Mediocre Christianity

Text: Revelation 3:15-19

The church in Laodicea was condemned for being “lukewarm.” They thought they were “in need of nothing,” but they needed to “be zealous and repent.” At times, we may be like the Laodiceans – not what we should be, but not completely unfaithful; not zealously serving God, but not willfully rejecting Him; in a state of spiritual mediocrity. What does mediocre Christianity look like? How can we change it? That is what we will discuss in this lesson.

Doing the Minimum

  • Some people just want to do the least they can to get by
  • This was the attitude of the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16-22) – he turned away when he heard that he had to give up what he loved and give his life over to Jesus
  • If we are to enter the kingdom, we must do the will of the Father (Matthew 7:21) – we must be totally committed (Romans 12:1)

Looking for Loopholes

  • Too often, people look for excuses to justify certain sins
  • This was the attitude of the lawyer who tested Jesus (Luke 10:25-29) – the command was to love one’s neighbor; this man had not been doing that and wished to justify himself
  • Rather that seeing what sin we can “justify,” we should seek to glorify God in our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:20) – our goal is to be like Christ (1 Peter 2:21-22)

Remaining Static

  • It is easy to be content and confident in our current condition and fail to grow
  • This was the problem of the Hebrew Christians (Hebrews 5:11-14) – they became “dull of hearing” and did not use the word of God to help them grow as they should
  • Christians are expected to grow (2 Peter 3:18) – we cannot remain in the same condition over time (1 Peter 2:2; Luke 8:15)

Seeking Questions, Not Answers

  • Most recognize the need to grow in our spiritual understanding, but some seem to think that maturity is measured by questions rather than answers
  • Paul warned Timothy of those who kept learning, but did not arrive at the truth (2 Timothy 3:7) – they focused on matters of speculation, rather than objective truth (1 Timothy 1:3-4)
  • We are to understand God’s will (Ephesians 5:17) and we can do so (Ephesians 3:4) – we are to study the Scriptures (2 Timothy 2:15) and give an answer (1 Peter 3:15); but we must refuse to engage in foolish speculation about matters which God did not address (2 Timothy 2:23)

Forgetting God

  • It is possible to do what God’s word teaches, but forget why we are to do it
  • This was what happened with the church in Ephesus (Revelation 2:2-5) – they “left [their] first love“; they did many things right, but for the wrong reason
  • We must do those things that are commanded and authorized in the word of God (Colossians 3:17) – but our obedience is for the purpose of glorifying God (John 17:4)

Conclusion

  • If we find areas in our lives as Christians that need improvement, we need to be working to do so
  • We should not be content being “lukewarm” – mediocre in our service to God
  • We must strive to do the best we can in every area of our lives as Christians

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