If you’ve ever played sports growing up then you probably always had that one person on your team. You know the one person who didn’t want to be there but mom and dad was forcing them to play this sport that they were terrible at. In baseball it didn’t matter where this kid was put in the field, the ball got hit to him. It never failed. But this person’s lack of desire to play sometimes, if not always ended up hurting the team in some way. Our relationship with God can be the same way. If we are serving God half-hearted, it hurts God. In fact it disgusts Him so much that He wants to puke you up. We read this in Revelation 3:16 that this is the case when we are lukewarm or half-hearted. How terrible it would be to know that we disgusted God to the point of making Him want to puke.
In Matthew 13:44 the man discovers treasure, buries it, and sells everything he has in order to purchase the field with the extravagant treasure. He gave up everything he had for heaven. This is how we must be, willing to give it all up in order to have a relationship with Jesus and serve Him. I’m afraid that many times people want to be saved to gain their fire insurance but that is all. People want to be saved from the penalty of their sin but not saved from their sin. I don’t want to make anyone doubt their salvation- but I’m pretty sure that people who believe and live this way are not saved. Jesus didn’t teach to believe in Him and then later you can decide what you want to give up and what you don’t want to give up. NO! He taught we must be willing to give it all for the One who gave it all for us, by dying on the cross!
Here are a few examples of what a lukewarm person looks like. If you haven’t read the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan then I totally recommend you do. He gives a more thorough explanation in his book but here are a few. Don’t read this and think of other people. Instead examine your heart and see if you are reading about yourself.
- Lukewarm people attend church fairly regularly. It is what is expected of them, what they believe “good Christians” do, so they go.
- Lukewarm people don’t want to be saved from their sin; they want only to be saved from the penalty of their sin.
- Lukewarm people are moved by stories about people who do radical things for Christ, yet they do not act assuming that it is only for “extreme” Christians, not average ones. Lukewarm people call “radical” what Jesus expected of all His followers.
- Lukewarm people rarely share their faith with their friends. They do not want to be rejected nor make people uncomfortable by talking about issues like religion.
- Lukewarm people gauge their morality or “goodness” by comparing themselves to the secular world. They feel satisfied that while they aren’t as hard-core for Jesus as so-and-so, they are nowhere are horrible as the guy down the street.
- Lukewarm people do whatever is necessary to keep themselves from feeling too guilty. They want to do the bare minimum, to be “good enough” without it requiring too much of them.
- Lukewarm people probably drink and swear less than average, but besides that, they really aren’t very different from your typical unbeliever.
- Lukewarm people say they love Jesus, and He is, indeed a part of their lives. But only a part.
What does Jesus say of these people? In Luke 14:34-35 he says that they are not even valuable for manure. Wow. I know that this breaks my heart about myself that when I allow lukewarm tendencies to seep into my life that I’m not even valuable for manure. It’s very saddening. But the beautiful part is that I and we can make that change to stop serving half-hearted, but give Him our all.