In Revelation 3, Jesus criticizes a church for being full of believers who were neither hot nor cold. This is where the idea of a "lukewarm Christian" originates. In Revelation 3:16, Jesus basically said that he prefers hot coffee and cold brew, but if it's room temperature, he wants to spit it out of his mouth. And before you think you're exempt from being lukewarm, just know that Christians who attend churches and accept the gospel can still be considered lukewarm when they are not truly committed to Jesus and not actively involved in his work...
Friend, he longs to be close to us. And it's about time we let Him in. We need to stop, once and for all, being lukewarm. I mean just think about it... Is there anything more cooling on a hot day than a cold beverage? After spending time in the sun on a hot day, a cold beverage tastes so much nicer. Contrast that with a water bottle that was left outside in the sun while you were playing basketball. And that's the only drink in sight, and you're parched. Yuck! That is the ideal portrayal of a follower of Jesus to people around them. We ought to be reinvigorating, healing, and sustaining. The whole world is thirsty, yet all they can frequently find is a bottle of lukewarm water that has been sitting in the sun all day. Yet, God calls us to be a cool beverage on a hot day.
You may be curious to know where you're at spiritually. And I don't blame you. It's extremely important to know. It really is a matter of life and death. Let's find out if your spiritual state is contributing to this lukewarm epidemic spreading like wildfire... The following are typical indications that you may be a lukewarm Christian:
On Sundays, you act differently than you do the rest of the week.
You have more friends who are atheists than Christians.
You have friends that are unaware that you are a Christian.
You speak indecently without any remorse.
You hardly ever, if ever, read the Bible.
If you pray at all, it's not often. Maybe it's when you need something.
You appear more worldly than godly.
You rarely, if ever, discuss their faith.
You rationalize sins in your life.
You only turn to God during difficult times.
Instead of worrying about what God would think of you, you are more concerned with what people would think of you.
Do you relate to any of these? If so... What do you do with this information? How does one go from being a lukewarm Christian to becoming an "on fire" and "hot" Christian?
There are many things I can tell you to do. Many things that I mention in my book, Ignited. Ignited is literally a guide on how to get on fire, and stay on fire for God, long-term. We even have a workbook, The Ignited Workbook, to work through that is packed with scripture studies, journal prompts, verse memorization, and so much more. You can find the Ignited book here. You can find The Ignited Workbook here! But what can you do right now? One of the biggest things you can do right now to counteract your lukewarmness is...
Make repentance a habit. I'm talking about leading a life of constant confession. I'm talking about learning to be completely transparent with God in prayer.
He will not heal what we are not willing to disclose. If we say that we are sinless, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us, according to 1 John 1:8–9. If we repent and confess our sins to him, he is true and righteous and will cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If you confess your sins to God and put your faith in Jesus Christ's steadfast forgiveness and cleansing, you will only be able to transform from a lukewarm Christian to an "on fire" Christian. You may say, "But I always relapse into the same sin. I don't want to just keep confessing it over and over again." But that's exactly what you need to do. Go and confess it. Ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten your eyes so you can recognize the recurring patterns of behavior that lead you to sin. And if you trip and fall once more? Confess again. Continue to become closer to Christ by confession until the power of Christ at work in you causes the enemy's grip to be released from your life. Seriously - One of your only hopes of escaping lukewarmness is to be sincere and consistently repent! You don't want to make Jesus sick when He looks at you. And the first step to that is cultivating a repentant lifestyle. If you are steadfast with this, you will undoubtedly become on fire for Jesus again. And please know this... A fire for God is not based on your emotions. In Ignited, we redefine what a true fire for God is. Emotions are the language of our hearts. Faith is the language of God. A fire for God is fully dependent on your faith. Not your emotions.
You see... Lukewarm Christians do not blatantly reject Jesus, but they do not blatantly live for Him as well. They rely on their feelings and stay in this middle ground, playing it safe. They merely do the bare minimum and remain passive Christians. They do not actively preach the Gospel and win people back to God.
All of that, to say this: There is such good news about Jesus and lukewarm Christians. Jesus won't let you stay in your lukewarm condition because you were lovingly bought at such a great bloody price on the crucifixion of Jesus at Calvary and because your loving Father in heaven sealed you with the Holy Spirit. Jesus will step in if you decide to stay in your lukewarm state. And maybe he's doing that right now since you were led to read this article. Jon Bloom summarizes the salve to a lukewarm spirit by way of a moving prayer. Make it yours today:
Merciful Father, make me hot! Whatever it takes, whatever it costs me, give me the Spirit-salve for my heart-eyes (Revelation 3:18) so that I may see what is Real, believe what is True, treasure what is Valuable, and forsake what is worthless.
Restore our fire for you, God! Begin with daily repentance and make your way back into His loving arms.