Do you sit in church naked? There is a whole group of people who do and they don’t live on some crazy island. I’m talking about people in your church – they may even be sitting in the same pew. If you haven’t noticed these naked people, it might be because you are naked too.
So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing” – and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.
In the beginning of the book of Revelation, we get to see Christ’s analysis of different churches. Each church represents different types of people. Some of the people are active Christians and some are satisfied to just call themselves Christians. The church referenced in the verses above belongs to the latter group. Jesus says these people think they are doing fine but in fact from His perspective they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. This is a church whose members are physically present and spiritually absent. Jesus describes them as being lukewarm in their hearts. It means that they don’t care. They certainly don’t hate God, but they don’t love Him either. They go to church to attend the worship service but the thought of God’s worth wouldn’t occur to them outside of those walls. They may attend the Bible study or sit through a message but never flip to the passages, take notes, or independently study the Word on their own time. Lastly, they don’t care about God’s people. They may say hi, smile and ask a rhetorical, “How are you?” However, they have no idea which member just lost a loved one, got diagnosed with cancer, or was on the receiving end of a genuine miracle.
So if these lukewarm people don’t care, why do they go to church? There could be many reasons. Some of them go because of pressure from their family or it is just part of their weekly routine. Others think by taking part in the bread and wine during Holy Communion/Lord’s Supper, God will place a check mark beside their name that week. Then there are some people who equate church attendance to a form of karma – if they go to church, they will get something good as a result and if they don’t go something terrible will happen. There are many more possible reasons but what is important is that these people literally make Jesus want to vomit!
Some of you loophole-lovers may have gone back to verse 17 and thought, “I’m not rich and I definitely have needs so Jesus is not talking about me.” Simple assessment: take an inventory of your needs. How many of your needs are temporal (won’t matter after you die) and how many of your needs are eternal (count towards something in Heaven)? If your needs do not consistently include spiritual needs you’re telling the Lord that you are good and have need of nothing. A true Christian’s needs and prayers must include spiritual desires.
When it comes to our earthly needs, how many of us simply pray, “Dear Lord, please give me my earthly needs”? On the contrary, we will tell Him exactly how much weight we need to lose before the next reunion/wedding, the specific job we want and the name of the person we want to marry – or at least the specific qualities we desire in our future spouse. We don’t like to leave those details out when we pray because we care deeply. Have you ever prayed, “Lord, help me grow spiritually” without any thought or care to the area where you lack spiritually? If the answer is “yes”, or if you haven’t even bothered to pray generically then you have a serious heart problem. A Christian does have spiritual needs and must be specific in prayer! Do you hate to pray? Do you have a hard time opening your Bible? Is it difficult to relate with other believers? Are you embarrassed about your faith? Care enough to tell God so that He can do what He already desires to do.
Remember, these lukewarm people don’t know they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked! How did your prayer assessment turn out? Are your prayers limited to that which is temporal or do you care about what God cares about? God does not give us blessings for the sole purpose of living a picture perfect life. He blesses us in order to use those blessings to achieve His ultimate plan and purpose. If that thought has never occurred to you, if you have never prayed for such things, I would suggest you ask God to show you how you look through His eyes. Are you sitting in church naked thinking you are fully clothed? Are you blind to the fact that you know of Jesus but you don’t know Jesus personally?
Confession: I have sat through many church services not realizing that I was spiritually naked. To wake up one day and look at yourself through God’s eyes and see how wretched you are is shocking and embarrassing. Even now I wonder how I could have been so blind. I also wonder how others could be so blind to their own miserable state. But the silver lining is that God’s grace extends far beyond the moment of salvation. Even when His own children deny Him, He is ready to take them back the moment they are ready to see the truth. Can you hear Him knocking?
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.