The Lukewarm Church
“So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” [Rev 3:16]
This is the final [seventh] letter of Jesus “to the churches.” Over the course of Rev 2-3, each letter is a specific message to a specific church, and yet they are letters “to the churches” [plural] meaning they are to the church at large.
Noted by some commentators are the letters’ parallel with Church History. While we need to be careful to not carry those comparisons too far, it cannot be denied certain connections. They connect Ephesus to the Apostolic Church [A.D. 30- 100]; Smyrna the Persecuted Church [A.D. 100-313]; Pergamum the Imperial [Compromising] Church [A.D. 313-476]; Thyatira the Medieval [Corrupt] Church [A.D. 476-1453]; and Sardis the Reformed [Dead] Church [A.D. 1453-1648].
Remaining is the Modern Church [A.D. 1648-present]. Taking these connections to their completion, commentators point to the last two letters to Philadelphia and Laodicea as representative of the Modern Church; one part faithful and one part lukewarm. This morning we will conclude this section of Revelation with the letter to Laodicea.
Jesus’ warning against being lukewarm is very strong [“because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” v.3:16]. This is arguably the greatest rebuke in these seven letters.
“To whom much is given from him much will be required” [Lk 12:48]. Our Modern Church has been given many “open doors” that are unique in our day. It is a Faithful Church that goes through them.
The flip side is the Lukewarm, neither hot nor cold. They have a faithful look and
sound, but no real steps of faith. These are ones who are warm to comfort but
go no further.
When the Lord opens a door, it is the one on fire that faithfully walks through! In this time just prior to the Rapture, that’s the way we want to be! Lord help us to be a Faithful Church and never Lukewarm.
Luke-warmness is a deceptive worthlessness. It is deceptive because it has the look and sound of faith [i.e., there is an outward show and chatter of spirituality]. But it is worthlessness because it never really exercises faith.
“And without faith it is impossible to please God”: Thus the serious warning of v.3:16.