The other day I brought up the need to return to Biblical studying. And I used the example of Nimrod and Bugs Bunny to show how we as a Christian nation have gotten away from our heritage. Ignorance is no excuse; and to claim such a poor reason is pure laziness. One day everyone will have to give account of their actions (2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.). Part of what we will give account for is going to be our effort in learning what God has spoken to us through his word.
As I said we have no excuse; however, I would like to point out that our downward spiral of godliness was prophesied. Jesus spoke of it over in Revelation 3:14-19. In chapters 2&3 we see Jesus giving a list of churches that many feel represent different periods for his church; with the church of the Laodiceans as the final church age. That church he said was neither hot nor cold. Lukewarm in fact, and that that made him sick. While he may have started off with the church in Ephesus and declared how they had left their first love, at least they could go back. Laodicea was just wilting, dying a slow stagnant death.
Being lukewarm in temperature requires so much extra energy to move the thermometer one way or the other. Take a cup of lukewarm water how much ice do you have to add to it before it gets nice and cold like you want it to be? Or say, lukewarm coffee. Most would rather pour it out and start fresh then to try and raise the temperature and improve the flavor.
The point of all this is that the more true Christians become lukewarm to the word the harder it is to make up lost ground. The Sunday School teacher does their best but only has 30-40 minutes to make an impact. The preacher gets up behind the pulpit with hours upon hours of studying under his belt for the sermon, preaches his heart out, makes a small difference, but then what? So many walk out the door having done their duty for the week. And I’ve been guilty of feeling that way myself at times.
Each individual must make the effort on their own part to get ready to worship leading up to Sunday service (and night service if available) as well as continuing in walking with God during the course of the week. A diet only honored once or twice a week won’t help anyone lose weight. Treating the Bible like cake, only to be eaten on occasion, won’t benefit anyone either.
If you think about it when Satan came to tempt Eve he came twisting what God had said. And he was able to succeed with her because she was spending time away from God. But when he came to tempt Jesus in the wilderness he failed because Jesus spent time in prayer and meditating on God’s word. Just before the wilderness trial Jesus was baptized. There the Holy Spirit descended down on him in the form of a dove. At this point in his ministry how many sermons had Jesus preached? How many miracles had he performed. NONE. Yet at this point in his earthly life God spoke from heaven and said “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Why would God choose to say such a thing then? Because Jesus had made the decision to follow God and to honor his holy will. How do I know? Because when he was just 12 years old (Luke 2:42) he was found in the temple, Luke 2:46,47 “And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.” These learned men couldn’t believe how much Jesus understood and hope he could respond so at such an early age.
Now we will never know all there is to know about the Bible, that is for sure. We can however learn a great deal about it and God’s will for us. It requires us to get in there and learn. Some might would argue that it is too late. If we are truly living in the age of the Laodicean church we are already lukewarm and it will take far too much to move the thermometer. True. But the added ice doesn’t all melt away instantly, it makes something of a difference; as would adding extra coffee to the lukewarm cup. And if each one of us got back to the basics there could be a real large scale impact. It just requires a small scale impact first. It starts in our own lives and expands outward. Jesus is the case study that proves one person can make a difference. No I can’t save you, that job belongs to Jesus, but I can show you how to be saved through Jesus! I may not preach and see 3,000 saved in one service but for every one person who is saved that is one less going to hell, I would say that would make a world of a difference.
We can only truly go forward for God if we will go back to him to begin with.