Portrait of the Lukewarm

I’ve been reading Crazy Love, by Francis Chan, which is simply one of the “must read” books on my list. I see so often men just limping along in their spiritual lives, with no power, determination, passion or calling to rise up to what God wants them to be. What would it look like for men to be totally sold out to Christ, and actually take his commands seriously?

Chan gives a portrait of what a lukewarm person looks like, so I will only mention the points, but for his commentary, please buy his book.

He challenges us as we look at the parable of the sower, that if we are believers in Christ, DO NOT assume that you are the good soil. How often do we allow the worries, cares and distractions of the world change our course and effectively choke out the life that is in us? I suspect that most American Christians may be what Jesus called, “thorny ground.”

Where do we read about lukewarm people? In the Revelation of John.

‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,” (Revelation 3:15-17)

So here is Francis Chan’s profile of the lukewarm:

  1. Lukewarm people attend church fairly regularly, doing what is expected of them since “good Christians” go to church, so they go (Isaiah 29:13)
  2. Lukewarm people give money to charity and the church, out of their extra,  as long as it doesn’t impede their lifestyle (1 Chronicles 21:24, Luke 21:1-4)
  3. Lukewarm people choose what is popular over that which is right, they want to fit in and are concerned what people think about them (Luke 6:26, Revelation 3:1, Matthew 23:5-7)
  4. Lukewarm people don’t really want to be saved from their sin, they want to be saved from the penalty of their sin, and are not convinced that the new life Jesus offers is better than the old sinful life (John 10:10, Romans 6:1-2)
  5. Lukewarm people are moved by stories of people who do radical things for God, yet they do not act; they belief that behavior is for extreme Christians (James 1:22, 4:17, Matthew 21:28-31)
  6. Lukewarm people rarely share their faith, they don’t want to be rejected or uncomfortable by talking about private religion (Matthew 10:32-33)
  7. Lukewarm people gauge their morality or goodness by comparing themselves to the secular world, I’m not as bad as so-and-so (Luke 18:11-12)
  8. Lukewarm people say they love Jesus, but he is only a part of their lives, sections, but not control of their lives (Luke 9:57-62)
  9. Lukewarm people love God, but not with their whole heart, mind, soul and strength; total devotion is reserved for pastor type people and radicals (Matthew 22:37-38)
  10. Lukewarm people love others, but do not seek to love others as much as themselves, loving those who love them in return (Matthew 5:43-47, Luke 14:12-14)
  11. Lukewarm people will serve God and others, but there are limits to the amounts of time, money and energy they give (Luke 18:21-25)
  12. Lukewarm people think more about life on earth than eternity in heaven (Philippians 3:18-20, Colossians 3:2)
  13. Lukewarm people are thankful for their comforts and give little to help the poor (Matthew 25:34, 40, Isaiah 58:6-7)
  14. Lukewarm people do whatever is necessary from feeling too guilty, they like “good enough” (1 Chronicles 29:14, Matthew 13:44-46)
  15. Lukewarm people are concerned with playing it safe, slaves to the god of control (1 Timothy 6:17-18, Matthew 10:28)
  16. Lukewarm people feel secure because they attend church, professed faith at age 12, vote Republican, or live in America (Matthew 7:21, Amos 6:1)
  17. Lukewarm people do not live by faith, their lives are structured so they don’t have to (Luke 12:16-21, see also Hebrews 11)
  18. Lukewarm people think and swear less than the average person, besides that their lives are not much different than typical unbelievers (Matthew 23:25-28)

The challenge is to count the cost of following Jesus (Luke 9:23), and take a self-evaluation inventory of where you are with Christ (Luke 14:31-33, 34-35)

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