Many of our churches are walking a fine line between preaching the good news in Jesus and the bad news of prophetic fulfillment. If we preach peace and safety when it’s crystal clear that the world around us is literally crumbling, then we stand to lose credibility and the trust of being truth bearers. On the other hand, if we preach forcefully on how prophetic fulfillments for the last days are upon us and that we must change our priorities and put on the full armor of God, then we stand to being accused of crying wolf and fearmongering.
However, if we try to walk the fine line between the two, we may be labelled the Laodicean church, bringing upon us the curse of Revelation 3: 14-16: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would that you were cold or hot. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.”
We face an avalanche of information dropped on us every day, be it from on-line applications, news services, newspapers, seminars, books, emails, mail delivery, radio, television, telephone, and/or satellite services. You would think that all of this would give us and our country just what we need to be well-informed and to make good decisions. On the contrary, we now live in a time when simple truth, clarity, wisdom, and common sense is obscured by outright lies, deception, selfish ambition, and base depravity.
Incredibly, the boundaries of the world’s unique cultures are blurred like never before. Goat herders in Mongolia have satellite dishes with solar panels attached to their yurts. To make this personal, my wife and I hosted three international exchange students from Brazil, Germany, and Taiwan over the last two years, but they barely noticed the culture shift, because they were still interacting non-stop with their friends and family back home on their smartphones. Whenever language and terminology issues arose, an online translator application instantly bridged the gap. When they needed money, they just walked up to almost any ATM, and made withdrawals from their home country accounts. The one thing all of our students loved about the US was our different assortment of hamburgers, take-out pizza, and Disneyland. When we brought them to our church, they just sat quietly in the pew, their smartphones ablaze, texting and Instagramming their friends all across the globe. They liked potlucks, because they could pile on the noodles, casserole dishes, and lots of chocolate and cookies for dessert. In the 10 months each student lived with us, only one girl from another church showed any interest in befriending them.
Did I fail our international exchange students? Did I pass by important chances to witness to them in powerful ways for Jesus? Was I just lukewarm? I think the answer to all three questions is yes. Today we are on the very brink of nuclear war and annihilation. Can we afford to be lukewarm and keepers of the status quo any longer?