A Lesson from Laodicea: God Wants Your Very Best!
Suppose you were on a basketball team that was playing in the state championship. You had one problem—your best player decided he did not care if you won or lost. As the game started, he did not hustle, he did not try very hard to make shots, and he did not try to play good defense. After several minutes of very “mediocre” play, the coach called a time out and asked the player, “What’s wrong? Why aren’t you trying your best?” The player responded, “Hey, coach, give me a break. I’m not doing my worst. I could be going slower. Sure, I’m not doing my best, but I’m not doing my worst!” What do you suppose the coach would do to a player who had this attitude? Of course, the player would be taken out and replaced by someone who was willing to do his best.
Did you know the Bible talks about a group of Christians who were like the lazy basketball player? In the book of Revelation, we read about the church at Laodicea. The Bible does not say that these Christians were doing terrible things like murdering people, stealing, or lying. It simply says that they were lukewarm. What does “lukewarm” mean? Lukewarm basically means room temperature. It is not hot, nor is it cold. Think about eating soup that is lukewarm. Or imagine eating melted ice cream that is room temperature. That does not sound too appetizing, does it?
The Laodiceans were being “half-way” Christians. They were not totally devoted to Jesus, but they did not hate Him. They “kinda” served Him when it was convenient, and half-heartedly obeyed God. So what did God think about these lukewarm Christians? Was He happy with their effort? Absolutely not! They made God sick. In fact, God said He wished they were either cold or hot, but because they were lukewarm, He was going to vomit them out of His mouth (Revelation 3:16).
With God, it is all or nothing. A “half-way” Christian is just as lost as a non-Christian. God wants your total commitment. He wants you to give your very best effort to serving Him. A coach would not leave a half-hearted basketball player on the court in a championship game, and God will not accept half-hearted effort from His children.