Am I Lukewarm?
Certain statistics claim that something on the order of only 10% of all new churches in America are growing. The Faith in America is facing a crisis, and in Europe Christianity is effectively dead. I remember having a conversation with one of my friends on the subject of churches, and I made the statement that there seemed to be a church on every street corner. She responded, "Yes, but there are only 10 or 12 people in each of them!" Where have our believers gone?
The idea of lukewarm Christianity comes from Revelation 3:14 - 16, which says "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 (Jesus). 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." Now personally I don't want to ever hear this from God about myself.
No one person fits conveniently into a category, and some of us may fit a handful of the items below. But the question is, do we fit all of them? Or most of them? Lukewarm Christians tend to:
* Crave acceptance from people more than God
* Rarely share their faith in Christ
* Do whatever it takes to alleviate their guilt
* Think more about life on Earth, than eternity in Heaven
* Gauge their morality by comparing themselves to other people
* Want to be saved from the penalty of sin without changing their lives
* Only turn to God when they are in a bind
* Give whenever is doesn't hurt their standard of living
* Are not much different from the rest of the world
* Want the benefits of Christ, without submitting to Him
There are, I think, 2 types of lukewarm Christians. Those who are lukewarm and don't know it, and those who are lukewarm and don't care. There is hope for the first group. The second group is in serious trouble.
As for me when I read the list above, I am filled with the desire to repent of the things I fall short on, and rekindle the fire for God. What is the best way to do this? Pray earnestly that God gives you the Spirit to be an effective Christian, and second -- make some sacrifices. Sacrifice seems to lead directly to faith-building. Talk to that co-worker or neighbor about Jesus. Drop a check in the church offering basket. Repent anew today of that same old stupid sin that continues to creep into your life and rear it's ugly head.
Christ is real and He demands things from us. Not simply to make us feel guilty, but to give us a better life. I want to be a part of that better life. Don't you?