I feel as though I've needed an outlet to express what I've been learning or found interesting. Truth be told, I haven't had a "people" outlet to discuss novel things in the Word - and I miss that. (Yes, I've got Connection group and 180 - but I'm referring to things learned "on my own time.") I learn by discussing, so here's me talking:
Last night at 180, we were discussing the choice you will make: will you choose to either serve the Lord or the gods of your forefathers/the gods of the Amorites? (Joshua 24) Joel used the 3 chairs illustration: 1) born-again, on-fire believer - hot; 2) a "Christian", but has one foot in the world and one foot at church - lukewarm; 3) wants nothing to do with Christ - cold. As he continued, though, he said that Chair 2 isn't an option. In life, you can't be Chair 2 - it's either hot or cold. Lukewarm isn't an option. Then he took us to Revelation 3:15.
3:14 - 18: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that 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. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
19 - 20: Those whom I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 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.
21: 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. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Honestly, lukewarm is an option. I think our students confuse the chairs with whether you are in Christ or not - saved or not. And you can't be half-saved; you either are or you are not. ...but you can be lukewarm. The church in these verses has become lukewarm because it no longer is dependent on Christ; it's become self-sufficient...it trusts in its abilities to provide for itself and acquire wealth/prosperity. It has lost connection with the Head - with Jesus. Who among us hasn't wandered into this area of unbelief in our walk?
"You don't reliaze that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked." Did this church become self-righteous? Yes. Do I become self-righteous? Oh, more than I would like to admit! More than I would like to admit! If dating Dan has revealed to me only one thing about myself it is that I am self-righteous. I so want to elevate myself - into what I have done or not. In v15 Jesus says, "I know your deeds - but you aren't hot or cold." So, it's not that this church wasn't doing anything (good or bad) - but, that isn't the point. Jesus wants our heart not our works!
In v18, he counsels us to buy from him gold refined in fire - so that we may be rich; to buy from him white clothes - so that we could be clothed; salve - so that we could see. He is asking us to go deeper in our trust, in our walk with Him. He is asking me to spend more time with Him and to ASK. To ask for the refinement - which will come in the form of a trial, most likely (1 Peter) - but the result is that we will be rich!
He is asking to come in to our hearts. (v20) Jesus loves the lukewarm church - that is why he is spitting them out of his mouth. He wants them to recognize that they need Him! And they don't need to work harder(v15) - they need to open the door of their hearts (v20). He is asking for us to surrender and let Him be the God of our lives, the Lord of our heart.
As I examine my life, I need to open the door more. That's the deal with this lukewarm-business, I don't think it's a one-time thing. It is a continual process where we submit to Jesus. The promise, though, is the right to sit with Jesus on the throne! Can you imagine? We, who were lukewarm - who were going to be spit out - we get to sit on the throne if we only surrender to the Lord Jesus.
That's pretty awesome.