What Does Lukewarm Mean In The Bible

The phrase ‘lukewarm’ is used frequently throughout the Bible and is found most prominently in verse Revelation 3:16. In this verse, Jesus is speaking to the church in Laodicea and states “So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth”. But what does lukewarm actually mean?

The term lukewarm can be used in a literal sense to describe a temperature which is neither hot nor cold – typically used to refer to a beverage such as tea or coffee. In the Bible, however, this phrase is used in a figurative sense. It is used to refer to apathy or indifference and is typically used in a negative context.

In this context, lukewarmness means to lack enthusiasm, commitment or intensity of feeling or opinion; which means that it could quite easily describe the spiritual status of a person or group who is no longer committed to their faith. It is in this sense that we understand the phrase’s usage in Revelation 3:16. God is warning the church in Laodicea of the consequence of their spiritual apathy. He is reminding them that they must remain faithful to Him and His teachings, and that a lack of faith or commitment will lead to serious consequences.

The concept of lukewarmness defines the highest danger for any Christian: to become so comfortable in life or surrounded by material possessions that one’s faith begins to fade. Jesus already showed this danger when He spoke about ‘worldly desires’ in Matthew 13:22. It is a danger that affects each of us; without conscious effort, it is easy to become overly focused on one’s physical life and neglect their spiritual life.

Luckily, Jesus provides us with a remedy for lukewarmness: a reminder to remain faithful and committed to the cause. Jesus encourages us to “apply ourselves to Him wholly and with our hearts” in Hebrews 12:2. Inviting God into our lives, praying and meditating on His Word allows us to prevent our own spiritual indifferences. Galatians 5:22 tells us that when we focus on the spiritual aspect of our lives, it will produce the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

It is important to remember what lukewarmness is and the dangers it brings. It is easy to become spiritually apathetic when we are surrounded by the comfort and stability of daily life. But by keeping in mind that our faith and commitment to God should be the most important part of our lives, and remembering to apply ourselves to Him wholeheartedly, we can avoid being lukewarm and remain faithful and devoted to His will.

What Causes Lukewarmness?

Though lukewarmness can be caused by a number of unique factors, the underlying cause of it can always be attributed to complacency and apathy. At the heart of lukewarmness is a general lack of fervor and commitment to one’s faith. This lack of zealousness can be fueled by a variety of external factors, including but not limited to being surrounded by unbelievers, actively taking on the “world’s” attitude, being overly controlled by material possessions, and even engaging in sin.

Being surrounded by unbelievers or non-committed Christians can have an effect on one’s faith. Watching their peers or family members engage in activities and attitudes contrary to faith can bring about a desire to mimic their behavior or follow their example. Similarly, taking on the “world’s” attitude can have a negative effect on a person’s faith. Thinking and behaving as the world does, with no thought of the consequences, ultimately leads to spiritual apathy.

Material possessions and wealth can have an effect on a person’s faith as well. The saying “the love of money is the root of all evil” is particularly applicable in this situation. If money and possessions become more significant than faith and personal connection with God, then lukewarmness will likely result.

Occasionally engaging in sin can also lead to lukewarmness, as sin works to separate a person from God and weaken faith. Engaging in sin can lead to feelings of guilt, shame, and worthlessness; these feelings, in turn, can cause a person to become apathetic, even to the point of spiritual lukewarmness.

The Impact Of Lukewarmness on Our Lives

The most dangerous, and often destructive, impact that lukewarmness can have on our lives is that it can drive a person away from God. If we allow our spiritual commitment to fade, then there’s a chance that our relationship with God could suffer or even end altogether. The Bible warns us on this matter several times; for example, in Revelation 3:16 Jesus tells the church in Laodicea that He will “spit [them] out of [His] mouth” if they remain lukewarm.

Lukewarmness can bring about a number of other negative effects. When a person is spiritually lukewarm, they are likely less likely to help those in need or to engage in charitable activities. Further, a person can become stuck in a materialistic mindset; they become consumed with earthly possessions and forget the importance of spiritual growth.

In addition to the external effects that lukewarmness can bring, there are also internal ones. It can bring about feelings of guilt and shame due to the knowledge that a person is no longer devoted to their faith. These feelings often lead to sadness and depression, which in turn can have a detrimental effect on one’s mental and physical health.

Finding Spiritual Renewal

The best remedy for lukewarmness is spiritual renewal. By learning how to apply ourselves to God, and re-establishing our connection with Him, we can regain the faith and commitment that was lost. One of the best ways to go about this process is by regularly attending church, engaging in regular prayer and Bible study, and engaging in fellowship with other believers.

Attending church regularly is a great way to remind oneself of the importance of faith and faith-related activities. Hearing the Word of God and being around other believers can serve to encourage and support us during our time of spiritual renewal. Similarly, participating in regular prayer and Bible study can help us to understand and appreciate the teachings of Jesus and to re-establish our faith in Him.

Fellowship with other believers is also a beneficial practice. Spending time with those who practice their faith and actively seek guidance from God can help to make the journey of spiritual renewal less of a sol

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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