The lukewarm believer
Why American Christians must endure the Great Tribulation
By Craig Portwood
The idea is as foreign to American believers as an orange sky. That they should have to suffer as did their brethren throughout history is unimaginable to most Christians – yet that is exactly what the Bible teaches. In rejecting the words of the one they claimed as their Savior, they unconsciously reject him and the Spirit that guided him to speak them – and they refuse to do otherwise.
Meanwhile, Christians are being persecuted in wholesale manner all across the globe. In places like Pakistan, billions of American dollars are being spend by repressive regimes which use a portion of that money to injure and kill Pakistani Christians. Because of their complicity in the tax system, American believers turn a blind eye to their brothers and sisters suffering. While they enjoy the illusion that they are living in God’s Spirit, they show themselves plainly to be lukewarm in the faith. Christ rebukes them in Revelation 3:15-16:
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
They may console themselves with the belief that that scripture doesn’t apply to them. After all, Christ was speaking to the church of Laodicea, wasn’t he? We are not Laodiceans, therefore we do not need to worry. If this argument is true, we must ask ourselves, do any of his words apply to us? None of us were alive when the Bible was written, were we? We could also argue that the ten commandments were given to the children of Israel in the wilderness. In that case, we must be free from those laws of God as well.
Perhaps God is letting them suffer for some other reason. Many of them are poor, struggling to make a living in a land hostile to the gospel and those who love Christ. We in America are rich by comparison. Surely that proves that we are better than they, doesn’t it?
Revelation 3:17: Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
The plain fact is that American Christians, despite their perceived prosperity relative to Christians in third world countries, are for the most part, self absorbed, self satisfied, and self justified. They comfort themselves with the notion that they attend the right church, believe the right doctrines, and could never be wrong in their understanding of the meaning of the scriptures. Little do they realize that in their profession, they have laid a trap for themselves that may be impossible to escape.
John 15:22: If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.
“Professing” Christians, by purporting to have a personal relationship with Christ, are in danger of damnation by reason of their profession. Having the true Word of God in their possession and at the same time ignoring it, will have no excuse on judgment day.
To those lukewarm believers who still cling stubbornly to their belief that Christ’s admonition to the church in Laodicea was meant only for a now defunct assembly of believers in the ancient near east, our savior left no room for misinterpretation:
Revelation 3:22: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Plainly stated, this message is for all who claim the Spirit and calling of Christ.
American Christians love to show off. They put “Christian” bumper stickers on their cars, they wear “Christian themed” merchandise and exhibit crosses around their necks. For all their outward displays of faith, they are unable to hide their insincerity, as what they do speaks so much more loudly than what they say.
Titus 1:16: They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
These “Christians” may plead ignorance on the day of judgment, but such protestations are bound to fail.
Their end was also prophesied by Christ:
Matthew 25:41-43: Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
These will protest that they are innocent.
Matthew 25:44: Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Christ will answer them bluntly:
Matthew 25: 45-46: Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Remember the saints who suffer persecution is distant lands. That persecution is coming your way sooner than you realize. You may continue to wallow in your ignorance if you choose, but the comfort you now enjoy will be short lived.
Hosea 4:6: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.