“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.” – Revelation 3:15 – 17
The Book of Revelation can be a confusing book to read through. There is a lot of prophecy about future events and many times people get lost reading through the book. However, within the first three chapters we get some less confusing letters written to seven churches. These small sections have Jesus sometimes giving words of encouragement and challenge to these seven churches. The verses mentioned above are written to the church in Laodicea.
The city of Laodicea was known for its great banks and financial stability. They took pride in knowing that they could rely on their own resources and were not in need of help from the cities that surrounded them. Clearly this way of thinking found its way into the church within the city. They had all they needed, saying ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ They figured they could be self-reliant; they did not need help from the Holy Spirit, and they could do ministry on their own. They did not see a need to seek help. Christ calls them out, however, saying they are actually ‘wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.’ The worst part is, they do not even realize what is actually going on in their lives. Later in this section Christ calls for them to return to Him, to stop being lukewarm and put their complete reliance in Christ.
We as well can try and use all our strength and resources to accomplish things on our own without Christ. To think that we can get by in life without the help of Christ and the Holy Spirit is a dangerous thought pattern for life. Remember, John is writing in Revelation to a church, a body of believers who had lost their way. We can attend church or church events, thinking it’s the right thing to do, but then when it comes time to rely on God, we feel like we can accomplish things on our own. Lukewarm water is awful to drink, and in the same way a lukewarm Christian is an awful witness for Christ. We need to get wholly in and fully live our lives in complete reliance on Christ, not half in and half out. Do we even realize how wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked we are without Christ in our lives?