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Keep The Fire Burning!

Don't Let your fire Go Out!  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.
15 “ ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible

Amen. This is the only place in Revelation where Jesus is called “the Amen.” “Amen” (amēn [281, 297]) comes from Hebrew and means “truly,” “so be it.” The term almost always follows an assertion of some sort in Revelation (1:6–7; 5:14; 19:4; 22:20–21). In 7:12, however, it both precedes and follows the assertion so as to heighten and emphasize that, “Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and ever!” This may be our clue to John’s use at 3:14. “The Amen” precedes the attributes of Jesus to emphasize them.

faithful and true witness. Lit., “faithful martyr and true.” In 1:5, Jesus was introduced as the “faithful witness” (see commentary there), and in 19:11 he is described as “faithful” and “true.” To one of the most unfaithful churches, with a totally false self-perception (3:17), Jesus’ attributes are a confrontation.

the beginning of God’s new creation. In 21:6, God is described as “the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End,” and in 22:13, Jesus says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega … the Beginning and the End.” In 3:14, Jesus is the beginning of God’s new creation. Jesus clearly indicates to the Laodicean church that “business as usual” is not what Christian life is all about. It is a new creation whose beginning in Jesus forecloses the old manner of life.

3:15–16 you are neither hot nor cold … you are like lukewarm water. The lukewarm image would not have been lost on the Laodiceans. The city had no fresh water supply. Drinking water had to be carried from the springs or the river in the valley below. Utility water was piped to Laodicea from hot mineral springs about six miles away near Hierapolis. By the time it reached the city it was lukewarm and, because of its high mineral content, would cause a person to vomit if it were drunk (Beale 1999:303; Witherington 2003:107). Jesus used this language to tell the Laodicean church that it did not stand out against the culture in which it lived, for it was neither cold nor hot.

Probably too much has been made over Jesus’ statement, “I wish you were cold or hot.” Some have suggested that “hot” referred to the healing mineral waters of the hot springs near Hierapolis and “cold” to the refreshing waters of Colossae. (For a full discussion of this view, see Hemer 1986.) It seems best, however, to simply infer that Jesus was indicating they should be distinct from their culture.

I will spit you out of my mouth! This is better translated as “I am about to vomit you out.” Laodicea’s accommodation to its culture made Jesus sick. Again, we see the possibility of people falling away from the faith. This element has been present in each of the “problem” and “perverse” churches. Ephesus was on the verge of having their lampstand removed (2:5), Pergamum was about to experience Jesus’ warring against them (2:16), Thyatira had those who were about to be “killed with death” (see note on 2:23), and Sardis was in danger of having their name erased from the Book of Life (3:5).

Don’t Let Your Fire Go Out!”
; “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth”. (KJV)
They had lost their vigor (vv. 16–17).
In the Christian life, there are three “spiritual temperatures”: a
burning heart, on fire for God (), a cold heart (), and a lukewarm heart ().
The lukewarm Christian is comfortable, complacent,
and does not realize his need. If he were cold, at least
he would feel it!
They had lost their values (vv. 17–18a). The
church at Smyrna thought itself poor, when it was really
rich (); the Laodiceans boasted that they were
rich, when in fact they were poor. Perhaps we have here
a hint of why this church declined spiritually: they had
become proud of their ministry and had begun to measure
things by human standards instead of by spiritual
values. They were, in the eyes of the Lord, “wretched,
and miserable, and poor.”
They had lost their vision (v. 18b). The
Laodiceans were “blind.” They could not see reality.
They were living in a fool’s paradise, proud of a church
that was about to be rejected. The apostle Peter teaches
that when a believer is not growing in the Lord, his
spiritual vision is affected (). “Diet” has
bearing on the condition of one’s eyes, in a spiritual
sense as well as a physical one.
They had lost their vesture (vv. 17–22). Like the
emperor in Hans Christian Andersen’s story, these
Christians thought they were clothed in splendor when
they were really naked! To be naked meant to be
defeated and humiliated (; ).
"Thou art neither cold nor hot... I will spew thee out of my mouth" (, ). The condition of being lukewarm is a most unacceptable condition. It sums up the problem in the church in Laodicea.
It is a deceitful condition. "Neither cold nor hot" (). This condition is especially deceitful. There is enough good to attract the spiritual, but enough evil to attract the carnal. Many churches build their crowd this way.
It is a defiling condition. Lukewarmness does not oppose anything except cold and hot, so such a condition will be especially defiling. A lukewarm protest against sin will not turn anyone away from sin. A lukewarm support of righteousness will not gain any votes for godliness. The result will be defilement.
It is a debilitating condition. "Neither cold nor hot" (). This kind of church will do nothing. It simply goes with the crowd. It straddles the fence, and stays in the middle of the road. It is not a supporter of any side. It is too weak to stand against evil or support the cause of truth. Individually it is not cold enough to bring conviction of sin, neither is it warm enough to bring consecration spiritually.
• It is a dignified condition. The world will honor this condition. It is popular with the world. It does not produce enthusiasm spiritually (an anathema to the world) or cause antagonism about sin (also an anathema to a wicked world that wants to keep sinning without rebuke). The world can accept this kind of church and individual. In this condition, you can be religious but at the same time be a friend of the devil.
It is a distasteful condition. "I will spew thee out of my mouth" (). This condition is so distasteful to the Lord that it makes Him vomit. Nothing tastes good that is tepid.
_ Does Jesus Find You To Be
Therapeutic, Refreshing, or Disgusting?
I wonder if this question is also a question of the heart for you.
Maybe you remember how you were once on fire for God but now this seems such as a distant and foreign memory. You wonder if that fire can ever be rekindled that once burnt in you. Yes it can!
Today, in modern society the work of keeping the house warm during the cold season has been simplified. Without any stress we program the desired temperature for the desired time on the thermostat and the house is warm through the night with the perfect temperature when we get up in the morning.
In the past it was a different story! Fire was carefully tended to and wood or fuel supplies were under an observing eye because a lack of it could be fatal.
A prevailing sin in the church today is the sin of Luke warmness that Jesus reprimanded us about, ‘I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.’ ()
Too often for too many believers, their spiritual temperatures change. Some can get all ‘on fire’ for God during the attending of a revival meeting and rededicate their hearts only for a little later to be right back to being lukewarm and lackadaisical Christians again.
You need to keep the fire on the altar of your heart on all the time. Luke-warmness is rampant in the church today?
How can we recognize luke-warmness in our lives? luke-warmness is manifested as a lackadaisical attitude towards the things of God.
While there may be more, allow me to reveal seven manifestations of Luke-warmness,
Lackadaisical attitude toward the Scriptures
Appetite is a great sign of health. When there is no hunger to read and know the Word like you used to then lukewarmness has crept into your life.
Lackadaisical attitude towards Supplication
No zeal for a powerful prayer life. You go to church but your prayer life is virtually non-existent.
Lackadaisical attitude towards Sanctification
What you would have never partook of years ago has become acceptable in your eyes all in the name of so called maturity and grace. It has made you indifferent about personal holiness. The Word is no longer the alpha and omega in your life but society now determines what you believe is right or wrong.
Lackadaisical attitude towards Soul-winning.
The Great Commission which is the only reason why Jesus left us here for is no longer your heartbeat. The Great Commission is now the greatest omission in your life. You cannot remember the last time you led somebody to Christ. Soul-winning is no longer a passionate pursuit.
Lackadaisical attitude towards Service
Your excuse, ‘The church has hurt me’, and that’s why you are not involved in the local church. I’m going to be blunt with you, ‘Who cares if the church hurt you? Did Jesus hurt you?’ No! Then your excuse is not valid. The notion of sitting in church and do nothing is an indication that the fire has died on the altar.
Lackadaisical attitude towards Singing and Shouting
Your praise is not vibrant. There is no expression of gratitude and joy for your salvation. The singing is half hearted and the shouts of other saints are viewed as annoying, repulsive and a source of embarrassment for you.
Lackadaisical attitude towards church Support
You no longer view church attendance as imperative whereas before you would be in all the services. There is no support in tithing and offerings as well as any outreaches of your church. This indicates that your wood is wet and the fire truly died out.
Now let me show you three simple ways you can rekindle the fire of God in your life.
These words in could be interpreted:
“Because you’ve lost your temperature and become lukewarm — because no refreshing waters
flow out of you and you have no healing properties left — I find your taste in My mouth to
be disgusting! I can’t bear it anymore, and I have no choice but to spit you out!”
That’s how God feels about a lukewarm spiritual walk. You see, with God there is no middle
ground. But if you have allowed your walk with God to become lukewarm, you can reverse that
abominable condition! God has tossed the ball in your court, and now it’s up to you. He is calling
you to repent of your lukewarm attitude. Go after the things of God with all your heart, soul, and
strength!
; "Meanwhile, the fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must never go out." New Living Translation
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