First let’s level-set by eliminating the obvious. Contrary to popular belief, lukewarm does not mean “wishy-washy.” Religion will tell you that lukewarm saints are those who have one foot in the Kingdom and one foot in the world.
That ain’t what it means, folks!
I want to start with an analogy. But, while this is good, this isn’t where I’m going to end up.
Christians can be like tea. When we’re hot, we’re soothing. When we’re cold, we’re refreshing. In both cases, we’re thermostats, changing the environment around us.
When we’re lukewarm, we merely assume the temperature around us and become thermometers.
Lukewarm tea is neither soothing nor refreshing; it’s just plain nasty! That’s why Jesus spits them out.
Now that’s a great analogy but there’s a greater revelation!
Revelation 3:15-16 (ESV) 15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
Cold — under law
Hot — under Grace
Lukewarm — mixture, poison, Trojan Horse
Strict legalists try to obtain justification by works. Impossible but give them credit for trying
Legalism will send no one to hell but it denies its adherents from the tangible benefits of living under Grace.
The law is cold, hard, and rigid. That’s why it’s written on tablets of stone.
• If it’s cold and rigid, it’s dead
? It assumes room temperature
? Therefore, it’s merely a thermometer
• It is a scorecard that measures sin, giving it’s adherents a means to compare themselves with others.
• It is a sin-amplifier, strengthening sin instead of eradicating it (1 Corinthians 15:56)
The law could do nothing for the sinful condition of humanity except make it more sinful.
Romans 3:20 (ESV) 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
It burned sin-consciousness into people’s hearts and minds.
The followers of the law are not dead but they have a semblance of death because they are yoked to dead ordinances and dead works!
But along comes Jesus…
Jesus showed up because we couldn’t do it alone. God knew we couldn’t defeat sin on our own, that’s why Jesus was the lamb slain from the foundation of the world!
Jesus was perfect God who became perfect man. He became the unblemished sacrifice required for our redemption.
Jesus was on fire then. Jesus is on fire now!
God is said to be a consuming fire, and He is. His fire consumes our sin. His fire consumes our sicknesses. His fire consumes our oppression. His fire consumes our lack.
His fire DOES NOT consume us! We are His children — whether we’re good, bad, or ugly.
Now, before some folks get their underwear in a bunch, this is not to say that God is cool with sin. In fact, God hates sin so much that He sent Jesus to sacrifice Himself for its ultimate eradication. God has dealt with sin, once and for all. Our part, now is to simply accept what Jesus has done and abide in Him. And, just like metal tried by fire removes our impurities, when we become righteousness-conscious in Christ, His consuming fire burns away everything that is not like Him! We lose our consciousness of sin (Hebrews 10:2)
When we are in Christ, we are on fire because He is on fire. We become the torchbearers, carrying his flame of light into a dark world. We become the bonfires that provide warmth to those exposed to the elements of sin, law, and religion. That’s because fire provides both light and heat!
“But preacher,” you say, “I thought we were going to talk about lukewarm?”
Well, let’s go there!
We’ve talked about the coldness of the law and the heat of Grace. Here’s where the rubber meets the road. Here’s where we get down to “brass tacks.” Here’s where we get to the meat of the matter!
What happens when you mix law with Grace? The same thing you get when you mix cyanide with kool-aid — you get poison that tastes good! This is how grifters separate their victims from their money: promise something good while slowly stealing from them.
The mixture of law and Grace is the making of a great horror movie! Like a vampire, it seduces you promising you pleasure but, instead, sucking the life out of you and dooming you to a state where you’re neither dead nor alive. Mixing law and Grace produces zombies — beings that are neither dead nor alive — who roam the earth aimlessly seeking to consume the life of the living.
In other words, the lukewarm are those who drink the mixture of law and Grace. They are the spiritual undead! From a distance, they resemble the living but, up close, they have the stench of death. They lure you in with the premise of God’s promise and feed you a steady diet of poisoned pablum until you’re just as aimless and lifeless as they are. Mixture of law and Grace is the spiritual equivalent of a Trojan Horse! They live their lives in spiritual misery with no real understanding of God and His unconditional Love and Grace.
And misery loves company.
The lukewarm don’t want heat and are oblivious to the cold. They have assumed room temperature but move like the living. And they want to walk with them.
But I have good news. Just like Von Helsing drove a stake through the heart of Dracula, Jesus drove a stake through the heart of sin, the law, and religion. He dragged them into death with him so that you wouldn’t be dragged into death with them! According to folklore, the vampire only has power when you invite him in; likewise, sin, law and religion only have power when you invite them in! And just like Rick kills the zombies on “The Walking Dead,” Jesus gives you His Mind and His Spirit to share His Gospel, which doesn’t kill anyone but imparts life to all who hear and embrace it!
The lukewarm aren’t wishy-washy. They’re infected with the law and religion. But Jesus nailed those pathogens to the cross with Him and provided the cure of His Gospel of unconditional Love and Grace! The lukewarm are a Trojan Horse aimed at the Body of Christ.
And lukewarm is poison — that’s why Jesus spits it out!
© 2017-2018 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)