“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.”Revelation 3:15-16
Jesus tells the Laodicean church that he knows what they have done, what they are doing, and what they have failed to do. In other words, there is nothing we can hide from God. In essence, He tells the Laodicean church that because it is neither hot nor cold, they are good for nothing, but He wishes they were good for something, but because they are good for nothing, they nauseate or make Him sick! That’s quite shocking to think people can make the Creator of all things sick.
Jesus used the terms “hot” and “cold,” and some conclude that hot refers to a person on fire for Christ and cold to someone who is lethargic. However, that conclusion easily breaks down because if hot represents a Christian at his or her spiritual best, and cold represents one at his or her spiritual worst, then the condition of being lukewarm would be better than being cold. Therefore, we must conclude that Jesus drew upon other elements to support His analogy.
Although the city of Laodicea thrived in economics, industry, and medical science, it had one major problem. The city had an inadequate water supply to sustain its population. Therefore, the people had to rely on water from neighboring cities. Ten miles to the north was the city of Hierapolis, which was well known for its hot spring water and the medicinal benefit that hot water offers the body after a hard day’s work. Twelve miles to the southeast was the city of Colossae, well known for its cool refreshing water fed by streams of rain and melting snow from a nearby mountain.
However, after the water traveled for 10 or 12 miles through a series of channels and aqueducts to reach Laodicea, it arrived neither hot nor cold but only lukewarm. Now we see the picture. What Jesus was telling the church is like its city’s water supply; it too had become lukewarm, meaning it was neither a medicinal benefit for the spiritually sick, meaning lost people nor a spiritual refreshment for weary believers. Simply put, the church was a useless tool in God’s hands.
Perhaps there are days when we are hot, cold, or lukewarm. However, let us renew our faith and seek our heavenly Father’s strength through the Holy Spirit to set out each day to be both hot and cold. Let’s be a spiritual refreshment to other believers and bring healing to those hurting in the world who do not yet know Jesus as Savior and Lord. Let us serve as a powerful tool in the hands of our mighty God, and let us do so by faith and faith alone, for He will never leave nor forsake us. □
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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