When the church is lukewarm!
Notice, the Church in Laodicea was accused of being lukewarm. However, of the seven Churches in Asia Minor, it was known for being wealthy, influential in banking industry, manufacture of wool and a medical school that produced eye salve. When the city had a problem of water supply, an aqueduct was built to bring water to the city from a hot spring. But by the time the water reached the city, it was neither hot nor refreshingly cool – only lukewarm. So, drinking such a water became a disgusting thing. Sadly too, believers joined in the Luke-warmness of the moment and the Angel had to say: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth,” (Rev. 3:15-16).
Unfortunately, the Nigeria Church is not different from the Laodicean Church experience. Although, Nigeria is blessed by God with abundance of human, material and mineral resources, yet, in her greatness, she is spiritually lukewarm. And I am sure the Angel will still maintain his stand against her, if you continue to be lukewarm, “I will vomit you out.” But the Church is the bride of Jesus Christ and by extension the apple of His eyes, so anything that would tamper with her, must be destroyed.
Yes, Jesus bought the Church with His blood. Remember, such does not bother the devil and so he would throw spanners in the works. In the parable of the Wheat and the tares recorded in Matt. 13:24-30, Jesus reveals the danger that awaits a sleeping Church at the end of time. Because while the Church was indifferent and unguarded, not on fire, the enemy of the gospel crept into the Church and sowed tares and went away. To the effect that the Church of today is not totally free from idolatry, cultism, immorality, love of the world and its attractions, false teachings and fake miracles and the faith of many have grown cold (Matt. 24:12).
However, the Master (God) said to His servants (Angels), allow the wheat (children of God) and the tares (children of the devil) to grow together. At harvest (judgment), there will be final separation. Of course, the tares, children of the devil will be gathered to be burned while the wheat, the children of God will enter into their eternal glory. Alleluia! This should be the joy of every believer who is not sleeping at the duty post while the battle rages in the field.
Let it be stated, sin will be punished and God’s purpose is that through such a discipline humanity is to be returned to Him. It is a warning to the believer to avoid God’s punishment by drawing near to Him through confession, service, worship and studying His Word. For failure to do so will have damnable consequences. Remember, God’s judgment is sure and would not be postponed, also, the second coming of Christ is eminent we need to avoid damnation at the end of time. I think the time to do so is now.
The Bible insisted, while men slept, while they were lukewarm, the enemy struck. The stories in 1 Sam. 26:1-16 and Matt. 26:36-46 are highly instructive here. Abner and his fellow soldiers could not wait on their master King Saul. That loophole made David and Abishai to secretly and quietly remove Saul’s spear and water jar while these soldiers were sleeping. What a tragedy to have a nation’s soldiers and spiritual soldiers sleep at their duty post. The boast by David shortly after removing the spear and water jar revealed the enormity of the tragedy-is it how you are guarding the king, he said mockingly.
Also, Jesus could not hide His disappointment at Peter and the sons of Zebedee at Gethsemane when three times He found them sleeping. And He said can’t you “watch and pray.” Yet, there was danger looming and these acclaimed spiritual giants were asleep. I am sure Jesus will not be happy that His Church of today is in comatose while the enemy, the devil is having a field day.
Ven. Ernest Onuoha
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.
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