The Effects Of A Lukewarm Church
By Dr. Joey Krol
The great preacher of yesteryear, Charles Spurgeon, once said, “I do not think he [the devil] cares how many Baptist chapels you build, nor how many churches you open, if you have only lukewarm preachers and people in them.”
Lukewarm Christians are believers who may attend Church, but aren’t completely sold out for Jesus. They may say all the right “Christian buzzwords,” but aren’t fully committed to the Lordship of Christ. They have one foot in the Church and the other in the world. They are “lukewarm.”
In the book of Haggai, God confronts the misplaced priorities of the Israelites, who had drifted into a way of life where their belief in God was not reflected in their living. The temple was in the process of being rebuilt after the first one was destroyed; however, they stopped after the first phase and didn’t do anything else for several years. God says in Haggai 1:4-5,
“Then the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, ‘Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways.’”
They were so concerned with their way of living that they had forgotten what God had called them to do; instead, they were “caught up” with their own wants, needs and desires. The Israelites were content to put the “Kingdom agenda” on the back-burner, while they enjoyed the things of this world.
When a believer chooses to be neither hot nor cold, the things and concerns of God are not a priority for him. When we are half-hearted, fence-straddling believers, we worship at the altar of passivity. When that happens, we forfeit our “saltiness” for the temporary delights of the world.
In 1912, the Titanic made its maiden voyage. It was the biggest ship around, and many called it “the unsinkable.” But after colliding with an iceberg, water began flooding the ship and it began to sink. Rather than the ship being on the water, the water was pouring into the ship. The Church of Jesus Christ is called to influence the world with the Gospel, but for some, the world has influenced the Church.
The lukewarm Christian sits idly by as the world sees an increase of unrighteousness.
Jesus one day saw a fig tree. It was the season for figs but there were no figs on the tree. It was barren, and Jesus cursed it. Why did He curse it? Was it because it was poisonous? No. He cursed it because it bore no fruit. It wasn’t doing anything.
In the parable of the talents, a master went away and gave to his servants various talents. Some invested their talent and received a return, but one took his talent and buried it. When his master returned, he called him a wicked and slothful servant. Had he wasted the money? Had he squandered the money? No. He simply did nothing with it.
Friend, when we choose to be lukewarm, we not only bear no fruit; we also give up the territory to Satan. God has given us a task to be salt and light and to be His witnesses across the street, across the states and across the sea. The late preacher Adrian Rogers once said, “Life is too short, eternity is too long, souls are too precious, the Gospel is too wonderful— for us to sleep through it all.”
May we wake up, repent and take back what is rightfully God’s.