One of the most familiar passages in Scripture is Rev 3:15-16 ), where Jesus addresses the Laodicean church:
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish 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.”
Many Christians interpret Jesus to be saying something like, “I wish you were passionate for me (hot) or spiritually dead (cold), but instead you are somewhere in the middle. Because you are neither on fire for me or spiritually dead, I am very displeased with you.”
Richards and O’Brien has this to say on the above statement made by Jesus:In the summer of 2002, however, standing there among the then-unexcavated ruins of Laodicea, another interpretation of that famous passage presented itself. Several miles northwest of Laodicea, perched atop a small mountain, is a city called Hierapolis. At the base of Hierapolis is an extraordinary geological formation produced by the natural hot springs that surface around the city. Even today, the city is known for its steaming mineral baths.
Over the centuries, the subterranean springs have created a snow-white calcium deposit known in Turkish as Pamukkale, or “cotton castle,” that cascades down the slopes like ice. From our vantage point in Laodicea, Hierapolis gleamed white like a freshly powdered ski slope.
About the same distance from Laodicea in the opposite direction is Colossae. The city was not yet excavated in 2002, so we couldn’t see it; but it is almost certain that in the first century, you could have seen Colossae from Laodicea. Paul’s colleague Epaphras worked in Colossae, as well as in Laodicea and Hierapolis (Col 4:13). It was a less notable city than Laodicea, but it had one thing Laodicea didn’t: a cold, freshwater spring. In fact, it was water—or the lack thereof—that set Laodicea apart.
Unlike its neighbors, Laodicea had no springs at all. It had to import its water via aqueduct from elsewhere: hot mineral water from Hierapolis or fresh cold water from Colossae. The trouble was, by the time the water from either city made it to Laodicea, it had lost the qualities that made it remarkable. The hot water was no longer hot; the cold water was no longer cold.
The Laodiceans were left with all the lukewarm water they could drink. Surely they wished their water was one or the other—either hot or cold. There isn’t much use for lukewarm water. I suspect that the meaning of the Lord’s warning was clear to the Laodiceans. He wished his people were hot (like the salubrious waters of Hierapolis) or cold (like the refreshing waters of Colossae). Instead, their discipleship was unremarkable.
Now, this interpretation never really made much sense to me. I could see why Jesus wanted people to be passionate for him (hot), but I could never understand why Jesus would prefer a person to be lost or spiritually dead (cold) instead of somewhere in the middle between the two.
To my judgment this middle-of-the-road position is the worst kind of hypocrisy there is.
In its beginning Protestantism assumed the position of believing all the great doctrines of the Christian faith. The creeds of all the great historic denominations are wonderful creeds. Who believes these wonderful creeds in our day? The churches have a form of godliness but are denying the power thereof. They have a name that they live, but they are dead. They are neither hot nor cold — they are lukewarm.This is the condition of the church today,
” Does that sound to you like the church which He’s returning to take for Himself as He says,
“I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:2,3)?
I don’t think so. That is the church He draws to Himself, but here is a church He just vomits out because it is lukewarm. I am of the opinion that if He spoke to a lot of churches today, He would say, “You make Me sick at My stomach. You’re professed Christians(Born again and Tongue Speaking). You say you love Me. You say it, but you don’t mean it.” Being a member of a well known church all over the world or being a church worker, attending all the church weekly services without making a deliberate effort to work with the HOLY SPIRIT, friend you are like the LAODICEAN CHURCH.
This is a heart-searching message for this hour because we are living in the time of the Laodicean church and of the Philadelphian church. Both of them are side by side, and there is a great bifurcation in Christianity today. It is not in denominations, and it is not Romanism and Protestantism. The great bifurcation consists of those who believe the Word of God and follow it, love it, obey it, and those who reject it. That is the line of division today. May the help us Shalom!