Please Tell Me You Have Not Given Jesus a Stomach Virus

I think we used to have seasons of illness. We all knew when flu season was or when allergy season was. However, now it all seems to just run together. The worst illness that I know that seems to be sticking around all year is the stomach virus. It is disgusting. It is the thing I pray I never, ever, ever come in contact with again…EVER. And once I am done saying that prayer, I pray the same thing for my husband and children. It is just awful. It is the worst kind of feeling in the world – not only when you have it, but also when a loved one has it. I almost even lost a child to the virus when he was a young toddler.
 
This may be why the messenger’s statement in Revelation 3:16 hits hard for me, “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” (KJV) The NKJV uses the word “vomit.” Totally gross. I do not ever want to upset my God so much that He thinks He needs to vomit me out of His mouth. Could you imagine?
 
The audience for this particular message was the church in Laodicea. The Laodiceans knew exactly what “lukewarm” meant. Unlike their neighbors who had cold, refreshing waters and hot, healing waters, their water was lukewarm and gross. Their water was disgusting, smelly and completely revolting. This is how Jesus was comparing their actions in the church. He was saying that their actions were as disgusting to Him as that smelly, foul-tasting water.
Maybe there’s a reason why the stomach virus is hanging around year round now. It is a good reminder for us.
 
What constitutes a cold person or a hot person in Jesus’ mind? Why do you think Jesus gets so mad at the lukewarm folks? What about those cold people who perhaps don’t even attend church at all? Why doesn’t he talk about spitting them out?

The problem with the lukewarm folks is that they create collateral damage. Craig Groeschel in his same titled book calls them “Christian Atheists.” He describes them as folks who “say they believe in God, but live like they don’t.” These are the same people filling pews on Sundays. These are people who show up on Monday morning and when they are standing around the water cooler ramble off their weekend and throw in “Yep, I went to church yesterday.”
 
What happens to a person’s witness when they say they “go to church” but do not live like it? A lot. That non-believer who is watching starts thinking, “What a hypocrite!” or that child thinks, “Why does he tell me one thing, but does something totally different?” Perhaps there is a person who is starting to backslide. Maybe they start thinking, “Well, Joe, seems to be okay with it, so maybe it is alright then. He goes to church more than I do.” Getting the point?
 
These are people who may have answered the call and surrendered at some point in their lives, but then life took over and when once their faith was hot, it is now lukewarm. Or, perhaps there are some that started out lukewarm – maybe they dipped their big toe in the shallow end just to test the waters, and are now completely cold because they started out with motives that were a little selfish and once their selfishness was called out, they could never find the hot water.
 
The scripture that pops into my head that coincides with the statement about lukewarm people is Matthew 7:22-23, “On judgment day many will say to me, 'Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.' But I will reply, 'I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God's laws.'"
 
This scripture really gets my stomach turned in knots. Not only for myself, but also for those I know and love. I know the path less chosen has a narrow gate and only a few will enter it (Matthew 7:13).
 
I can’t imagine going through life thinking all is good and that I am on the right side of salvation and then when my time comes to stand before the judgment throne, Jesus not only wants to vomit me out of His mouth, but that He then might say He doesn’t even know me! And not only does He not know me, He is going to make sure He tells His Father on me. “Do not let that woman in here,” He’ll say. “She thinks she knows Me, but I have no idea who she is. Send her on her way.” I am not sure if anyone has ever thrown a tantrum at the throne of judgment, but if I heard these words, you better bet I would be arguing (and crying) my case profusely.
 
Do you know what side of salvation you are on? Do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you will spend your eternity in heaven? Does your life reflect your response to this question? If it doesn’t, I pray that you lean into Him and ask Him to show you where you stand. Ask Him to reveal to you what is displeasing to Him. Reflect on where your priorities lie. Are they filled up with things that are pleasurable or things that are productive for God’s kingdom? Have you walked through the steps of salvation: Accept (Admit you are a sinner – we all are, my friend), Believe (Believe that God gave us His son, Jesus, to take our place on that cross because of our sins and that He is the ONLY way to salvation) and Confess (Confess that Jesus is your Lord). We don’t earn grace by the works we do, it is definitely a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8), but our works should reflect who our Lord is.
 
We can only worship one God (2 Kings 17:39). He deserves our time. He deserves our honor. He deserves our reverence. He is the Creator of all that we see, do, hear and smell. He is the Great I Am. There is nothing bigger than Him and there never will be.
 
I am praying that the Church wakes up from its slumber and refuses to run lukewarm any longer. I am praying that a fire is ignited in this nation and in this world – one that reflects the heat the Light from within each believer puts out. I am praying that many will come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior like never before. Commit to praying for the Church over these next 40 days. Commit to rededicating your life to the things of Christ and not the things of this world. For this world and the things in it will soon pass away (1 Corinthians 7:31).
 
I read a great quote this week in Max Lucado's book, Shaped By Grace. It said, "God's guilt brings enough regret to change us. Satan's guilt, on the other hand, brings enough regret to enslave us." God wants to set each one of us free. I pray you receive the message today in this way. 

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

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