“‘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.”
In this day and age, the word Christian can culturally have two different meanings. One definition someone who regularly attends church, does not drink or do drugs, regularly volunteers, drives a nice car or has a nice house, and has plenty of money to spare for the offering jar every Sunday. Anyone who is classified under this definition of Christian is most likely seen as an all around good person; they are well off and seem to have their lives in order. The second definition of a Christian can be described as someone who has accepted Jesus as their Savior and strives everyday to mimic the life that He lived so that others may see and experience His love. This person does not hide their struggles, but surrenders their imperfections daily to Christ. They do not let other people be fooled by the idea that they live a perfect life. In fact, this type of Christian allows their hardships to be presented in the light with full confidence that Christ will make Himself present in all circumstances. Although both of these two types of Christians claim to believe and worship in the same Jesus, only one of them is considered a true Christian. But, which one is the right one? More importantly, which one are you?
Before we jump to any conclusions, I would like to take a closer look at the two types of Christians that we previously defined. The first type of Christian can be defined as lukewarm-neither hot nor cold. In other words, this person has a faith that only goes as far as they want it to and then their worldly desires take care of the rest. There is a passage in the Bible that gives us an accurate example of what this type of Christian typically acts like when it comes to following God on a daily basis. In Matthew 19:16-26, Jesus is speaking to a crowd when a rich young man approaches Him and asks Him, “Teacher, what good things must I do to gain eternal life?” To this, Jesus replies, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven. Then come, follow me.” Upon hearing Jesus’ answer, the young man became sad and left because he had great wealth that he did not want to give up. This young man had enough faith to believe that Jesus could tell him how to get to Heaven, but did not have enough faith in Him to trust Him with his whole life.
This is very similar to the life that the lukewarm Christian lives. They seek to do all the right works and have enough Earthly possessions to live a life where they think that they can make it on their own accord. But what they do not know is that this type of belief is despised by Christ. He would rather them strongly disbelieve in Him than to halfheartedly proclaim a name that they do not really want to serve. In His eyes, the lukewarm Christian is seeking to find salvation in order to escape the fiery gates of Hell, not to spread the truth of Jesus Christ. To be lukewarm is to do good works in order to gain the result of personal glorification.
This type of Christian is not stereotyped to one type of person; we all can be lukewarm at times. The difference between Christian number one and Christian number two is that Christian number two will more readily recognize their selfishness and seek out Christ in hopes that He will transform their hearts into ones that beat solely for His glory. This second type of Christian can be defined as a follower-someone who moves and lives by the teachings of Christ. Now, what does this look like? How do we become this type of Christian?
There are countless times throughout the Scriptures where Paul and many other disciples describe a process known as sanctification, or to be made holy. Sanctification happens in a process, but it only happens to those who are willing to experience life change through faith and trust in Jesus. It is a daily process of letting go of our fleshly desires and allowing the Spirit to transform us into His disciples. Through this process, we are able to realize on a daily basis how imperfect and unholy we are without Jesus, but by trusting Him, we are seen as holy and perfect creatures by a big and gracious God. This is a process that involves laying down our lives, surrendering our futures, and giving God full control of the wheel. It is by no means easy to do, but the reward is far greater than we will ever be able to comprehend.
God begins working in us the very second that we begin to give Him dominion in our lives. When you are allowing God to thrive in your heart, the good works that you do are no longer done to earn a spot in Heaven, but are an act of love done to spread the glory and light of Christ. With Christ, it is now possible to see a life that extends beyond the white picket fences or the brand new car. But, most importantly, when you truly surrender to Him, it is impossible for you to ever become lukewarm again. Once you place your hand in His, He never lets go of it. Although you will stumble and fall, myself included, at least a thousand times a day, He will never fail to catch you because you are His.
Jesus Christ did not come for part of you, He came for all of you. This is exactly why He does not want the lukewarm Christian Since He came to get your whole heart, He will not settle for less. He fights for you daily and is constantly pursuing you, even if you do not know it. The beauty of His sacrifice is that it is never too late to accept Him. He is always ready to transform those who are lukewarm into fierce followers.