Who wants to be the sort of Christian that makes Jesus want to vomit?
In Revelation chapter 3, Jesus has some rather harsh words for the church at Laodicea. In verses 15-16 He says, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm (spiritually useless), and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of My mouth [rejecting you with disgust]” (The Amplified Bible). The Message translation puts it this way, “I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You’re not cold, you’re not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit“. Now I am not suggesting that Jesus is referring to people losing their salvation, but who wants to be the sort of Christian that makes Jesus want to vomit? If you have ever drunk lukewarm tea or coffee, you will understand the expression which Jesus was using. Whilst iced tea or coffee is enjoyable, as is hot tea or coffee, lukewarm is just disgusting and your immediate reaction is to want to spit it out. The scene below from the excellent movie ‘War Room’, shows the sort of thing that Jesus is talking about:
Paul wrote to the Corinthian church with a stinging rebuke.
The Amplified Bible uses the phrase ‘spiritually useless’ to describe lukewarm Christians; so now, rather than get insulted by that phrase, let’s see what we can learn. Our first clue as to what could cause someone to be spiritually useless, is found in 1 Corinthians 3:1-3, “I couldn’t speak to you as spiritual people, but as people who were all too obviously merely human, little babies in the Messiah. I fed you with milk, not solid food, because you weren’t able to take it – and you still can’t, even now! You’re still determined to live in the old way! Yes, wherever there is jealousy and quarrelling, doesn’t that mean you’re living in the old way, behaving as any merely human being might do?” (New Testament for Everyone). Paul wrote to the Corinthian church with a stinging rebuke, telling them that they were not spiritual at all, but rather they were merely human – living pretty much the same way as they did before they were saved, living the same way as unbelievers do.
Alcohol is not wrong per se.
One example of how believers sometimes act much like the world, is concerning the issue of alcohol. Drinking alcoholic drinks is not wrong per se, but it should not be the norm for Christians. Whilst you may sometimes have a drink with a meal, as a Christian you should never be going out with the sole purpose of drinking. Also, watch the impression you are giving out via social media – just because you decide to have a beer (which personally I wouldn’t), do you really need to post a photo of it? 1 Corinthians 8:10-13 talks about eating food sacrificed to idols, which is not relevant in Western countries, but the same principal applies to drinking alcohol. This following text is taken from The Message translation and I have added my own words in square brackets :
“[When you post that photo of your pint of beer or your bottle of wine], isn’t there great danger if someone still struggling over this issue, someone who looks up to you as knowledgeable and mature, sees [that photo]? The danger is that he will become terribly confused—maybe even to the point of getting mixed up himself in what his conscience tells him is wrong. Christ gave up his life for that person. Wouldn’t you at least be willing to [not post that photo]—because, as you say, it doesn’t really make any difference? But it does make a difference if you hurt your friend terribly, risking his eternal ruin! When you hurt your friend, you hurt Christ“.
And before you quote me a verse about not judging, look at 1 Corinthians 2:15: “We who have the Spirit are able to make judgments about all these things. But anyone without the Spirit is not able to make proper judgments about us” (Easy to Read Version).
It is absolutely vital that we make walking in love towards God and others our top priority.
In the passage from First Corinthians chapter 3, Paul specifically mentions jealousy and quarrelling as signs of spiritual immaturity. He goes into this more in chapter 13:
“If I had the gift of being able to speak in other languages without learning them and could speak in every language there is in all of heaven and earth, but didn’t love others, I would only be making noise. If I had the gift of prophecy and knew all about what is going to happen in the future, knew everything about everything, but didn’t love others, what good would it do? Even if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, I would still be worth nothing at all without love. If I gave everything I have to poor people, and if I were burned alive for preaching the Gospel but didn’t love others, it would be of no value whatever” (The Living Bible)
Love is the foundation of everything else in the Christian life. Without love, all your efforts are worthless. Without love, you are spiritually useless. It is absolutely vital that we make walking in love towards God and others our top priority.
Walking in love is the foundation, and a foundation needs to be built upon.
But maybe you are well established in walking in love, is that all there is to it? No, of course not – walking in love is the foundation, and a foundation needs to be built upon. There are others things that bring about spiritually maturity (provided love is the foundation):
- Going to church regularly
- Reading the Bible daily
- Spending time daily in prayer
- Believing what the Bible says and expecting to see what it promises fulfilled in your life
- Reading other Christian books in addition to the Bible
- Listening to faith building messages during the week and not just at church on Sundays
If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.
If you have never received Jesus as your Lord & Saviour, if you have gone away from God, or if you have any doubts regarding your salvation. I encourage you to click on the link below. Clicking on the link will not secure your salvation, but praying the prayer you find, from your heart, will.
For the salvation prayer, please click here.