Hot, Cold, Or Lukewarm

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

Revelation 3:15-16


  1. Jesus Christ soberly warned the church at Laodicea, which fits today’s Christianity perfectly (Rev 3:14-22).
    1. This church was neither on fire and 100% committed to Christ nor profane and scandalous like pagans.
    2. A cold person has no warmth to God and Christ – they are honest, honorable, consistent, and committed.
    3. It was lukewarm, thinking everything was great with their souls and church, but without a relationship.
    4. A lukewarm person has warmth to Christ – they are dishonest, complacent, self-justified, and defensive.
    5. Our jealous Lord hates lukewarm love, so He would spue them out (Deut 6:4-5; Ezek 20:39; I Cor 16:22).
    6. Whether you think describing Jesus as spewing people out is permissible or not, that is what He said!
    7. He told this church that they needed to come to Him to obtain those things to make them fruitful for Him.
    8. He warned them that He loved them, but that His love would bring chastening, unless they repented.
    9. He invited them, one soul at a time, to humble themselves and seek a soul relationship with Him.
    10. He promised the overcomers to sit with Him in His throne, which He obtained by also overcoming.
  2. The single greatest enemy of Christianity, your soul, your family, and this church is lukewarm religion; it is not the Mormons, the Muslims, the Monkeys, mortgage rates, FRB money, modern medicine, or the movies.
    1. We live in the perilous times of the last days, when this approach to Jesus Christ is popular and promoted.
    2. I preached a sermon, “The Great Assumptions of Faith,” attacking this matter 17 years and 3 months ago.
    3. I have preached in many different ways against the same enemy during these past 17 years and 3 months.
    4. Every man lives his life by one of three presuppositions for his faith: (1) there is a God, and He is worth living for, (2) there is not a God, so I live for myself, or (3) there is a God, but I live for myself anyway.
    5. Lukewarm is hypocritical Christianity with only a form of godliness and loving pleasures more than God.
    6. Lukewarm Christianity is going through religious motions without having full passion for Christ inside.
  3. There are only three certain options for you this morning – you are hot, or you are cold, or you are lukewarm.
    1. You are hot, if spiritual things are most important, you are bearing much fruit, your love of Christ is growing, your prayer and reading are at lifetime bests, and the fruit of the Spirit is visible in your life.
    2. You are cold, if spiritual things never enter your mind, this world and making it here enamors you, there is a profane disregard for God and His things, you seldom read, you seldom pray, and there is no fruit.
    3. You are lukewarm, if you talk the talk but do not walk the walk, if you get more interested about carnal things, if there is little fruit, if you are contented with your spiritual condition, and this sermon bores you.
    4. Every day you make choices internally and externally that show you as being hot, cold, or lukewarm.
    5. Since you are here this morning, you have ruled out being cold; therefore, you are either hot or lukewarm.
  4. Every man should wisely examine his life and determine what assumption he is living and does he believe it.
    1. Your life can be reduced to one of the three assumptions of faith given above, and then life is quite easy.
    2. Life is short; eternity is long; what if there is a God and the Bible is true? We should live by a wise plan.
    3. Which assumption will give you peace at the time of death? We must prepare and live now for that day.
    4. Consider the risk/reward of your choice! If you are hot and wrong, you lose some painful carnal pleasure. If you are cold and wrong, you lose an eternity of perfect pleasure. If you are a hypocrite, you lose both!
    5. The good Lord took hold of me in my teens this way: If the Bible is only half true, you are ruined! For if God is only half what the Bible says He is, then He deserves all your life, and He will crush your soul!
  5. God made man with some similarities to wild asses, and it behooves us to determine if we are better or not.
    1. It may not be politically correct, good pulpit manner, or exalting man’s dignity to say you are like asses.
    2. Consider! You were born like one (Job 11:12). And you wildly pursue fleshly lusts like one (Job 39:5-8).
    3. But if you are one of God’s born again children, you have a nature totally contrary to the ass (Eph 4:24).
    4. Your three choices are simple: (1) if you are hot, you are far better than a wild ass; (2) if you are cold, you are a wild ass feeding on grass; or (3) if you are a lukewarm hypocrite, you are far worse than a wild ass.

You Are Hot, or

  1. You believe God does truly exist, and you live your life according to that fundamental assumption.
  2. This makes you superior to a wild ass, for you willingly humble yourself and seek Him over grass!
  3. If God and His Son Jesus are anything at all like the Scriptures describe, total commitment is due.
  4. D. Very few men in the world’s history have lived in agreement with this assumption (Ezek 22:30).
    1. Consider how God commended Moses, Samuel, Noah, Daniel, and Job (Jer 15:1; Ezek 14:14).
    2. Consider the failures of Lot, Samson, Eli, Solomon, Jehu, Hezekiah, and many, many others.
    3. We have all watched many that have professed Christ, but very few of them truly live like it!
    4. Many profess Christ, are baptized, and attend church but never pursue Christ with holy passion.
  5. A proper view or vision of God will do much to initiate or encourage this assumption (Isaiah 6:1-8).
    1. Job got right ready to humbly submit, after God came and talked for a few chapters (Job 33-41)!
    2. Nebuchadnezzar, the greatest wild ass of all time, got humble and reverent before God (Dan 4)!
    3. The whole combined crowd of angels and men in heaven give God and Christ glory (Rev 4-5)!
    4. Let God’s word in select places quicken you to this choice (Isaiah 2:6-22; 40:12-31; Nahum 1).
    5. Emphasize God’s judgments (Ps 9:16; Ex 14:31), sovereignty (Eccl 3:14), and glory (Ex 20:20).
    6. Take the time to commune about such knowledge (Psalm 4:4) and glory in it (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
    7. Beg God for Holy Spirit power in your inner man to be filled with His fullness (Eph 3:14-19).
  6. Paul made this assumption when He met Jesus Christ: he counted all things but dung (Phil 3:7-11).
  7. This assumption rightly made will create great zeal for the Lord (Gal 4:18; II Kgs 10:16; Dan 10:32).
  8. The hot man is single minded with affection only for Christ and righteousness (Ps 73:25-26; Jas 4:8).
  9. The hot Christian does not have a problem reading, praying, and singing; they are the joy of his life.

You Are Cold, or

  1. You reject the idea that there is truly a personal God, and you live your life entirely for yourself.
  2. This makes you a wild ass, because you are unruly, earthly oriented, and craving every green thing!
  3. A merit for this choice is that sin does provide its own short-term, pleasurable rewards (Heb 11:25).
  4. Denying God’s existence should result in total lasciviousness, since you are all that counts on earth!
    1. God’s laws should all be denied, since they are just a reminder that others believe He truly exists.
    2. Man’s laws should all be denied, since they are to limit your pleasurable exploitation of others.
    3. This position is consistent only to the extent men dedicate themselves to unrestrained sin always.
    4. Any restraint imposed other than self-preservation can be traced to God or a godly conscience.
  5. This category is made up of those who show no interest in the things of God or religion (Ps 36:1-4).
  6. Being cold is worshipping false gods (Jos 24:14-15; I Kgs 18:21; Ezek 20:39; Hos 4:17; Am 4:4-5).
  7. God compares these unreasonable men (II Thess 3:2) to the beasts without faith (Psalm 49:6-20).
  8. The cold man is single minded with affection only for himself and the things of this earthly life.
  9. The cold man does not make a pretense to be religious; he is simply dedicated to his own happiness.

You Are Lukewarm

  1. You profess that God and Christ truly exist, but you live a compromise between Them and yourself.
  2. You are worse than a wild ass, because you have chosen a course that totally denies true satisfaction!
  3. This is the choice and course Jesus Christ hates the most, for it is profaning His glorious name: He hates hypocrisy, and He fought it among the Jews His whole ministry and warned His apostles.
  4. But you are acceptable to the world! Because this is how most men live their miserable little lives!
    1. Most men make this perverse choice. Few choose either extreme. Most men are but hypocrites!
    2. And you are compatible with the carnal Christian compromise of these perilous times by having a form of godliness but not giving it any authority and loving pleasures more than loving God!
    3. And you are seeker sensitive … watering down God and truth to keep the wild asses happy!
  5. Compromising, or cross-dressing, the other two assumptions is insanity – it defies any explanation.
    1. God is Jealous and rejects partial obedience, so He is not satisfied (Joshua 24:19; Mark 12:30).
    2. Denying lusts and gratification for appearance is misery, so you are not satisfied (I Cor 15:19).
    3. Consider how Jesus Christ describes a widowed Christian living for pleasure (I Tim 5:6,9-11).
    4. God condemns this compromise as the greatest evil (Rev 3:15-16; Ezek 20:39; Judges 10:10-14).
    5. No fruitless faith (James 2:19), hearing (Jas 1:22), or speech (I John 2:4) will do in God’s sight.
  6. The lukewarm man is double minded, which makes him a very unstable man altogether (Jas 1:8).
  7. The lukewarm man is easily identified – he sounds decent (never great) on Sundays, but he is consumed with business, pleasure, family, or any other pursuit but that of Jesus Christ and holiness.
  8. The lukewarm man disdains preaching, reading, praying, spiritual discussions, and spiritual singing.
  9. The lukewarm man is content, complacent, and confident in his course, for he justifies himself.
  10. The lukewarm man feels he does a great and noble thing by making it to church, but Jesus measures the thoughts and intents of his heart and all things are naked and opened to Him (Heb 4:12-14).


  1. Solomon put both extreme choices, hot and cold, to test by his life, recorded in Ecclesiastes (Eccl 12:13-14).
  2. God and Moses faced Israel with the dilemma of what they would do with their great God (Deut 10:12-22).
  3. Joshua told Israel to go ahead and make their choice between hot and cold in serving God (Joshua 24:14-15).
  4. Elijah told Israel to stop halting between two opinions and decide on the God they would serve (I Kgs 18:21).
  5. Let your faith grab hold of the promises of God (Hebrews 11:6 cp Prov 19:23; 23:17-18 cp Eccl 8:12-13).
  6. Are you going to be one of the few who have lived for God and done exploits (Dan 11:32 cp Matthew 7:14)?
  7. Every day, including today, is a choice of three ways. Since you are here, only two. Are you hot or lukewarm? Are you better or worse than a wild ass? Is your life such that Jesus is well pleased or ready to spue you out?

For Further Study:

  1. Sermon outline: Remember Lot’s Wife
  2. Sermon outline: Playing with Sin
  3. Sermon outline: God Hates Compromise
  4. Sermon outline: Pressing Saints or Belly Worshippers
  5. Sermon outline: Carnal Christians
  6. Sermon outline: Awake Thou That Sleepest
  7. Sermon outline: Is Jesus Lord?
  8. Sermon outline: Spiritually Minded
  9. Sermon outline: Few There Be that Find It
  10. Sermon outline: Doers of the Word
  11. Sermon outline: Spiritual Adultery