All:Nothing Hot:Cold Black:White

The Christian faith demands a lot from believers. From moral uprightness to sharing the gospel, there is always something we can improve on or an area we can grow in. It seems, however, that the list is never-ending. For some, there is a “limit” to how upright they are or how many people they have evangelized. It is sort of like saying, “I’ve reached my goal. Now it’s finished. I’m done.”

The concern that I have, however, is this: Christ has called us to give all of ourselves up to Him, for only then will we reap the benefits of a relationship with Him.

And He said to all, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in His glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels…”

– Luke 9:23-26

You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart.

– Jeremiah 29:13

You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

– Matthew 5:48

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.

– Revelation 3:15-16

When I say “concern”, it does mean that I have a problem with it; the problem being the high standard. In my sinful nature, I cannot fully give myself completely to the Lord and submit to His will. I am still called, however, to live in holiness and obedience. In my interpretation, this means that regardless of my capabilities, I must continue to strive for perfection in Christ. Never stopping, never ending, for the rest of my life. In all this striving, I become more and more Christ-like, ultimately drawing closer to the heart of God.

If I stop striving and become lukewarm, I miss out on all the lessons God could have taught me if I remained in the faith. I also miss out on lessons that can be learned from prolonged persistence in my walk with Him.

In being lukewarm, which in my definition is still calling myself a saved believer, yet living like someone who’s unsaved, I set a bad example for younger believers, discourage peer and older believers, and misrepresent Christ and the Church. I should pretty much give up any claim on the title of a Christian, lest my actions become a stumbling block to others.

Hot or cold… which one will I choose to be? Will I give all of myself, or nothing at all?

In the eyes of the world, it may be two extremes; a black or white; however in the eyes of God, it’s simply a commitment I must keep.

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4 thoughts on “All:Nothing Hot:Cold Black:White

  1. I enjoyed reading this blog post, but I do have something I would like to add.

    We were talking with some friends about being “Hot/Cold” a few weeks back, and it was made mention that maybe being cold, didn’t mean ‘nothing at all’.

    After all, on a hot day, a cold cup of water can be very refreshing, and on a cold day, a hot drink is very good; but on neither day is lukewarm very good.

    Does that make sense??

  2. I think you are taking things to extremes. Also, are there ways to spread a righteous message without directly evangelizing for Christ? What if you invent a new gizmo that saves lives? Wouldn’t that be losing yourself to follow Christ, or at least the ideals of Christ?

    Is Christianity really supposed to be such a burden? It’s in how you interpret the language of the Bible, perhaps.

    I have several interpretations in my book “Embrace the Infinite”, Chapter 6.

    • I am certainly not taking things to the extreme. I understand many believers have a problem with God’s high standards. However, that is no excuse to relax your personal standards. As I’ve stated in my last sentence:

      “In the eyes of the world, it may be two extremes; a black or white; however in the eyes of God, it’s simply a commitment I must keep.”

      I am willing to accept God’s standard, because it gives me something to strive for, and it shows me just how much I need God’s grace because I am unable to pursue a pure life in and of my own strength. If I relax his standards to be less extreme, then in theory I can continually reduce it till there are no moral standards left.

      Also, I would advise you to carefully and thoughtfully reread the verses I have integrated into this post. There is no “middle ground” mentioned, but only two “extremes.”

    • In response to your actual questions, there are other ways to spread the Gospel, and that is though your words and actions. If they reflect God’s law, grace, and love, then you spread the Gospel without direct evangelism. In the words of St. Francis of Assisi: “Preach the Gospel always; If necessary, use words.”

      To consider a “gizmo that saves lives” would be a foolish and prideful idea in itself. In implying that one can invent something that brings salvation apart from faith in Jesus Christ, you would say that you don’t need God’s grace to be saved… you can do it on your own. This is an insult to God’s plan, His sacrifice of His Son, and the gift of salvation.

      This said, true Christianity is not a burden. The rules and regulations of orthodox Christianity might be, say like the “Catholic Christians.” To be a true Christian, however, you believe that salvation, and eternal life, is a free gift given through the grace of God by the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made in atonement for your sins. In light of this fact, following God’s rules is no longer a burden. A believer will recognize that God set the rules in place because He is a Holy God. He made mankind in His image, and they are capable of leading pure lives, as Jesus demonstrated in His time on Earth. The fact that purity and holiness is of utmost importance to the Lord should explain why us believers, in following God’s commands, are able to enjoy deeper intimacy with Him as we become one with Him through obeying His commandments and ultimately having His thoughts and standards ingrained in our minds and thoughts.

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