welcome to Laodicea

(Jesus says) “Because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold –
I am about to spit you out of my mouth"
Revelation 3:16

It is a blessing to be able to move freely about within congregations to whom God has revealed the equality
of all people in Christ, and understand that indeed people of all God given sexual orientations are welcome in
the dominion of Heaven.  I recently heard a radio pastor refer to the "others", that is, those who have moved
on and understand God's inclusivity, as "congregations of demons".  By clinging to deliberate
misinterpretations of Scripture handed down to them by pastors of bigotry, it's no wonder so many right-
wingers are bent upon relentless hostility toward gay people.  Theologically they're a mess.  Jesus called
them a generation of vipers.  Today they have blinded their own eyes and wouldn’t dare humble themselves
whereby they would realize that they fit the same picture.  They still don't know how to embrace God's
unconditional and complete love; nor do they want to.  Jesus saw it coming, for he said that there will always
be those who won't face reality.  No kidding.

Accepting Christ is one thing, but it's not supposed to end there.  Often I have observed the deliberate
restraint of some Christians during a Sunday morning worship service, and I wonder what it would take to
move them to even the lowly level #2, for the overwhelming majority remain at level one; the entry level.  The
entry level is that of accepting Christ into one's heart, trusting Jesus as Savior, and (theoretically) behaving
in such a manner which sets one apart from the world.  There is a commonality shared through sincere
repentance and basic trust in the God of all creation.  There is also a hope and a peace of mind generally
shared by the whole body of Christ.  That much is evident on Sunday mornings.  We call ourselves brothers
and sisters in the Lord, and that concept comes from Jesus Himself.

Sadly, it ends there, at the doorstep of victory and intimacy with Jesus.  Few have dared to allow the Holy
Spirit to move them into the realm of true communion, or Christ consciousness if you will.  There is a
rapturous involvement, an awareness of God's intimate presence which goes unexplored.  The spiritual
dwelling place of the hearts and minds of most believers falls pathetically short of touching God.  There isn't
even an attempt to lift holy hands unto the Lord as directed in I Timothy 2:8 which exhorts people everywhere
to "pray, lifting up holy hands".  Or Psalm 63:4 where David joyfully proclaims "I will lift up my hands in
Your name".  It's far more than a suggestion.    

The common dwelling place of most believers is a far cry from moving into the presence of the Lord.  Having
been directly exposed to serious worship within a miracle ministry many years ago, the essence of that
sacred Holy Spirit presence has never left me, of which I am humbly thankful, and it is heartbreaking to
watch the masses of people wallowing in step #1, never wanting anything more.  
Never desiring the intimacy in Jesus which is so available.       

True, we have not experienced the extraordinary privilege of being there when Mary anointed Jesus' feet
with the costly perfume, or when Jesus called forth Lazarus from the tomb, or when the favored disciples
witnessed Jesus talking with Moses & Elijah at the transfiguration.  We haven't experienced being caught
up into the third heaven like Paul, or shared in the visions of John the elder either.  
Poor us?  Not by a long shot.

There are heights and depths in the things of God which the common Christian will never know.  And what a
sad thing that one would settle to be a common Christian.  Only God can lift us higher, plunge us deeper,
move us into the mysterious presence of the Holy Spirit.  But how could this be attained?  Everywhere in
the Bible it's pointed out.  Jesus led the way.  He showed us how to pray.  
It's where we begin.  Prayer 101.

And it's not until we get serious about our prayer life that the unquenchable desire for intimacy evolves.  
Through this we begin to envision the forthcoming inheritance for the people of God, and our quest for
personal worship is realized at a new level.  This intimacy elevates our relationship with God.  
It transfigures us into the next dimension.  

Now, I realize that many folks came from a formal or “higher church” backgrounds.  Many are used to one
way of worshipping.  But, could one hide amidst the formality and avoid real communion with Christ?  
Absolutely.  Could one find shelter behind excuses and emptiness?  Sure.  Have some missed or even
desired entering into a realm of seriously true intimacy with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit?  Lets put it this
way – the odds of an intimate relationship are not in their favor.  Again, I find myself scanning a congregation
groveling in the ordinary, never reaching for a higher level, never worshipping God in depth at all.  Rarely is
there a conversation after church about the Lord.  Rarely a testimony of what God has done in their lives
during the past week.  Has this described your church?  Has it described you?

Read Revelation 3:14-22.  The world of lukewarm Christians.  Welcome to the church at Laodicea.