Have you ever met a lukewarm Christian? You know, someone who claims to be a follower of Christ but you really can't see any evidence to support that claim?
God wants us to live out our faith boldly and shine His light bright for all the world to see. When someone sees us, everything about us should say “I am head over heels in love with Jesus and I want everyone to know it!”
Unfortunately, lukewarm Christianity seems to have a contagious effect and can have a devastating impact on God's Kingdom!
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What is a Lukewarm Christian
So what exactly is a lukewarm Christian?
The word lukewarm means neither hot nor cold. As such, a lukewarm Christian is neither hot nor cold in their faith. They may go to church, but that is more of a check in the box for them and not an act of obedience to God.
A lukewarm Christian is satisfied with simply being able to say they are a Christian. They aren't interested in living out the kind of life Jesus calls us to live.
Are lukewarm Christians saved?
Yes. A lukewarm Christian is saved. We know that the way to salvation is by accepting Jesus into our hearts. A person can be saved but still be a lukewarm Christian.
He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Acts 16:30-31 NIV
The reason they are considered lukewarm is that once saved, they aren't living on fire for God. In other words, they can say they are a Christian but nothing about them really resembles the heart of Jesus and what it means to be a part of His family.
We aren't supposed to just get our “ticket to heaven” (through salvation), we are supposed to strive to be more like Jesus in our lives. That is what it means to be made new in Christ.
God calls us to Love God, Love Others, and Share the Gospel. A lukewarm Christian loves God but often fails in the latter two areas.
I guess you could compare it to someone who pays dues to be a part of an organization but never attends meetings, never participates in fundraisers, never gives any indication that he or she is actually a member of that group. He or she isn't doing anything to further the organization's mission.
A lukewarm Christian doesn't actively help to further the mission of building the Kingdom of God.
Characteristics of a Lukewarm Christian
So, what does a lukewarm Christian look like?
Maybe you've heard the term “CEO Christians?” These are the “Christmas and Easter Only Christians. You know, the ones who claim they are a follower of Jesus but only attend church for Christmas and Easter services.
You could say these are lukewarm Christians.
- A lukewarm Christian may go to church but more as a check in the box and not for actually becoming part of the church family.
- A lukewarm Christian doesn't serve at church. Nor do they have any interest in serving others in their community.
- A lukewarm Christian doesn't use his/her gifts to glorify God.
- A lukewarm Christian doesn't honor God with his/her finances. If you are financially blessed but don't tithe and/or don't use your blessings to serve the poor (donating to charity, etc), then you fall into this category. God expects us to share our blessings with others.
In the simplest of terms, a lukewarm Christian lacks (fails to display) any passion over being a part of God's family.
What Does the Bible Say About Lukewarm Christians
You might wonder if the Bible actually talks about lukewarm Christians. It does! Actually, the Bible is quite clear on this topic and how God feels about those who do nothing with the gift of salvation that He gave them.
In the Book of Revelations, we find the lukewarm Christian verse:
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. Revelation 3:15-16 NIV
Although we only need to accept Jesus into our hearts to be saved, we will all have to account for our deeds when we meet our maker.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10 NIV
So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Romans 14:12 NIV
A lukewarm Christian isn't concerned with having to account for his or her actions when he goes to Heaven. But the Bible actually tells us that, although a saved person will enter the Gates of Heaven, he or she will be judged by God for what we did or didn't do during our time on earth.
If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. 1 Corinthians 3:15 ESV
What Are the Dangers of Lukewarm Christianity
Lukewarm Christianity is detrimental to the Kingdom of God!
When we are lukewarm in our faith, we don't grow. We just are where we are.
When we don't actually grow in our faith and grow closer to God, we can easily be distracted by the enemy. We can easily be tempted. And it becomes more difficult to discern what is Godly and what is of this world.
Another danger of lukewarm Christianity is that it results in fewer souls being saved. Why? Because if we aren't out there sharing the Gospel, how are the unsaved supposed to find out about God? We are literally the vessel for sharing His message.
How to Overcome Spiritual Lukewarmness
I don't want to be a lukewarm Christian. I want to be blazing hot – on fire – for God!
As Christians, we should be on fire for God! Non-believers should be able to literally see our faith through our actions. When someone sees you, they shouldn't even have to ask about your faith because they see you live it out daily.
If they stalk you on social media, does your feed reflect the love of Jesus or does it reflect something else? Here are just a few ways to overcome your spiritual lukewarmness and start exuding the light of Jesus for others to see!
- Sharing the Gospel with others regularly
- Praying with and for others
- Serving others
- Graciously sharing your blessings with others
- Using your gifts to glorify God
At the end of the day, yes, even lukewarm Christians will go to heaven. But they will have to account for what they did (or didn't do) after their salvation.
I mean, what is the point of being given the most amazing and precious gift ever – if you choose to do nothing with it?
Our calling is to go out and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). Why would anyone be interested in joining your group when you show zero passion or enthusiasm for it yourself?
Instead of being lukewarm in your faith, God wants you to be bold. He wants you to profess your faith loudly. He wants you to wear your faith so that others can see just how amazing it is to be a part of God's family.
If you want others to get excited about something, you must show them through your own excitement. Use every breath to glorify God. Make it known – through your actions and your words – that you are a loud and proud Child of God!