Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Spirit warns the church!

 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

 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.
Because thou sayest, 'I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing';
and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich;
and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear;
and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten...
—Rev. 2:29;3:14-19

The condition described is one of mournful indifference and carelessness.
They were not cold, but they were not hot;
they were not infidels, yet they were not earnest believers;
they did not oppose the gospel, neither did they defend it;
they were not working mischief, neither were they doing any great good;
they were not disreputable in moral character, but they were not distinguished for holiness;
they were not irreligious, but they were not enthusiastic in piety nor eminent for zeal:
they were what the world calls "Moderates,"
they were of the Broad-church school,
they were neither bigots nor Puritans,
they were prudent and avoided fanaticism,
respectable and averse to excitement...

Alas, this state of lukewarmness is so congenial with human nature
that it is hard to fetch men from it.
Cold makes us shiver,
and great heat causes us pain,
but a tepid bath is comfort itself.
Such a temperature suits human nature.
The world is always at peace with a lukewarm church,
and such a church is always pleased with itself.
Not too worldly,—no! We have our limits!
There are certain amusements which of course a Christian must give up,
but we will go quite up to the line,
for why are we to be miserable?

... Compromise is the order of the day.
Thousands try to hold with the hare
and run with the hounds,
they are for God and Mammon,
Christ and Belial, truth and error,
and so are "neither hot nor cold."

Many a church has fallen into a condition of indifference,
and when it does so it generally becomes the haunt of worldly professors,
a refuge for people who want an easy religion,
which enables them to enjoy the pleasures of sin
and the honours of piety at the same time;
where things are free and easy,
where you are not expected to do much,
or give much,
or pray much,
or to be very religious;
where the minister is not so precise as the old school divines,
a more liberal people, of broad views,
free-thinking and free-acting,
where there is full tolerance for sin,
and no demand for vital godliness.
Such churches applaud cleverness in a preacher;
as for his doctrine, that is of small consequence,
and his love to Christ and zeal for souls are very secondary.
He is a clever fellow, and can speak well,
and that suffices.
This style of things is all too common,
yet we are expected to hold our tongue,
for the people are very respectable.
The Lord grant that we may be kept clear of such respectability!

Give me a dozen earnest spirits and put me down anywhere..
and by God's good help we will soon cause the wilderness and the solitary place to rejoice;
but give me the whole lot of you,
and unconcerned, what can I do?
You will only be a drag upon a man's zeal and earnestness.

Excerpted from
An Earnest Warning about Lukewarmness
by Charles Spurgeon

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