How (Not) To Stay Lukewarm

person praying

It is so better for Christians to be either genuine (hot) or refreshing (cold) rather than be “lukewarm.” The point of this essential biblical truth resonates even today. God does not want His children to be “lukewarm” Christians.


Many thought they were Christians for years and swore they had a relationship with God. They even believed they could die at any moment and be welcomed into heaven.

Guess what? They were not. They did not. They would not.


What The Scripture Says 

The Scriptures hold a revealing account of a church that made God disappointed. Revelation 3:11-22 describes the Laodicean church with this serious charge, “…I wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”

Logically, readers of this passage would conclude that being “hot” spiritually is understandable and even desired. At face value, this passage also implies that it was acceptable to be “cold” spiritually — a term that could mean lifeless, even dead.

But the Lord was not telling them that it was okay to be “cold” spiritually. Jesus is not implying that He wishes they were either spiritually cold or spiritually hot rather than being spiritually lukewarm.

The people of Laodicea understood precisely what the Lord was saying.  


How To Stay Lukewarm

Comparing your faith with others around you (including non-Christians) is the easiest way, as C.S. Lewis says, to travel down the gentle slope into hell.

THE DOWNWARD GLANCE.  This downward glance is when you look down on those who were “lesser” Christians to confirm your complacency. Your assurance of salvation largely came from the fact that you were outwardly better than many other goats who claimed to be sheep.

THE UPWARD GLANCE.  This upward glance is when you would come across genuine believers, you would feel moments of deep conviction. But to stay lukewarm, you concluded that these were Christian all-stars.  

Where You Did Not Glance: the Bible.  When you are lukewarm, God’s book collects dust in your room, unopened. Then God leads you to His word and saves you. God met a miserable person making him alive through His Spirit and His word. The lukewarm Churchianity was consumed by a living faith in the consuming God of the Bible.


Christ’s Solution To Being Lukewarm

Readers can find a practical and vital solution intertwined throughout the nine verses in this Laodicean church description in Revelations 3:14-22. This passage also holds one of the most familiar verses in all of the Bible, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20).

The meaning of these verses makes it clear that this is not a plea to unbelievers. The Lord God here is not asking those who have not put their trust and faith in Christ to open their hearts and accept Him as their Lord and personal Savior.

These people were already church members who were already a part of God’s family. Their problem here was not that they were not saved; they were “lukewarm” Christians — and were going through the motions of their halfhearted faith.

Christ asks His people to open their hearts to a consistent and genuine journey with Him. He wants His children to willingly enjoy a deeper fellowship with Him that can be genuine and reviving. He wants true believers to listen to Him and follow His lead. He wants His people to enthusiastically and willingly serve Him with sincere hearts.

The Lord God asks His followers in this church to make their faith trustworthy and honest and to be wholehearted and genuine followers of Christ. He asks them to give up their lives by going through the motions spiritually.

That is why He instructs them to “repent” — to understand that their lives of playing games spiritually must end. He is looking for “zealous” or committed followers who are vibrant and refreshing servants of the Highest God.

Final Words

Lukewarm Christians indeed make God sick.  Mensah’s book about spirituality emphasized that God cares for humanity. The question is, does humanity care for God? It is time for all Christ-followers to be committed to serving Him. If you are lukewarm and reading this, there is excellent news: There is still time. Repent. Believe. Rejoice. Live.