If We Are Not On Fire Now…We Will Be Later.
When it comes to Jesus, you cannot stick one foot through the narrow gate and keep one leg on the wide road to destruction. You cannot sit on the fence so to speak. If you are a non-committal Christian then I have some bad news for you. You are lukewarm! Lukewarm? What’s wrong with lukewarm? In Revelation 3:16, Jesus tells the church at Laodicea that he would rather that they be hot or cold anything but lukewarm.
Oh stop rolling your eyes. I have been there. I know what it is like. I was on the road to destruction. I was lukewarm. It is so easy, you know? Just pay some lip service – go to church so people don’t bother you, so the elders don’t catch on to your lukewarmness and call you on anything. Give a tithe and an offering, but never give until it hurts. Don’t actually use your talents and abilities to serve or give anything more than what is comfortable for you to the body of Christ.
How do you know if you are lukewarm? Is Jesus God to you or not? Do you worship him or alone or do you also worship the idol of comfort? Do you worship him alone or do you keep some of your favorite sins in your back pocket for a rainy day? Do you worship him alone?
If you do worship him alone then you have been born of the spirit of God and your life will look very different from those living in the world. Does your life look different from those living in the world? With faith, a new heart, new desires and a new way of thinking, you are filled with a new love for God that is fueled by his outpouring of love for you on the cross. In other words you will live a life of thankfulness for what he has done for you. Because of Jesus’ one true sacrifice you are secure from the wrath of God against you because Christ died in your place and bore the wrath of God in your place. Are you zealous and passionate for the things of God? Are you fervent and enthusiastic in spirit because of this radical gift of God? If so you are hot.
If you are dead to God and to his ways, turning your back on the promises of God, fully accepting and embracing the wrath of a holy and righteous God who will punish sin. If you actively choose to be your own god and put your own life above him and others and live life apart from him, you are not safe. But, at least, you are bold about it. You are cold. If I can take the risk of sounding crazy here…Jesus is really saying he would rather you acknowledge that you are lord of your own life instead of just paying lip service to him by pretending he is. With a cold heart, with blatant denial, at least there is honesty in that, and maybe the possibility that it will be warmed up and regenerated by grace.
When one is lukewarm however, there is the false appearance of godliness but without real transformation by the regenerating work of the spirit. This is a very dangerous place to be. Jesus speaks terrifying words of warning to those who settle into this state of lukewarm affections toward him. In Revelation 3:15-16 he says,
“I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”
Jesus also says in Luke 10:27 that the greatest commandment is,
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.”
In Jeremiah 29, God also promises to be “found” by us when we seek him with intense sincerity rather than a cool lukwarmness.
“You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 29:13-14).
Over and over again the Bible says that fervour, zeal, intensity, passion, or “being on fire” for God and for the things of God really, truly matters. God wants zeal and intensity of us, his children. If you think that being on “fire” for God is reserved for new converts or for “charismatics,” and that this does not apply to anyone else, please then think again. Paul tells us in Romans 12:11,
“Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. “
Don’t settle for anything less than fervent zeal. We exist to glorify God and to spread a passion for His supremacy. You can’t spread what you don’t have, you can’t glorify God half-heartedly. Ask God for Zeal in relentless prayer and search the Word of God for the wonders that make you blaze with affection for Christ. That’s the passion, the intensity , the “be fervent in spirit” spoken of in Romans 12:11. This is the greatest life. This is being on fire for Christ. This is real, honest, raw, and life giving. Therefore do not be slothful in zeal, but be fervent and keep ablaze in the spirit as you serve the Lord.
So what exactly does my title mean? Well, if we are not on fire for God in this life, we will be cast out of his presence in the next…which means eternal hell.