Sunday, December 22, 2013

To Judge Ourselves Part 17 – Neither Hot nor Cold

To Judge Ourselves
Part 17 – Neither Hot nor Cold
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

We spent the last year looking at what the Book of Acts had to say about the founding, operation and behavior that the Lord expects from us as individuals, and as a church, or congregation of believers.

We then spent a few weeks looking at the letters that Jesus sent to the seven churches in Revelation, telling them where they were going right, and wrong, as well as what the punishments and rewards would be.

A few weeks ago, I took all of those letters, and compiled them into one letter from the Lord, to us.

Our new series will take a look at each of the points Jesus made in that letter, and we will not only examine our church as a whole, but ourselves as individuals.

2 Corinthians 13:5 "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!"

1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

2 Peter 2:4-10 "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell[a] and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;[c] and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge[e] in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority."

We have already looked at Jesus speaking to us about hard work, not tolerating wicked people in the church, and testing those who claim to be apostles, but are nothing more than false prophets, and last week we spoke on perseverance, and enduring hardships for His name, Spiritually Rich during times of affliction and poverty, Slander, Not Being Afraid, Where Satan Rules, Faithfulness, Deeds, The Open Door, First Love, Repentance and Salvation, False Doctrine, Jezebel, Wake Up.

Last week we looked at Strengthen What Remains.

This week we will look at the warning about being Neither Hot nor Cold.

Revelation 3:15-20 (Literal Translation)
 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

I.                   BE HOT OR COLD
a.      Be one or the other
                                                             i.      lukewarm is neither

b.     Form an opinion
                                                             i.      Where do you get your morals?

                                                          ii.      What is your view of Righteousness based on?

                                                       iii.      What are true values?

                                                         iv.      Should these be based on our education and advancements in science?

                                                            v.      rather, they should be based on what the Creator has established since He is the Author of life, and the Judge of all

c.      Otherwise, there will be Divine Rejection

II.               YOU SAY
a.      Our perception of ourselves
                                                             i.      We usually do not examine ourselves as we ought

                                                          ii.      Laodicea believed because they were materialistically and financially rich, that equaled Spiritual Blessing from God

b.     However, they were wrong
                                                             i.      The Lord corrects their distorted view of themselves.

                                                          ii.      This can go both ways.
1.      If we view ourselves more highly than we should
2.      and if we view ourselves to poorly

                                                       iii.      Remember, the Lord reminded the church in Smyrna that they were Spiritually Rich

c.      What they say
                                                             i.      The Church in Laodicea said, "‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’"

                                                          ii.      However, the Lord pointed out to them, "you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked." vs17

                                                       iii.      While the church gloated over material wealth, it was unconscious of her spiritual poverty; which is indicative of the modern church.

d.     Jesus gives them the answer
                                                             i.      I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich;
1.      What is this gold that has been refined in the fire?

                                                          ii.      white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness (which is the white garments, the Righteousness of Christ)
                                                       iii.      and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. (open their eyes to Spiritual Matters)

                                                         iv.      THEN, a person can truly be RICH!

a.      Jesus speaks to us about His correction to the church.
                                                             i.      Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. 

                                                          ii.      So be earnest and repent. 

The Lord wants us to have our minds made up and opinions formed on matters of the world.

He does not want us to be wishy-washy, back-and-forth, double minded, or Luke-Warm.

James 1:5-8 "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do."

What should we base our values, morals and righteousness on? God's Word.

Psalm 119:112-114 " 112 My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end.
113 I hate double-minded people, but I love your law.
114 You are my refuge and my shield;  I have put my hope in your word."

James 4:7-8 "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded."

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