The Lord Hates Spiritual Apathy!

The Lord Hates

Spiritual Apathy!


Revelation 3:15-16

  • “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.”

These words of the ascended and glorified Lord Jesus Christ to God’s people in Laodicea are straightforward and strong. Jesus is well aware of the deeds of the Christians in this Asian city. He says that the Laodiceans are neither cold (completely turning away from Christ) nor hot (fervent in their love for Him), but are lukewarm (apathetic, indifferent, and hypocritical in their commitment to Him). Because they are not “on fire” in their zeal for the Lord, He will spit them out of His mouth. The Lord will reject them—unless they are “zealous” and “repent” (Rev. 3:19). They must hear Christ, open the door to Him, and allow Him to enter their lives once again (v. 20).

It is important to realize that Jesus is speaking to those who have been already saved at a time in the past. They are not alien sinners who never knew Christ but are people who once knew Him and have since allowed apathy to overtake them. They think that all is well spiritually; they think they “have need of nothing” (v. 17). But Jesus says they are dreadfully deceived about their spiritual condition (vv. 17-18).

Christ makes the same charge against people today. When He sees those who have turned to Him at one time, He wants to find full surrender to Him, a life-involvement with Him, and deeds that reflect that the Spirit is at work in them. Just as He found the apathy, self-sufficiency, and hypocrisy of the Laodiceans repugnant, so he finds these attitudes nauseating in our own day. He calls on us to repent of self-sufficiency and to forsake indifference. In the words of Paul, the Lord demands that we not be “lagging behind in diligence,” but rather be “fervent in spirit, serving the Lord” (Rom. 12:11). Now is the time to “open the door” to the knocking Christ and have sweet fellowship with Him once again. Now is the time to take Christ’s radical demands seriously and order our lives by them!

Richard Hollerman

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