The Dangers of Being a Lukewarm Christian

This topic has been on my heart for quite some time. I’ve prayed about how to approach the topic. So, before we go in-depth, I just want to say that this blog is in no way written to condemn anyone. This is written from a place of love. If you find yourself convicted reading this, there is hope for you. So, don’t stop reading. I pray that you finish it through and find encouragement from it. 

The term “lukewarm” comes from Revelation 3:14-22. In that chapter, the church of Laodicea received the seventh letter. The people of that church were unsure of their faith and indifferent. Their lives were fulfilled with the pleasures of the world. They had everything they needed (or so they thought). They saw no need in surrendering to God and becoming a fully committed follower. They had one foot in the kingdom of God and the other foot in the world. Because of their neutrality, Jesus warns them that He will reject them. 

As it states in Revelation 3:15-16 NLT, “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! 16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!”

So, what does neither hot nor cold mean? Well, a “hot” person is someone who is fully committed to God. A “cold” person is someone who is a friend of the world and haven’t dedicated their life to Christ. An example of a “hot” person is someone who has given God their total “yes”. They’ve surrendered their life to God and no longer makes a lifestyle of sin. That doesn’t mean a “hot” person is “perfect”. No one is perfect and we all fall short. Just because we are imperfect and live in a fallen world doesn’t excuse the choices we make and the lifestyle we live. It is dangerous to become a friend of the world and live in sin. The bible tells us in James 4:4-5 NLT, “Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. Do you think the scriptures have no meaning?” These verses warn us to not love the things of the world. That is an easy way to make a lifestyle of sin. Don’t be deceived to think that you belong to God if you deliberately keep on sinning. Truth be told, you belong to the ruler of darkness. 1 John 3:8 NLT tells us that, “But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil.” This scripture is a warning to all of us about the dangers of sinning/being lukewarm.

Some practical examples of lukewarmness in our modern times consists of: 

  1. Going to church but refusing to stop cursing. (Colossians 3:8, Ephesians 4:29, Psalm 34:13). 
  2. Preaching/teaching to others about God/living right for Him (whether in church or a social media platform) but going to the Mexican restaurant getting drunk on Saturdays (Ephesians 5:18, Romans 13:13, and Galatians 5:21). 
  3. Claiming to have a relationship with Christ but have no desire to stop fornication. (Hebrews 13:4, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, and 1 Corinthians 7:2). 
  4. Professing to be a follower of Christ but lusting/watching porn in secret (Matthew 5:28, 1 John 2:16, Proverbs 6:25, and Ecclesiastes 12:14). 
  5. Promoting, supporting, or encouraging unbiblical laws in our society or politics while convincing others to abuse the grace of God/compromise. (Romans 6:1-2, Hebrews 10:26, and Romans 12:2). 

Please keep in mind that change doesn’t happen overnight. Sometimes, we can be in a transition stage. But as long as we’ve surrendered to God with a true heart of repentance, He will transform us in due time. Furthermore, I give these examples in no way to pretend that I am better than anyone. I am not “holier than though” at all. So, don’t allow the enemy to plant that in your mind as you read the examples or identify with any of them. I have been guilty of being lukewarm before too—for years at one point! I even grew angry/offended once I was reminded of the truth of God. My defense was, “God knew my heart. No one could judge me. He that is without sin, cast the first stone…” Keep in mind, these were my responses that I spoke as a defense mechanism. Yes, God knew my heart but that didn’t change the fact that I saw no need to make it right with Him (at the time). I brought up, “He that is without sin, cast the first stone” because I wanted to remind people about what happened when the Pharisees and scribes tried to stone an adulterous woman. Jesus said those very words to her accusers (John 8:7). Yet, during my years of being lukewarm, I failed to recognize verse 11. Jesus said, “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11). This means, that although God didn’t allow the people to stone her, He always didn’t permit her lifestyle of sin. He commanded her to end her lifestyle of sin. He called her to a narrow path. (Matthew 7:14)

I spewed, “No one can judge me” because I was upset that I was being corrected. No one was actually judging me, I was just offended by the truth. Sometimes, the truth hurts. But it is better to be told the truth than to be fed a lie. I knew I was wrong (which James 4:17 warns us is extremely dangerous), but I didn’t want any correction at the time. I still wanted to enjoy all the sinful pleasures and have a close relationship with God. I desired God to bless me in all areas of my life, while not wanting to let go of my sins. I convinced myself that I had a close relationship with God (even though I made a lifestyle of sin).

I know. I am all up in your house right now (as the preachers say). This is a tight word, but it is right honey. I wouldn’t have written this blog if I didn’t care about the potential souls at stake reading it. I am here to tell you this in the most loving way …there is absolutely no way that you can have a relationship with God/carry a fire anointing and love what God hates and hate what God loves. Furthermore, picking and choosing which scriptures to live by while turning a blind eye to other scriptures that call out the sin in your life is a prime example of a lukewarm Christian as well. It is dangerous to reject His Word. We deceive ourselves when we believe that God is “ok” with our consistent choices to turn against Him and live in sin. 

We fool ourselves when we abuse God’s grace to keep living in darkness. Yes, we all have sinned. But that doesn’t mean we have to make it a normal way of life or compromise. Those are two different things that I believe the enemy tries to twist in our minds. When the devil knows that we’re lukewarm in our hearts, he finds a way to feed us lies. Comfort us with deception about where we stand with God. Tell us that, “You’re going to heaven because God is full of grace. You’re a good person. You treat people right. You pay your tithes. You serve in the church. You go to church every Sunday and shout. You teach in the youth ministry. You help the poor and needy. You take care of your family. You said a prayer in God’s name before. You got a lot of followers on social media that look up to you.” None of that matters more than our soul and a true commitment to God. Furthermore, we won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven under those conditions. Matthew 7:21 NLT says, “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.” The only way to “actually do” the will of the Father” is to surrender to God, repent/turn away from sin, and allow him to cleanse our iniquities. 

If we fail to do so, we will lose our soul. There is no sweet way for me to say that. The bible says in Mark 8:36 NKJV, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?” The answer to that question is nothing. I say all that to say, a lukewarm person is in between being “hot” and “cold”. And God is not fond of it. According to God, we must make a choice who we will serve (Joshua 24:15). We cannot serve God and the world. Lukewarmness will lead to hell. God is very clear about spitting us out of his mouth. Matthew 6:24 NLT says, “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other.”

So, I pose a few questions for you:

Are you lukewarm in any area of your life? Even one area is one too many.

Has your love for God grown cold?

Are you infatuated with the earthly desires of this world and can’t imagine a life without it?

Do you think it is ok to serve God and fit in with the world?

Is being accepted by the world more important than being accepted by God to you?

Is it hard for you to pull away from societal or cultural norms that reject God?

Do you fear being an outcast, losing friends, or what others will say if you give your whole self to Christ and surrender?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, don’t be ashamed. You did the first step already—admitted the truth. Revelation 3:20 is a reminder of what God said to the people of Laodicea. He not only called them to repentance but offered an invitation into their hearts. “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and we will share a meal together as friends.” This verse melts my heart every time I read it. I am reminded that no matter how much of a mess I am or what I’ve done in my past, God still desires to make a home in my heart. He still loves and wants to have a relationship with me. He is knocking on the doors of our hearts, hoping that we will let Him in before it’s too late. It is as if He is standing with arms wide open as we’re covered in sin and shame, waiting to embrace us. He is knocking and hoping that we’ll try Him this time. We may have tried every other religion, relationship, or person, but God is waiting on us to try Him (either for the first time or again).

So, say this prayer with me:

Dear Lord,

We come before you right now asking you for forgiveness. Lord, we repent of everything we may have done, said, or thought that was contrary to your Word—that broke your heart. Lord, break my heart for what breaks your heart. Help me to turn away from my sins and wickedness. Cleanse me inside and create in me a new heart. Holy Spirit, breathe on me. Blow a fresh wind in my soul. Deliver me from my iniquities. Draw me away from the world, but closer to you. Posture my heart, Oh Lord to say “yes” to your will, way, and desires. I surrender right now to you. Remove any shame or embarrassment of what others will say once I totally sell out. I bind the spirit of depression, rejection, fear, offense, and lukewarmness in the name of Jesus. Put me on fire for you. Your Word says in Revelation 3:19 NLT that you “discipline those you love.” Thank you, God for loving and chastising me. I want to live for you now and forever. Matthew 3:8 NLT says, “Prove by the way that you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.” Help me to live a life that reflects you, Lord. I turn my life over to you right now. I ask you to order my footsteps and guide my paths. I decree and declare that this prayer is sealed in the name of Jesus. Amen. 

If you made it to the end, you’re a real one! I believe that if you said that prayer, you just made it right with God. For some, it may have been a tough blog to read, but so necessary. If this blog resonated with you, please share it! If this blog didn’t apply to your life, but you have a friend or loved one who could use this encouragement, please share it with them! You have no idea whose life you can touch just by sharing a Word of encouragement. I pray many blessings over you and your family during this Thanksgiving week. I will see you next month with Wytinsea Writes! 

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