There are more than five signs that you and I might be a lukewarm Christian, but here are five that I can think of.
The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea has nothing living in it, and it is too toxic to drink. That’s why it’s called the Dead Sea, but feeding into it, there is the life giving Jordan River, which also feeds the Sea of Galilee. This Sea of Galilee is teeming with life and the waters are abundantly clear. What’s the difference? The Sea of Galilee receives but it also gives, whereas the Dead Sea only receives, and never gives anything. If we begin to only want to “receive” but never give, we might be lukewarm, and lukewarm is not what Christ wants, just as no one wants to drink from the Dead Sea.
The Sin of Silence
Whenever we’re around people we work with, or our friends or family members, do we ever share our faith? Are most of your family members unbelievers? That’s the way it is with my family, but I cannot be silent because we’ve all been given a commission from Christ (Matt 28:19-20). We must take this warning very seriously where Jesus said, “For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels” (Luke 9:26). Notice it is Jesus and Jesus’ words that we must not be ashamed of, which means we won’t be silent when it comes to sharing our faith. Not only in speaking it, but in living it.
Living like the World
If your friends or co-workers talk to you just like they talk to their own friends, then you might be living too much like the world. Do you laugh at their crude or profane jokes? Do you sit and listen to gossip at work or church? James asked the church, “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4). Maybe James had seen the hypocrisy of believer’s being one way during worship, and acting another way with their friends in the world. That’s definitely lukewarm.
A Guilty Conscience
Can you think of any indications in your life where you might see a red light on the dashboard? Do you have a guilty conscience? Maybe you’d better check the warning light to see what the problem is. The Apostle Paul tells us to examine ourselves to see if we’re in the faith (2nd Cor 13:5). Even before Communion or the Lord’s Supper, Paul says, “Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (1st Cor 11:28). Self-examination should be an occasional occurrence, particularly before Communion or the Lord’s Supper. A little self-examination never hurt anybody, including myself.
No Hunger and Thirst
If you find that you’ve stopped praying, or pray very little, and/or if you have no desire to read the Bible, or do very little reading, then you have a problem with your appetite. You have little or no hunger and thirst for God, His Word, and His righteousness, and that’s bad my friends. Jesus said blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matt 5:6). This wasn’t a problem for the psalmist as he said, “my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1). That means he can’t get enough of God. He compares his desire for God as if he’s in a wasteland with no water, and if he doesn’t get a drink, he’s going to die. Now that is a true hunger and thirst for God.
I hope these lukewarm warning signs can help you to examine yourself. It’s always a good idea to look at ourselves in the mirror of God’s Word. If we find ourselves only taking but never giving; and if we are silent, under-ground, private-eye believers, then we might be living just like the world and have a guilty conscience because of it, then we can conclude, we don’t really hunger and thirst for God. Confess that to God, pray to Him to give you a hunger and thirst for Him, and then you can be satisfied like the panting deer that finds the stream of living water.
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman
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