September 23, 2014
Yesterday I received this e-mail from an
old neighbor and good friend and I feel a strong ‘urging’ to share it with each
of you. ….. Here it is ……….
“In my daily readings from the Billy
Graham devotional, the below verse from Romans was the topic of his message. ..
Romans 12:1 says, ‘Therefore, i urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of
God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to
God – this is your true and proper worship.’ 
…. “What I wanted to share was his
message. Here it is:  In a book called
‘The Age of Longing’ we read that an American girl married a radical
revolutionary in Paris.  She had lost her
faith at an American University – lost all the religious faith she had, and all
the things her parents had told her.  She
was asked why she married him.  She said,
‘He’s the first person I have ever known who believes something strong enough
to die for it.  Although I don’t believe
exactly as he does, I was attracted to this man who had found a cause.’  ….
I find that young people today are
looking for a cause, and they are not looking for something easy. …. Some
time ago a university student in Moscow told one of my colleagues,  ‘You Christians say that you are going to win
the world, but we’ve done more in 50 years than you’ve done in 2000 years.  And do you know why?  It is because you are not committed.  We are. 
We will win, you’ll see.’
My friend closed the e-mail with this
thought … “This really hit me in terms of the ‘passion, commitment and
intensity’ of other causes, while Christianity is beguiled in ‘milktoastedness,
fear, ritual,and complacency’. … I am praying I can bring passion, commitment
and intensity to our faith in Jesus Christ.’ “
Wow! … I, too, share my friend’s
passion for ‘upping the level’ of our commitment to and for our Lord and
Savior, Jesus Christ!
Zephaniah1:12 says that He (God) will
“punish those who are complacent .” …Also, we find one of the most
sobering passages in our Bibles which is found in Revelation 3:15-16 which
says,  “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.”
In this passage, Christ was talking
specifically to the Church of Laodicea, the last of the seven churches spoken
of in Revelation, chapters 2 &  3. ..
It was evident that this church had become very complacent in their faith and
actions. .. Scripture tells us that they were ‘rich and in need of nothing’ …
and here’s a sad fact … this description of the church in Revelation has
become so well-known that the word ‘Laodicean’ actually appears in the dictionary!
.. It signifies those who are ‘mediocre, half-hearted, not fully committed to
what they are doing.’ … Here’s another sad fact … In the ‘dispensational’
approach to the teachings of the seven churches, this one (Laodicea) is meant
to represent the last church just prior to Christ’s glorious return ….
today’s church! …. look around and tell me it doesn’t fit!  ….
So what does this ‘lukewarm condition’
really describe? .. It is people who CLAIM to be God’s people, but do not live
according to His teachings. .. Lukewarm people claim to be in God’s ‘inner
circle’ but don’t bother to obey His commands. … When Jesus says,  “I know your works” (Rev. 3:15),
He’s talking about the way we live! ..
So, is this lukewarm condition the same
as being cold? .. ABSOLUTELY NOT! .. Those who are lukewarm are leading
‘fraudulent’ lives, thus causing great harm to the Gospel of Jesus Christ! ..
How, you ask? .. They claim to be Christians but are lead by worldly appetites.
.. This becomes a ruinous and destructive testimony! … If one thinks about it
for even just a second, we realize that it is much worse than being a ‘cold’
person. .. They at least admit that they don’t much care about God or His
teachings. .. At least they’re not a bunch of phonies play-acting their piety!
Bottom line? .. The lukewarm ‘believer’
doesn’t allow God’s righteousness to affect them … and that is a tragedy! ..
The lukewarm have experienced the purifying, all -consuming fire of God’s
presence .. they’ve heard about Christ’s victory over sin .. yet they accept
these facts with a yawn! … It’s no wonder Christ feels the way He does about
this ‘condition’ .. and that He wants to ‘spit it out of His mouth!’ ….
Pastor David Jeremiah, in his book
‘Escape the Coming Night,’ quoted this story, which I believe sums up today’s
‘Laodicean’ church more clearly than anything else I’ve seen. … It is titled
‘The Dead Church Sermon’
… Here it is …
“A certain minister had a reputation
for being eccentric.  One Sunday morning,
he told his congregation that he believed his church was dead.  You can imagine the murmurings from the pews
when he said,  ‘Come back tonight, I’m
going to preach the funeral service of the church.’  The members were shocked;  the attendance for the evening service was
larger than it had been in years.
“In front of the pews was a casket
and as people sat in stunned silence, the pastor delivered the message.  After the last ‘amen,’ the pastor said,  ‘Some of you may not agree with me that this
church is dead.  So that you may be
convinced, I am going to ask you to view the remains.  I want you to file by the casket, one by one,
and see who is dead.’
“In preparation for this unorthodox
presentation, the minister had placed a mirror in the bottom of the
casket.  It is obvious who everyone saw
when he came to view the deceased.”
If you think about this even a bit
seriously for just a moment, it is actually quite scary! …
OK, so is there any good that can come
out of this? … Is there any hope for all these lukewarm souls? … The answer
is a resounding YES! .. In the same passage in Revelation 3, verse 19
says,  “Those whom I love I rebuke
and discipline, so be earnest and repent.” 
… There is hope for all, even the lukewarm. .. It is Christ’s love
that causes Him to speak in this way. .. Here we see the ‘Gospel of Grace’
reaching out to even the most lukewarm among us. .. Simply stated, Jesus is
telling us that no matter how stale or complacent we’ve become, His loving
forgiveness is always there for us. …
Jesus’ love can awaken even the most
mediocre commitment, and He offers this in verse 20 when He says,  “Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,
i will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”  … Then in verse 21, He says,  “To him who overcomes, I will give the
right to sit with me on My Throne, just as I overcame and sat down with My
Father on His Throne.” …. Could there be any better news for the lukewarm
souls?! … We must always remember that Jesus does not want any to be cast
away or lost. …..
In conclusion, Christ’s offer of
salvation for each of us is real .. but we must NEVER take this offer for
granted! .. I implore each of you to search your hearts right now … don’t
wait another moment if you need to ‘get right’ with Christ! … Remember His
words .. these two words .. that can instantaneously change everything …
SIMPLY KNOCK … He will open the door for you! … Hallelujah!
Until next time,

Red

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