When it comes to following God, there appear to be three choices; follow wholeheartedly, don’t follow at all and somewhere in between but don’t let appearances fool you; there is only one true way. Moses said Deuteronomy 30:19 “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” Joshua said Joshua 24:14 “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” These first two verses tell us to choose between life or death, God and other gods. For the church, that would mean choosing the gospel or other gospels. So obviously there really is only one choice to make and that is to choose life or so you would think. But then we see a third choice and that is to be lukewarm. Many in the church have opted for this one. So instead of choosing God or other gods, life or death, Jesus says there is a third choice, which is actually worse than choosing other gods. Jesus said Revelation 3:15 “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” We also saw this same warning in Leviticus. Leviticus 18:24 “‘Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. 25 Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. 26 But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the foreigners residing among you must not do any of these detestable things, 27 for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. 28 And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.” Leviticus 20:22 “‘Keep all my decrees and laws and follow them, so that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out. 23 You must not live according to the customs of the nations I am going to drive out before you. Because they did all these things, I abhorred them. 24 But I said to you, “You will possess their land; I will give it to you as an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am the Lord your God, who has set you apart from the nations.” Israel did not listen, and they were vomited out just as those who are lukewarm will be spewed out.

        Even though these verses are clear, many have chosen the disastrous choice to be lukewarm. This means they are kind of Christians (not possible by the way). They go to church and maybe even get involved, maybe even baptized, and they think they are safe and secure. For some they don’t care because they do not take the bible seriously. For others they don’t know better because they have been taught false doctrines. There are still others who have taken a wait and see approach because they do not fear God ort rust His word. Jesus described those who are lukewarm, Revelation 3:17 “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” We also see in Revelation 2:4 “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.”

        Being lukewarm or cold is a refusal to repent, with lukewarm being the worst. You also can’t just repent a little, we must serve God wholeheartedly meaning you give your whole life to God. Many Christians have been fooled by little repentance. Many have not really even repented yet they call themselves Christians which is why the kingdom of God is nowhere near them. They go to a church and the church tells them to repent and adopt the beliefs of the church that they have attended as if adopting church rules and traditions is part of salvation. In doing that they have negated the repentance because they have adopted false gospels. Many who think they repented and were saved, have been lied to. True repentance is rarely talked about in church today because that means when you had your eyes and ears opened, you would turn away from the church you attend and their other gospels both manmade and demonic that they teach. That really would not benefit the church if people kept leaving, so that kind of message is not going to happen. Yes, you will hear churches tell people to repent but very rarely will you hear churches themselves repent of their wicked ways and drop whatever “ism” they have bowed to and return to the true gospel Jesus taught us. Mark 1:14 “Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” True repentance brings the kingdom of God near. While the church does change over the years with looks, worship style, structure, dress code, it has not returned to the gospel of Jesus Christ but strayed further and further away. In fact, truth has been thrown down and is nowhere to be seen. 

        Tomorrow is our second Sunday of Lent. This following week we will be talking about a call to come to our senses. Jesus said the time has come so the end is much nearer than even when Paul said this. Romans 13:11 “And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” It is important to understand you only have your life and you do not know how long that is. Revelation 3:1 “I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.” 

        It is time for the church to wake up. satan has had free reign in the church for a long time but that is coming to an end as Daniel told us. Daniel 7:21 “As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom. 26 ‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever.” Daniel 11:36 “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place.” There is a day coming soon where the abomination that causes desolation will come to an end and the church will rise up again and go to the ends of the earth in power just as we were supposed to in the first place. Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Then satan will be destroyed forever. Revelation 20:10 “And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Matthew 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” You do not want to go with satan to hell for all eternity, but you will if you do not come to your senses and repent and turn from wicked ways.

        For now, satan has tremendous power against the church. Our only hope is to return to God’s word so that God will return to us. When God turns His face back to us, He will once again bare His arm and defeat our enemies. Ezekiel 18:30 “Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. 31 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? 32 For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!”Come to your senses and live!