REVELATION 3:1-2 – “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “ ‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.
REVELATION 3:14-16 – “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. ‘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.
THEME OF THE DAY. THE TWO DEADLIEST OF SPIRITUAL CONDITIONS. Today’s nugget is a little unique in that it contains two scripture references defining the theme. They are taken from two of the seven letters Jesus gave to the seven churches in the Revelation. And they penetrate the soul. In them are described the two deadliest of spiritual conditions a person may be found to be in. The seriousness of them demand we do thorough self-examination. We will do so, not to create doubt of our salvation, but to accomplish two things; affirm our salvation and then commit to daily watchfulness against these deadly conditions to keep them from creeping into our lives.
The first deadly spiritual condition is found in the letter to the church in Sardis – You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. It is the condition of spiritual self-deception. Or we may expound it to, “It is thinking we are okay spiritually but are far from being okay.” Jesus says, “You have all the external looks of spirituality. People think your Christian profession is good by what they see outwardly, but you are not what people see. You are dead. You are far away from me despite outward appearances.” Here is the professing believer who goes to church (will miss Sundays for worldly events and activities), but is mostly faithful. They don’t live in gross sin, but they also don’t get involved in the life of their church or other Christians. They don’t have much spirituality at home (the real place that reveals what type of Christian we truly are) beyond a mechanical prayer over a meal, or an infrequent reading of the Bible as a family that is forced and short. Basically, this deadly spiritual condition is mistaking “Christian morality” for Biblical spirituality. And the seriousness of this is that moral people die and go to hell, even moral “professing Christians” who look good on the outside but are dead on the inside.
The second deadly spiritual condition is found in the letter to the church in Laodicea – you are neither cold nor hot. Jesus defines this as lukewarm. What a horrible condition to be in a believer! No burden for the lost, no passion for Christ, no pursuit of holiness, no desire for fellowship with God’s people, no hunger for the preached Word, no thirst for prayer with other believers . . . just a mere spiritual existence of indifference. Sadly, a lot of Christians live like this. They still go to church but out of duty and boring obligation. They don’t attend prayer meetings, Bible studies, not involved in the ministries of the church, no participation in outreach efforts, and simply live worldly lives with a little “Christian” religion mixed in. But perhaps the most alarming thing about Christians in this spiritual condition is they know it describes them, but do nothing to come out of it. And as they continue in this condition, the heart grows colder and colder.
As pilgrims journeying through this life, we must guard against these deadly spiritual conditions. If we let down our guard for one day, they will come upon us with ease. May the Lord arm us to make us valiant warriors against these evil forces.
PRAYER: “Father, please protect my heart from drifting into a spiritual condition that displeases You.”
QUOTE: “Spiritual self-deception and spiritual indifference are the two greatest dangers a Christian faces in this world.”