I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:15-16)
Lukewarmness in a church or individual is rewarded by our Lord Jesus Christ with a sound rebuke. Our Lord’s rebuke is an evidence of His love (Revelation 3:19) towards His church and people. However, we must note that this lukewarmness is directly connected with their works. In other words, their works were neither refreshing nor healing. They were springing forth from a people that were neither cold nor hot.
The evidence of their lukewarmness was due to their twisted view of Christianity. The first evidence was that the Lord Jesus Christ was effectively outside of that local assembly (3:20). Since apart from Him, we can do nothing it is safe to state that no works of eternal consequence were proceeding from this congregation. They thought that they could be fruitful apart from Christ. The second evidence was the attitude of their heart. I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing (3:17a). A church is not necessarily healthy or spiritual just because of increased materialism and wealth. True riches come by a faith purified by suffering and affliction in the will of God. True clothing is a lifestyle that evidences the life of Jesus Christ and His righteousness. True insight is the illumination of the Scriptures; giving birth to the true knowledge of God, eternal life (3:18). Lukewarmness repudiates rather than revives. Lukewarmness portrays a testimony of the Christian church that is false to its Head; who is the Amen, the faithful and true witness. Lukewarmness in a corporate body deserves rejection.
Lukewarmness can excite no ardour, originate no activity, produce no effect: it benumbs whatever it touches. If we enquire what were the sources of the energy, and the springs of the activity, of the most successful ministers of Christ, we shall find that they lay in the ardour of their devotion. They were men of prayer and of faith. They dwelt upon the mount of communion with God, and came down from it like Moses to the people, radiant with the glory on which they had themselves been intently gazing. They stationed themselves where they could look at things unseen and eternal, and came with the stupendous visions fresh in their view, and preached under the impression of what they had just seen and heard. They drew their thoughts and made their sermons from their minds and from their books, but they breathed life and power into them from the hearts, and in their closets. Trace either Whitfield or Wesley in their career, and you will see how beaten was the road between their pulpits and their closets: the grass was not allowed to grow in that path. (James, John A. An Earnest Ministry, 64-65).
Lukewarmness is destroyed by pursuing a nourishing intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ (3:20). Biblical illumination, along with an abandonment to the image of Christ in all things enlightened, brings humility and genuine holiness of lifestyle to a church or individual believer. Lukewarmness is eradicated by cherishing and valuing the person of Christ above all things. O’ Lord, grant unto us this day to love you with abandonment. Cause us to see you in all of your fullness and splendor so that the world will be seen in all of its rust and decay. Give us a spirit that would rejoice to suffer for your name’s sake. Energize us by your Spirit so that we can fully reflect your Word through the apostle Paul. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead (Philippians 3:7-11).