Wonder of God Meditations 3: Bad News!
Rev 3:15 “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!”
We need to see the whole picture before we can see the wonder and we may need to be patient before we get to the wonder, but it IS wonderful because of what comes before it.
Now before we enter into this I believe I will need to reiterate what we said in the previous study, that we need to face our lack of security in God’s love sometimes if we are to be able to be honest about our state and take the challenge that sometimes comes through Scripture. We need to be able to see that any challenge about correction comes from heaven for our good. It is God seeking to bring changes to us so that we may more fully enjoy the life we have with Him. It is not that He is a ‘hard man’ (Mt 25:24) but that He wants to best for us, for us to be more blessed than we are at the moment.
So here. in our starter verse, is this church that Jesus says is lukewarm. Now a message that comes through the Bible is that when God challenges guilt, it is so it can be put right. As He said through Ezekiel, He gets no pleasure in us dying (learn Ezek 18:23,32). He wants to bless us and that comes through change. So He challenges this church (and us?) to change. That’s the starting point and the more secure we are in His love, the easier we find it to take this correction. Do we want to stay half-hearted, lukewarm?
But that raises the question, what does it mean to be ‘lukewarm’? Well Jesus is going to spell it out in the following verses which we will consider in the next few days, but before we do that, a useful exercise, which I’ve done with my own church in the past, is to ask all the church to take a piece of paper and write down the sort of church they would like us to be.
The following is a sketch-vision I wrote some while back: “A church that is alive with the presence and power and activity of God by His Spirit, where life and vitality, where fellowship and friendship, where power and authority, pour through the congregation, through this potentially wonderful ‘body of Christ’, bringing constant life transformations, with conversions, deliverances and healings being a regular feature of their life.”Now that is full of generalities that need to be fleshed out but within it, I would suggest, we see a congregation that can NOT be called lukewarm. Not pre-empting what Jesus is going on to say, a lukewarm church (which can only exist because of a lukewarm leadership) must be one that has no vision and therefore is not working towards becoming this living ‘body of Christ’. Ponder on.