Those words by him remain, to this day, my greatest fear. My greatest fear is that in the face of adversity or trial, I will decide that the cost of following Jesus is simply too great and not worth the cost. And my fear is intensified by looking at the many lukewarm aspects of my own life.
In Rev. 3, we see an angel give John the apostle an incredibly sobering warning to the church at Laodicea. "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth." I was reading from Francis Chan tonight, and he made the comment that that particular word "spit" is only used once in the NT, and it insinuates vomiting. It's not like spitting a speck of dust from your mouth; it's a word that points to complete disgust.
I say this to make one point: that is not a word that is used for believers. The passage goes on to refer to the Laodicean church as "wretch and miserable and poor and blind and naked." There is no possible way we can objectively examine this statement and say that these are believers God is pronouncing judgment on. Their mediocrity was enough to make them completely disgusting to God.
I say this to make one point. Lukewarm faith is not an option for a believer. It's simply not. To claim to be a believer but not be really serious about God or to not be in love with Jesus Christ is suitable cause to wonder if you ever really met Jesus. To claim to be a disciple but to not follow in the ways of our Master is to lie.
I'm not arguing for flawless Christian living. This is where God's incredible grace covers my failures and shortcomings. But complacency and haphazard faith isn't faith. I think from Rev. 3, I can make a statement that might get under some of your skin... There is no such thing as a lukewarm Christian.
Matt 16:24-25 tells us what it means to be a believer in verses we would rather not present to lost people sometimes. Jesus' call, however, was unmistakably clear. "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; and whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it."
Does that leave another option besides radical abandonment to Christ? Complete surrender? Is there a third option, we ask. We want multiple choice Christianity, where we can choose our calling. Maybe some are called to carry a cross, but isn't there a third option between complete surrender or complete rejection? Isn't there a compromise? Isn't there an option C?
Bluntly put, no. God doesn't want your leftovers, as Francis Chan so precisely puts it. God is not interested in your leftover time, your leftover money, or your leftover life. He wants you, wholly and entirely, surrender to His service and His will, whatever the cost. If following Him costs you time, He is worth it. If following Him costs you, as hard as it, your family, He is worth it. If following Him costs you your love and your dreams, He is worth it. He is the only thing of such surpassing value as to make all the rest of our life irrelevant if lost in His service.
My greatest fear is that I will read the words of Christ and be satisfied to do the good deeds in His name and follow Him from afar without ever identifying with Him and partaking in His sufferings. May we be a generation of young people who throws ourselves so recklessly and radically at the cross and at the nations that we leave no doubt who our Master is. Soli Deo Gloria!
Until the fame of Jesus fills the earth,