through the motions of religious activity, but their hearts are far from Him. As a result, they cannot experience the true joy and peace that come from following Christ.
How Do You Draw Closer to God and Avoid Being Lukewarm?
One of the challenging things about our relationship with God is that He is unknowable by His very nature. This can create a sense of separation, even when we are close to Him. However, prayer, listening, and obedience are the keys to maintaining a close relationship with God. Prayer allows us to communicate with Him directly, and listening will enable us to hear His voice amidst the noise and distractions of our daily lives. Obedience is essential because it shows our willingness to submit to His will and follow His commands. By drawing near to God through these three practices, we can avoid becoming lukewarm in our faith.
Is Being Lukewarm a Sin?
The Bible contains a passage often interpreted to mean that being lukewarm is a sin. In the Book of Revelation, Jesus says, “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.” (Revelation 3:15-16). There are a few different interpretations of this passage. Still, the general consensus seems to be that being lukewarm is not a sin in and of itself. However, it can be seen as a sign of spiritual apathy or indifference, which can lead to sin. Indifference toward God is dangerous because it leads to the hardening of the heart, which can make it difficult to return to Him. Our spiritual temperature can decline without us realizing it if we are not careful. Therefore, it is crucial to stay aware of our relationship with God and ensure that we remain passionate about Him.
Is Luke a Lukewarm Disciple of Jesus?
Luke, a disciple of Jesus, is often thought of as being lukewarm in his faith and devotion. This is because he was befriended by Paul and was less well-versed in various interpretations of Jesus’ life held by different Christian sects. However, upon closer examination of Luke’s writing, it becomes clear that he was passionate about his faith.
In his writing, Luke depicts Jesus as someone who cared deeply for those less fortunate—the poor, oppressed, and anyone on society’s outskirts like Samaritans, Gentiles, and women. Luke’s discipleship was far from indifferent. He was quite passionate and devoted to Jesus. Therefore, the misconception that Luke was a disciple without zeal is inaccurate.
As Christians, we are called to follow Jesus with all our hearts and minds. This means we should be passionate about our faith and not simply go through the motions. Doing so would be reflected in everything we do. We are enthusiastic about attending church, reading our Bible, and sharing our faith with others. Our passion for Christ drives us to live holy lives and serve others selflessly.
However, when we are lukewarm in our faith, none of this is true. We may still go to church and read our Bible, but we do so out of duty rather than joy. We may even start to resent doing these things, and our passion for Christ begins to wane. This can lead us to spiritual apathy and, eventually, sin. Therefore, it is important that we remain hot for God and not allow ourselves to become lukewarm in our faith.