Are you a lukewarm Christian?
Lukewarm Christianity…it’s a big topic, and a pretty big issue. But, before diving into the rest of the post, I think it’s first important to see what the Bible has to say about the dangers of lukewarm Christianity.
I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.~ Revelations 3:15-16
Let’s read that again. “I will spit you out of my mouth”.
That’s intense. As we can see, God takes the issue of lukewarmness very seriously. It’s no joke.
I confess, God recently had to readjust my understanding of what it means to be a lukewarm Christian. You see, I had a specific image in my head of what a lukewarm Christian looked like.
Basically, if you didn’t do certain “works”, you were lukewarm. If you didn’t go to church every Sunday, constantly tell people about God, go to Bible study every week, etc., etc., in my mind, you were considered lukewarm.
And, ironically, this image I created of a lukewarm Christian was me!
Let’s Start with Salvation
So, naturally, I started to feel condemned and overwhelmed. How in the world can I keep up with all the demands of being a Christian? How can I ever become as good as the missionary overseas building schools for those in poverty? How can I make it to church every Sunday when I barely can keep my house clean and cook dinner on time every night? How many times should I read the Bible a week to make it heaven?!
Well, God told me something eye opening.
You see, going to church, reading the Bible, attending regular Bible study, and volunteering to help those in need are all VERY IMPORTANT aspects of a Christian lifestyle.
The Bible says that faith without works dead.
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.~ James 2:14-17 (ESV)
HOWEVER, it is not these deeds that bring us our salvation!
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.~ Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)
You see, I started to fall into the trap of believing I had to “perform” in order to be saved. That I had to complete so many hours of “Christian deeds” before I could be invited into the gates of heaven.
Now, it’s important that I add this. Please don’t misunderstand me. As the scripture says, faith without works is dead. We should be fellowshipping with other Christians. We should be helping others, sharing the gospel, and of course reading the Bible.
However, we MUST remember it is NOT these WORKS that SAVE us.
We are saved by God’s grace alone; by the work He did on the cross. Period.
Related: Do You Accept God’s Grace or Not?
No set number of “Christian deeds” will save us because only Jesus can save. And if we think we can do enough on our own to enter the gates, then we are missing the entire point of His death and resurrection. We become prideful in our Christian works.
So Then…What Does it Really Mean to be a Lukewarm Christian?
Lukewarm Christianity might not be what you think it is. So, what is the lukewarm meaning?
Whether or not we are lukewarm is not judged by works and deeds. It is judged by our relationship with God. Are we all in, or not? Are we sold out for God, or not?
And the depth at which we let Christ into our hearts and get to know Him intimately will be evident in our works.
In other words, when you truly accept Christ, He will begin to mold you into a new person. Your wants will change to align with His will. You will start wanting to read His Word regularly. You will start wanting to fellowship with other Christians. You will start to have a heart like Jesus and want to help others in need.
Works alone mean nothing. But works combined with a rich and intimate relationship with the Father is what we should aim for.
God wants your heart more than He wants your works. And he definitely wants your heart BEFORE you start doing work in His name.
That’s why He was able to save the gentleman hanging next to Him while on the cross. That man was a thief and did not spend his life doing good deeds. But when he accepted Jesus into his heart in that moment, he was saved.
God doesn’t want a “go through the motions” Christian. He doesn’t want a Christian who reads the Bible just to say she/he did it. He wants you to actually study His Word, pray to receive understanding, and apply what you read.
He also doesn’t want a lazy Christian. Someone who essentially stamps Christian on their forehead, but doesn’t seek Him, spend time in His presence, pray to Him, or read His Word to get to know Him.
There are a lot of people who are Christian by title only. They have one foot in the world doing as the world does. They sin (unashamedly) like the world without repentance, and even celebrate sin. But then they try to claim salvation in Jesus once confronted about their sins.
Ultimately, God wants your heart.
If you truly accept Jesus into your heart, you WILL start to see Him work inside of you. If you truly love God or are trying to, it will become evident in how you walk, talk, act, and carry yourself. It will be evident in the things you say and the activities you participate in.
These actions. will not save you, but they will be side effects of you receiving Jesus
How Do You Know if You’re Lukewarm?
Okay, so if it’s not about what we do or don’t do for the Kingdom, how can we know if we are lukewarm?
Here is a table illustrating the difference between lukewarm Christianity and being a true Christian.
|Lukewarm||No intimate relationship with God|
|Lukewarm||Christian works with no intimacy with God|
|Lukewarm||Christian by name only, unashamedly behaving as the world. You accept God’s grace without repentance and have no relationship with Him.|
|A true Christian||An intimate relationship with God that flows through and: 1) leads you to do good works, 2) leads you to repentance|
It’s really that basic. Are you working to develop a close relationship with the Father, or not? If the answer is no, I am not…you are lukewarm.
What to Do If You’re Lukewarm?
After re-educating myself on what it means to be lukewarm, I still had an eye-opening revelation. I was still lukewarm!
I had been a lazy Christian. Not spending consistent, regular time in God’s presence. I was not prioritizing reading the Bible and putting God first. I did not have the intimate relationship with God I thought I did.
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And because of my lack of relationship with God, my desires stayed consistent with the world. I had stamped Christian on my forehead, but my life didn’t have any evidence of it.
Because I hadn’t truly let Jesus into my heart and truly spent time in His presence to get to know Him, there was not much evidence of Him in my life.
So, what can you do right now to stop being lukewarm?
SPEND TIME GETTING TO KNOW GOD ON A DEEP AND INTIMATE LEVEL.
Spend time in His presence, and everything else will be added to you. The works will come; God will lead you to where he wants you to use your spiritual gifts. But right now, He wants you to come to His throne and spend some time with Him. And then He can equip you to do his very good work.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.~ Mathew 6:33 (ESV)
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.~ Psalm 37:4
So, it’s time to be brutally honest with yourself. Are you a lukewarm Christian? If the answer is yes, what are you going to do about it?
You might also like:
40 Things to Pray for When You Don’t Know What to Pray
How to Get Excited About God and Stay Excited
Do You Accept God’s Grace or Not?
2 thoughts on “Be Honest, Are You a Lukewarm Christian?”
Yes I love your message. Our salvation is not to be toyed with. Why gamble with this amazing gift by still trying to do as the world does or putting a tally mark for every good deed we’ve accomplished that day. It is vital for us to be all in for God! Thank you for this message. It’s needed so much in our world today. We are all in desperate need of a true intimate relationship with our Lord and Savior.
Thank you! Yes, love “Our salvation is not to be toyed with”. It’s not a game.