On Fire (Adam Delleman)
Updated: Jun 18
In the book of Revelation, we find letters written by John on behalf of Jesus to seven different churches in the province of Asia. This book in particular can come across as a bit strange, so it helps to break it down into three sections.
The first section is the introduction and background to the book itself. It’s also where the book appropriately acquires it’s name; (coming from) “The Revelation from Jesus Christ”. We could consider this section identifying “things John saw”.
The second section includes letters to the seven churches addressing different problems or issues going on at the time. Naturally, all seven letters address issues that are still very relevant in the church today. We consider this section identifying “Things that are”
The third section contains the majority of the book and it could be called “things that will be”. This is the apocalyptic section with beasts, seals, scrolls and a giant battle. People often find this section strange or difficult to follow. But the story ends well with victory in Jesus; And as a result a new heaven and a new earth.
The section of Revelation we chose to discuss here involves the letter John sent to Laodicea. This was a wealthy city and the financial and political headquarters of the entire district. It was so wealthy that it refused help from the Roman government when a massive earthquake destroyed the city. They chose to rebuild their city and culture without outside help.
With all of their wealth and extravagant lifestyle the Laodiceans tended to be lethargic and complacent as believers and followers of Jesus. Keeping this in mind, we have a better understanding when we read the following verses
“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm - neither hot nor cold - I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’.”
Of the seven letters written in the book of Revelation this was the only one that doesn’t say anything positive! They were a rich, proud church but they were spiritually poor. They didn’t ‘need’ God, why would they? They felt that they could take care of themselves.
Because of this Jesus said he was about to spit them out like a lukewarm drink. Yuck! Hot drinks are invigorating and cold drinks are refreshing but lukewarm is gross.
So… what does it mean to be a lukewarm Christian? Here’s a few questions to ask yourself when considering this possibility
Do you use God or are you used BY God?
Do you believe that doing enough ‘religious deeds’ will make you right with God?
Do you consider yourself completely self sufficient?
Deep down are you really living for Him?
The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans explained how God’s grace is a free gift, you don’t have to earn it and you don’t deserve it. All you have to do is accept it. And once you do you will find your everything in Jesus.
God is not calling you into a half-hearted wishy washy relationship. He is calling you to experience everything he has for you in all of its fullness. But in order to do that, you may have to leave your comfort zone.
God loves you. He loves you so much that He sent His only Son to die for you.
He is fully committed to you, your life, and what is best for you.
The question is, do you love HIM?
Do you accept Him?
Are you willing to truly live for Him?
If you are, it will be the hardest thing you ever do. But it will be the best decision you ever make.