You Keep Using That Verse…Still
Posted on October 23, 2019 by America's Keswick in Freedom Fighters
“So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.” Revelation 3:16 (ESV)
Last time I was with you I shared a few verses that I thought fell into the category of “You keep using that verse. I don’t think it means what you think it means.” This week I dare to go into the Book of Revelation to point a few verses that I think, although useful, get quoted outta context. To even point this out, I’ll agree, gets heads shaking, but I also kinda feel that a lotta times folks use verses like Zorro uses his sword to make his mark and has Inigo Montoya saying, “you keep using that verse.” All parody aside, welding a sharp, two-edged sword takes skill and discernment, of which I am still working on. With that said, let’s go into The Lukewarm Church.
Of the seven letters written to seven churches, the one written to the church of Laodicea can really it home with many Christians. When this letter gets preached on, the question that will be asked is if any of us like a cup of lukewarm coffee or to swim in a lukewarm pool of water. Many of us will agree that lukewarm is an uncomfortable state and then we’ll hear, “So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.” Then we may hear that Jesus is telling us that He wouldn’t want us to be on the fence about Him. That He would rather have us, either on fire for Him as believers or not at all as cold unbelievers.
So, you could keep using that verse but I don’t think it means what you think it means. The one thing I pull out of Scripture is the area in where something got said. The apostle Paul used the Athenian statue to “The Unknown God” at the Areopagus in Acts 17:23, “what therefore you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you” to give testimony to what the Athenians were missing about this Unknown God. Also, Jesus will use the white-washed tombs of Jerusalem after His triumphal entry to basically slam the religious hypocrisy that the Pharisees preached but didn’t practice themselves in Matthew 23. That chapter is full of a whole lotta woe.
So, with that I’d like to point out that Laodicea was seated in between the hot, medicinal springs of Hierapolis and the cool waters of Colossae, in Asia Minor (now modern-day Turkey). Given this geography, Jesus just might be telling this church to be either fervent in Spirit (perhaps like a warm word of encouragement or a cool drink of living water?) and make the choice to actually be profitable servants instead of resting in their own self-deluded riches. I equate this to our modern-day sayings, “Saved and satisfied” or “Maintenance-free salvation.” And this leads me to the next verse I believe doesn’t mean what we think it means.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me.” (Rev 3:20)
A lot of us have seen the picture with Jesus standing outside a door with no door knob and the aforementioned verses being used. Make no mistake, this isn’t Jesus standing there hoping the individual will repent and open the door but the whole of a church that has forgotten the Gospel call and their need to get Jesus back in it. It was bad enough that the Laodicean water wasn’t the greatest, but now they’re being called out for boasting of prosperity and being ignorant of their spiritual poverty. When any church focus is based on its peoples own plan and not the ministry of reconciliation what else should Jesus do but come a-knockin’?
Well, I’ve reached my word count yet once again but I would like to leave this subject with this passage from 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” So, let’s always be mindful as we share verses with each other and with those who don’t yet know Christ.
In closing for today, let us all find rest in what Jesus was saying to all of as He gave His Sermon on the Mount, “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one title will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” (Matt 5:18) Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) has been married for 25+ years (Kathy), has a married son (Kevin) and a daughter in college (Karen). He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Think About This:“I have always felt that when we read and study the Word of God, we should have great expectations. We should ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the Person, the glory and the eternal ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. Perhaps our problem is in our approach. Perhaps we have simply read our Bibles as we might read a piece of literature or a textbook.” — A.W. Tozer
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. – Psalm 73:25-26
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.