Give me a word, Lord: SPIRITUALLY DEAD?

Revelations 3:14-20 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen—the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s new creation:  “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! 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. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.  “Look! 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.

I read this story a little while back, and definitely think it is one that is worth a share today. “A new Pastor in a small Oklahoma town spent the first four days making personal visits to each of the members, inviting them to come to his first services. The following Sunday the church was all but empty. Accordingly, the Pastor placed a notice in the local newspapers, stating that, because the church was dead, it was everyone’s duty to give it a decent Christian burial. The funeral would be held the following Sunday afternoon, the notice said. Morbidly curious, a large crowd turned out for the “funeral.” In front of the pulpit, they saw a closed coffin, smothered in flowers. After the Pastor delivered the eulogy, he opened the coffin and invited his congregation to come forward and pay their final respects to their dead church. Filled with curiosity as to what would represent the corpse of a “dead church,” all the people eagerly lined up to look in the coffin. Each “mourner” peeped into the coffin then quickly turned away with a guilty, sheepish look. In the coffin, tilted at the correct angle, was a large mirror. When it comes to your spiritual life, are you still alive?”

Wow! How many of us today are guilty of being spiritually dead. Is the church of America becoming like the church of Laodicea? Are we lukewarm, neither hot or cold? Oh, I pray that we are not, but I do worry that we are headed in that direction. We remember the church of Laodicea from Revelation chapter 3. The angel of the church wrote, “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other!” Are we becoming lukewarm? Is church not as important to us any more? I mean really, people, look around. This COVID pandemic has changed our country in more than one way. Churches were closed for a while, and that closure has prompted some to continue to stay home. It’s very convenient to watch the sermon on the internet, and I’m thankful that we have that availability. There are many who shouldn’t be getting out and joining in large gatherings at this time, and I completely understand that, but what about those of us who have decided that it’s just more convenient to worship at home in our pajamas? Is that convenience making us a bit lukewarm? Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely thankful for the availability of online worship. We were traveling yesterday, and we were able to enjoy our church services live online, but it’s just not the same. I, for one, need that personal interaction.

I don’t think that it is merely online worship that is causing this nation to become lukewarm, though. There are so many different components. Society in general has become one of acceptance. We are expected to accept what the rest of the world is doing. We are expected to turn our heads and ignore the evil that is being committed around us. We are expected to either accept evil as good or look the other way. I’m a sinner saved by grace. I’m not perfect. In fact, I’ve been pretty lukewarm myself in the past, but God, oh but our God, He deserves so much more than a lukewarm attitude. When we consider the love that our heavenly Father has for each of us, the mercy and grace He has shown us, and the magnitude of His power, there is no way that we can remain lukewarm. We can’t continue being spiritually dead. We have to wake up, people!

Christ is standing at the door, knocking…knocking…knocking. Can we hear His voice? Do we even realize that He is there…waiting for us to open the doors of our hearts and allow Him to come in and fill us with His Spirit? Are we neither hot or cold, but merely lukewarm? Lukewarm is not what our Father desires, and it is definitely not what He deserves from us. The gospel of our Lord and Savior should ignite a fire within each of us that can not be quenched. Rather than getting smaller each day, that fire should rage bigger and hotter day by day. We are surrounded by the lost. There are so many people that we encounter on a daily basis who need to know the Good News. We can’t keep this all to ourselves.

When we first learned of COVID 19, the spread of the disease was projected utilizing the pathogen’s basic reproductive number (RO). For example, for every one person that was contagious, that person would spread the virus to three people. Those three people would spread the virus to nine people. Those nine people would spread the virus to 27 people, and so on. Wouldn’t it be awesome if the gospel could spread like that? If we each told three people about Christ, and then those three people told three people each (nine), and then those nine people told three people each, and so on, can you just imagine how the gospel could spread throughout all nations? It would be akin to an uncontrollable forest fire.

Yes, Peeps, it’s time to wake up and get on fire for the Lord. If you are feeling a bit lukewarm, light a fire within today by getting in the Word, turn on some praise and worship music, and most importantly, pray. Pray, pray, pray! Call out to the Father. He’s at the door knocking. All you have to do is invite Him in!

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