Hot or Cold

A Third World war is upon us, spreading like molasses in slow motion around our planet. There’s an old saying: “when one person dies, it is a heart-wrenching tragedy; when a thousand die, it’s just a statistic”. During 2023, military & civilian casualty estimates in the Russia-Ukraine war alone exceeded 500,000 souls, and the military equipment losses averaged 91 Billion dollars…and that doesn’t include the costs of rebuilding destroyed cities, towns, or infrastructure. If we include some newer/startup wars and conflicts, such as Israel, Taiwan, the Koreas, the Middle East, The European Union, and proxy wars with China, Russia, and Iran… our country is facing much more than geographically distant wars.

Ellen White makes this inspired statement: "We are all woven together in the web of humanity. The evil that befalls any part of the great human brotherhood brings peril to all." Ministry of Healing p. 345. There are already numerous activists and sleeper cells among us, agitating our educational institutions, awaiting the right moment to strike chaotic fear in our people, and taking down our power grid, rendering us helpless. Already, the loss of national treasure of young men, women, and families worldwide is incalculable, and all of this is because of the sheer selfishness, greed, and thirst for power and control by a handful of evil men in high places. So how are we to respond to all this as Seventh-day Adventist Christians?

Jesus has a lot to say in Matthew 24-25, but perhaps the most direct statement to us and our church by Jesus is recorded in Revelation 3: 14-21, to the “Lukewarm Church” of Laodicea: "15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich, and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.”

We are being both loved and rebuked corporately by our creator and savior Jesus the Christ. The world around us is being turned on its head right in front of our eyes. Jesus won’t accept us being lukewarm, which means that the “status quo” is going out the window and must be replaced with heartfelt repentance and Christ’s refined Gold in the fire, and we must put on Christ’s white garment of righteousness. "Halfhearted Christians are worse than infidels; for their deceptive words and noncommittal position lead many astray. The infidel shows his colors. The lukewarm Christian deceives both parties. He is neither a good worldling nor a good Christian. Satan uses him to do a work that no one else can do." EGW: Our High Calling p. 348.

We are not being told to ‘go run down the street with our hair on fire’, but we must now individually surrender our wills, our hearts, and all of our personal baggage at the foot of the cross. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit is at hand. Will you be found to be cold, lukewarm, or Hot?

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