Neither Hot Nor Cold – Revelation 3:14-22

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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Our grandkids beg for hot chocolate, and we adults like a good hot cup, especially when the day is cold. On one occasion my wife made hot chocolate for everyone. I was distracted and didn’t get around to drinking mine for over an hour. When I found the cup that had been made for me, without thinking it through, I took a big gulp. It was terrible. It was neither cold, like chocolate milk out of the refrigerator, nor hot like hot chocolate is supposed to be. It was lukewarm and putrid to my palate.

When the Lord Jesus addresses “the church of the Laodiceans,” He tells them, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would that thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou are lukewarm…I will spue thee out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16). This was a vivid illustration of the indifferent spiritual condition of these believers and how distasteful it was to the One who had died for them, risen again, and offered them “life… more abundantly” (John 10:10). Sadly, like King Saul before them who did not even realize when his power from the Lord was gone, these Christians did not realize their sickening spiritual condition nor that their power was gone. Their attitude was, “I am rich, and increased in goods, and have need of nothing” (Revelation 3:17). While they may have basked in monetary wealth and had an abundance of things, the Lord viewed them as spiritually “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” [without eternal rewards, vs. 17]. He describes their lack of service for Christ as “the shame of thy nakedness” (vs. 18). The Savior’s counsel to them was “anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” They had become so cold and calloused, they could not see their real spiritual condition nor did they seem to care. But our Lord instructs them to “buy of Me gold tried in the fire [symbolizing service tried in the fire of persecution], that thou mayest be rich, and…clothed” (vs. 18). It was to believers Christ said He was standing at the door and knocking to be let in so that a hot spiritual zeal would return (vs. 20).

It is unclear from the record in Revelation whether or not these believers responded. But, if this account describes your spiritual temperature, will you respond right now? The Lord is knocking at the door of your heart seeking a relationship that is hot with zeal.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."