Lukewarm? :: By John Lysaught

There are two misconceptions that Satan puts on the world. One is that Heaven is available to unbelievers that lead good lives. The second is that hell is only reserved for the worst of the worse. So, the people of the “world” feel comfortable with their generalized beliefs in heaven and hell. How sad.  Even when faced with the truth of the Bible and the need for salvation in Christ, they still believe the lies of Satan.

I see that there are three types of people. The first is those living for themselves, believing the lies of Satan. The second is the lukewarm believer, and the third is the true believer. The first is the easiest to see. These people are selfishly living their lives for themselves without accepting Christ. The second are those who have one foot with Christ and one foot in the world, wanting the benefits of both living for self and Christ. The last, the true believers, are living each day for God, not themselves, and are heaven- focused.

I’ve been all three, in the order listed above. I’ve lived for myself and myself only. I accepted Christ but had one foot in the world, living a lie to myself. And now? And now, I do my best to live for Christ each day with serving Him and being heaven-focused. I want to focus on those that are lukewarm in their relationship with Christ. Being hot or cold is pretty easy to discern in ourselves, but being lukewarm can be a challenge.

Regardless of what you may think, or if you disagree with me, I believe that each person falls into one of the categories I listed above. I want people to know that if they live in the world or are lukewarm, change is possible. What is important is that if you are living lukewarm, you can be all-in for Christ.

Colossians 3:2 tells us to “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” We need to focus on the things above (God) and not this world.  We can do this by keeping our eyes on God and not man or the things of man. When we have Christ in our hearts, our eyes will be on Him and not the things of the world. This has to be constant, not just when we feel like it.

It doesn’t take that much effort, but really, it just takes a change of heart. Matthew 6:21 tells us that where are treasure is, is where our hearts are. The question to ask yourself is what is your treasure? If you want your treasure to be Jesus, then work for that each day.  Don’t give up on yourself.  The Holy Spirit will lead you and convict you to do this if this is what you really want.

Don’t lie to yourself though. Examine your heart to see where it is. Psalm 139:23-24 tells us, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Conduct a thorough exam of your heart; and if there is something in there that needs to be cut out, pray for this to happen.

Psalm 51:10 says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Only with a clean heart and a renewing of our spirit can we fully seek Christ’s marvelous grace and power in our lives. We need to have right hearts to live fully for Christ. Anything less is questionable. We can’t love and hate at the same time. We can’t love parts of the world and love Christ at the same time. We need to turn our backs to the world and turn our faces to Christ.

If we don’t, we are falling short. We can’t be lukewarm Christians. Revelation 3:16 says, “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” This statement is very clear and concise. If you are lukewarm, be wary of what you are doing, and change now. Not tomorrow or when you are older or down the road sometime; do it now.

I use this verse to remind myself of the importance of not being lukewarm in my faith. Have I? Yes. Do I still? Sometimes. But when I catch myself being lukewarm, I quickly repent and refocus my mind to Him.  To me it’s a heart thing. If my heart is set on the things above, how can they be muddied by the things of the world? They can’t. It takes a conscious effort to put the things above to the side to satisfy the lusts of the flesh.

Satan wants us to think it is okay to be lukewarm. He wants us to believe we can have the best of both worlds. We can’t though. We need to choose one or the other, and this takes an honest appraisal of ourselves. Don’t believe Satan’s lies. Don’t get tripped up by lukewarm messages at church or lukewarm justifications from others. Open your Bible and see for yourself what it says about being righteous and doing the will of God.

Being lukewarm in our faith is believing the lies of Satan. If you are just floating through life with faith in one hand and serving self in the other, it is wrong. 1 John 3:10 tells us, “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”

Ok, so what is righteousness? If you are unsure, it is living justly and is doing the will of God (definition found on click here for a full definition). What is the will of God? John 6:40 sums it up this way: “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” And, if you believe in Jesus, you will need to follow Him and follow His example in life (1 Cor. 11:1). Here are a few examples of what following Jesus means:

Matthew 16:24, “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

A lukewarm believer does not practice righteousness and is not doing the will of the Father. A lukewarm believer is trying to live in the world and with Christ at the same time. Eternity is not something to mess with or take lightly; and when living a lukewarm life, this is exactly what is happening.

Being all-in for Christ is how we should live. From our waking moments until we go to bed for the night, our thoughts need to be on Him, not self, or in between. This can take effort at first if you haven’t been practicing this, but with a little self-discipline, it will happen. It takes every moment of your day having Christ in the forefront of your mind. It takes keeping Him in the background of your thoughts. After a while, it becomes natural to do this – it becomes a habit.

Brothers and sisters, search your heart of hearts for your standing with being lukewarm. Let the Word reach into your innermost parts to show you where you are. If you are lukewarm, change, and change now; for we don’t know when Christ will take us home.