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Do you wait on God like the Bride of Christ or do you wait like a lukewarm Christian? I know what my answer is at times and it’s not something I am usually very proud of when it happens.
We all dislike waiting for things, don’t we? It seems like today we are always waiting for SOMETHING. We wait in traffic, we wait in lines, we wait for people to email us or show up at our house.
Waiting has taken on a negative connotation. But do you know the Bible instructs us to not only wait but to wait expectantly like a bride?
What? Even Jesus tells me to wait? Yes!
Learn more about how to wait Jesus’ way and not like the lukewarm church of Revelation!
I Have a Wedding to Get To!
Do you long for Jesus? Do you wake up in the morning just full of anticipation and a desire to be with Him?
I will admit, I don’t always!
Sometimes life gets in the way and I feel overwhelmed! I can get run down by things and lose that anticipation I had.
These days I am dealing with chronic pain and it’s all I can do to get out of bed, let alone do so with excitement!
But I need to remember, I have a wedding to get to! I am betrothed and my Beloved is preparing to come and get me!
Your Beloved is coming for you too! Are you waiting with expectation and excitement for Him? It could be today! It could be tomorrow! Are you ready for Him?
There is a parable about some other women who had a wedding to get to!
Is Your Lamp Ready?
As I said, we all dislike waiting and I especially don’t like it when I am waiting and someone is late! And not much is worse than when your groom is late for the wedding! Can I get an amen ladies?
Well, this bridegroom was late! In fact, he was SO late that the ladies went to sleep!
But, in the midnight hour, they heard the call!
The Kingdom of Heaven at that time will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went out to meet the groom. Five of them were foolish and five were sensible.
The foolish ones took lamps with them but no oil, whereas the others took flasks of oil with their lamps. Now the bridegroom was late, so they all went to sleep. It was the middle of the night when the cry rang out, ‘The bridegroom is here! Go out to meet him!’
The girls all woke up and prepared their lamps for lighting. The foolish ones said to the sensible ones, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both you and us. Go to the oil dealers and buy some for yourselves.’
But as they were going off to buy, the bridegroom came. Those who were ready went with him to the wedding feast, and the door was shut. Later, the other bridesmaids came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they cried, ‘Let us in!’ But he answered, ‘Indeed! I tell you, I don’t know you!’
So stay alert, because you know neither the day nor the hour. CJB
We Can’t Be Foolish
There were the virgins who were wise and kept their lamps ready. They knew that the Bridegroom could come at any moment and they wanted to be ready. They waited for him with anticipation and we know this because they prepared!
Then there were others. They knew the Bridegroom would be coming at a time they didn’t expect, at literally any moment, but they weren’t waiting with anticipation. How do I know this? Well quite simply, they weren’t ready!
They didn’t bother to prepare. They took on a “oh, I’ll get to it later” stance and didn’t bother until the Bridegroom was arriving!
But by then it was too late. They missed out because they had to then go and buy the oil and by that point, the door had been shut to them.
They weren’t longing for the Bridegroom. They had other things they had their minds on.
We need to long for Jesus the way a bride longs for her groom. We need to long for Jesus with the anticipation of a bride who is waiting for her wedding day!
We as a church often don’t have that anticipation. I don’t often have that anticipation. I am often a lukewarm Christian!
What is a Lukewarm Christian?
Scripture on Being Lukewarm Christians
In Revelation 3:14-17, John is instructed to write to the Church in Laodicea:
And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.
“‘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. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. ESV
I am a Lukewarm Christian
I am a Christian blogger! I have a ministry! I reach people from all over the world and yes, I am at times a lukewarm Christian because I get so busy DOING that I forget to just sit in His presence and I forget to wait for Him EXPECTANTLY! I forget to seek Him with the anticipation of a bride!
He says in the above verse that they think they are rich and prosperous and need nothing. In other words, they felt they were all good! They didn’t seem to NEED Jesus. They had their money, their houses; all their needs were met.
But yet they couldn’t see that, spiritually, they were destitute.
We too can become so busy with the things of this world that we forget that we are betrothed!
We forget that we have a wedding feast to go to!
We forget we have a Groom who is coming for us at any moment in time! We forget we are the Bride of Christ!
And we go through the things in life that, while they might be important for us to live in this world, in the process of living sometimes we forget who we are!
In the process, sometimes we forget that we are supposed to be waiting and watching. Instead we can think we have it all together and become lukewarm Christians who think we are rich and prosperous and need nothing!
We are supposed to be keeping our lamps full with oil. We are supposed to be waiting expectantly, the way a pregnant woman waits for the birth of her child.
Pregnant With Anticipation
When a woman finds out she is pregnant, she doesn’t yet know the day or hour she will give birth, but she knows the season! She waits with eager anticipation for the day she holds her child. And we should be waiting with that same anticipation because we also know the season!
And as the pregnant woman becomes more excited and expectant as the time draws closer, we too should become full of excitement and anticipation as the day draws closer.
But as a church, we are not doing that.
As a believer, I am often not doing that.
My former Rabbi, when asked by anyone when he thought Jesus would be coming back, would answer “today”!
They would ask “today???”
And he would say “yes, because whatever day Jesus comes back is going to be called, ‘today’. So don’t worry about when, just worry about being ready when He does!
Signs of a Lukewarm Christian
What are the signs of a lukewarm Christian?
The biggest sign is pointed out in Revelation. It was directed at the Church at Ephesus. Now even though they were not labeled as lukewarm, this is often the cause.
But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.
The greatest sign of a lukewarm Christian is a lack of passion for their faith!
When someone gets saved, they are often full of wonder! They want to learn everything they can about their newfound faith.
They read the Bible, go to Bible studies, they learn to pray and they are just full of excitement.
But sometimes, that excitement wanes. Sometimes when they are faced with skepticism from others, it eats away at that wonder! It can place a weight on them.
They may experience spiritual attacks that leave them a little less than enthused.
Life gets in the way and they get busy or experience hurt or grief.
Little by little that light they had in the beginning, that passion for the things of God, begins to wane.
And sometimes that light never shines, like the seed that falls on stony ground, it never takes root.
Sometimes a person gets saved and they are left to fend for themselves! They don’t know about prayer or Bible study and they just feel their faith didn’t offer them anything more than the world.
Maybe it’s a believer who, over time, got comfortable. Maybe they’ve been saved a minute and they think they have it all figured out. They don’t pray as much or read the Bible because they are comfortable. They become lukewarm Christians before they even know what hit them!
Like a married couple who gets comfortable over the years and they don’t do the little things for each other anymore, don’t spend time together because of kids and careers, don’t court each other because they are tired, our faith can take a similar path.
We get complacent.
We become lukewarm Christians.
And Jesus says He prefers if we were cold rather than this! Why?
Better Off Cold
Because a person who is cold doesn’t dabble. They don’t bounce in and out of their relationship when it’s convenient or when they need help.
A person who is cold knows where they stand.
A lukewarm Christian is like the guy you date who calls you for a week and then you don’t hear from him for a month. Then he calls you and wants to get together. So you do because you like him and you want to give him another chance. And then he goes dark on you again.
Compare that with the guy you have one date with and never calls you. Which would you prefer?
Well, I prefer the guy who calls, sweeps me off my feet and wants nothing more than to spend time with me! That would be the “hot” one (sorry…but no reference to how he might look! Jesus used the word ‘hot’, not me!)
But out of the two above examples of the guy who never calls and the one who calls when he feels like it, I would prefer the cold guy! At least I know where he stands!
When you are cold, there is no pretense or hypocrisy.
The Bride of Christ
You are the bride of Christ! You are betrothed! The Word is your ketubah or marriage contract.
It outlines what your Bridegroom will do for you and what He expects from you as well.
It is your love letter from a Bridegroom who has gone to prepare a place for you.
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. KJV
In the ancient Jewish wedding, once a couple was betrothed, the bridegroom would leave his beloved’s home with his father and proceed to prepare a home for her, often a room in his father’s house.
He tells her these very words. He does not know when he will return for her. Only the father will determine that when he sees the room is ready and sufficient for his son to bring home his bride and build a family there.
Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us and, when the Father has determined, He will tell His Son to go and get His Bride.
Will you be ready? Will your lamp be full of oil?
Don’t let the door shut! Wait for Him expectantly and with anticipation like a Bride because that is what we are!
Be on fire for Him!
Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™
CJB – Taken from the Complete Jewish Bible by David H. Stern. Copyright © 1998. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, 6120 Day Long Lane, Clarksville, MD 21029. www.messianicjewish.net.
Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.