In Revelation 3:14-22, we see Jesus talking through a messenger, to the church members of Laodicea. Jesus calls out the church for having an attitude problem. They are neither hot nor cold in their passion for following him; they are lukewarm.
The Miriam-Webster dictionary definition for lukewarm is "lacking conviction; half-hearted."
To give more context to what Jesus is saying here, Laodicea literally had lukewarm water. Laodicea's water had to be brought in from miles away through an underground aqueduct system. But by the time the water got into the city, it wasn't hot or cold. It was lukewarm. Jesus knew this was a perfect analogy to hit home to the city's people, that they were half-hearted and lacked conviction.
So what does that look like for us today in modern times? In reality, not that different. Here are two questions you should ask yourself to determine if you have a lukewarm relationship with Jesus.
1. Have you become laid back in your relationship with Jesus?
How to Identify: Take a look at your daily or weekly schedule and routine? Have you noticed a change of slowly pushing Jesus to the side when he used to be close? Is your Bible starting to collect dust from sitting on the shelf for a long time? Have you started attending a gathering less and less frequently for the year? If the answer to any of these questions is yes. In that case, you may be slowly fading into a lukewarm relationship with Jesus.
How will the people around you recognize the need for Jesus in their life if you're acting like you don't need him either?
How to Overcome: The first step in overcoming is identifying. Now that that is done, get back into action. Check out our article 5 Ways to Engage in Spiritual Growth and put one of those ways into action.
2. Have you forgotten the need for Jesus in every aspect of your life?
How to Identify: Sometimes, living in America, it can be easy to think that you don't need God for food, clothing, money, needs, etc. It can be easy to fall into wanting Jesus when you need him, when a tragedy strikes like losing a loved one or job, an illness or accident. But when life is good, easy, and going by fast without any bumps, do you still remember him?
Jesus says in verse 17-18, "You say, I am rich. I have everything I want. I don't need a thing!' And you don't realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich."
Take a look at each thought and desire of your heart. Have you forgotten to keep Jesus in the center of it? If so, you may be slowly fading into a lukewarm relationship with Jesus.
How to Overcome: Take a look at what Jesus offers in verse 18. So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich." Take what Jesus is offering! Don't miss out! Invite Jesus into your marriage, finances, career, decisions, relationships, your thoughts.
The purified gold that Jesus gives us is what we are searching for. It's his love, his kindness; it's peace, it's hope, it's grace, it's mercy, it's compassion, it's wholeness.
Possessing a lukewarm attitude about anything can be subtle and creep in slowly. Be careful not to get laid back and forget the need for Jesus in every aspect of your life.
Jesus closes his call to the church in Laodicea, reminding them that he loves them and wants to be their friend. He says, "I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends." verse 20.
Jesus is waiting outside the door of your heart too. If you have been ignoring that knock and pushing it aside, it's time to let him in, in every aspect of your life!
If you’re interested in other articles on this series on Revelation, check out 3 Truths to Know About the Kingdom of Heaven. What does Revelation teach us about Jesus? or How Should We Approach the Book Revelation.
For more information on this topic and other sermons from this series, check out more from The End.