Jesus had some harsh words for the church members of Laodicea when He wrote, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16). I’d imagine that Jesus had a long time to watch over this church; His remarks weren’t made lightly.
Another way of describing the phenomena of lukewarmness is putting it in the context of halfheartedness vs. wholeheartedness. An example of wholeheartedness would be Jesus’ charge in Matthew 22:37-38: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.” Jesus didn’t want us to love God a little; He wanted us to love God with everything we have.
Perhaps the most pervasive problem that churches face now is lukewarmness. Saints are lukewarm when they don’t support the work financially like they could. Saints are lukewarm when they don’t volunteer in various congregational roles like they could. Saints are lukewarm when they let other activities interfere with worshipping God like they could. All of this makes members inherently weak. When these weak members raise children, they either fall away or become replicants of their weak parents. In either case, the local church struggles harder to advance, and inevitably succumbs to dying interest and a dying membership.
The good part about lukewarmness is that it can be corrected. Jesus told the Laodiceans, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent” (Revelation 3:19). If you’re lukewarm, all you have to do is repent and return to the zeal that you most likely had when you became a Christian — a zeal that produced joy (Acts 8:39), hospitality (Acts 16:15), service (Acts 16:33), etc.
And yes, I understand the irony of issuing a call to action to someone who has demonstrated that they care little about the Lord. But remember that you are going to have to give an answer to what you’ve done (and what you haven’t done). Jesus said that you can’t live with a divided heart (Matthew 6:24). James said this makes you “double-minded” and “unstable” in all your ways (1:8).