Welcome to the Kerwin Baptist Church broadcast today.
Our guest today, we're going to begin reading in verse 14. And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write. This is the church of Laodicea. And God is writing through the pastor.
The angel of the church is who we would term the pastor nowadays. And God is letting him know, through him, letting him know the state of the church of Laodicea. God began to describe the state of the church of Laodicea. God began to describe to him what God's opinion of that church was. The angel of the church of Laodicea is God.
Sometimes it's difficult because you know some people just don't understand that and you don't want to offend, you don't want to hurt or anything. But we have to make sure what we do here pleases God. And so I want you to look, if you would, unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write. These things saith the amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.
Notice this. 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 spew thee out of my mouth. Now you say, preacher, what is that? That is the old fashioned, Old Testament, Hebrew word for vomit. That's what God is saying.
I will literally regurgitate you out of my mouth. You say, well, why is he so strong about that? Look at verse 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, wait a minute, God is counseling.
So we better listen. 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 eye salve that thou mayest see. As many as I love, God says, listen to this, I rebuke and chasten. Be zealous, therefore, and repent. One of the most precious statements in the Bible is when God says, I love, I chasten. You know what? God is saying this.
I know what I've just told you probably stings a little. Because God just told this church, he just told them that they're not hot, they're not cold, they are just going through the motions, and they're really not, you know what the word apathy means? And we're preaching on this tonight, the giant of apathy. The word apathy simply means this, without passion. Without passion, could that possibly describe some of us and our reaction to church when we come?
Could that possibly describe our state and our attitude and the way we are when it comes to the house of God? Now remember who he's talking to here. He's not talking to an unsaved person. He's not talking to what we would call a backslidden person. He's not talking to an individual that doesn't go to church, doesn't have much use for church. That's not who he's talking to. He's talking to the church.
He's talking to the faithful members of this church. And he said this, I wish that you were either hot or cold, but you're neither. You're lukewarm. You have no passion.
You have no, I guess what you would call motivation. And Lord, I pray that each person here would recognize that this is out of a heart of love. And as you wrote the pastor of Laodicea, Lord, I believe you've laid some things on the pastor of Kerwin Baptist Church.
I believe you've asked me to speak on some things. And Lord, for every person here, my hope and desire is that they're not offended, that they're not hurt in any way. But Lord, I have to do what you've asked me to do.
I believe that this church has great possibility to be a lighthouse to this community, to reach far and wide, to help people, to love them, to have compassion on them. But Lord, we're not gonna do one thing for you unless our church either gets hot or cold. But as long as we go through the motions and are without passion, then Lord, there's no way that you can lay on us the blessings that you desire to give.
In your precious name we pray, amen. I want you to notice first tonight in this passage, God's consideration. Look at verse 15.
God's consideration. What does he say in verse 15? He says this, I know thy works. God is saying this, I've been watching.
I've noticed. You might not know that I've noticed, and you might not realize that I've been watching, but God says here, I know thy works. May I say this, by the way, it doesn't matter who else knows, God knows exactly what's going on here at this church. God knows exactly what's going on in your life.
And may I say this, that is a very blunt statement. God says, I know thy works. May I let you know that God knows everything in your life, God knows everything behind the scenes, God knows all the stuff that you might not want anyone else to know, and that I might not want anyone else to know, God knows it all. And you might sit here and you might say, nobody notices the things I do around here.
Nobody appreciates or says thank you. Listen to me, dear friend, it ought to be a comfort to you to know that God knows your works. But may I also say that if there's a whole lot more that you could do for God, and you might fool people, and you might have us fooled to think you're some super Christian, and by the way, just about anybody that leads somebody to believe they're a super Christian, they're the furthest thing from it, in my opinion. Can I tell you this, God knows everything. God knows your heart. God knows your works. He says this, I know thy works.
What does he have to say? I want you to notice, secondly, God's contempt. In verse 15, this is what he said. I know thy works, thou art neither cold nor hot. God's been watching. God's been observing. And this is what he said about what they've done. He said, I know your works. And this is what I have been able to tell and see for myself, that you are neither hot nor cold.
Now look at me, I want you to understand this. We always say that cold would be bad and hot would be good. And if you will look at the context of this chapter, that is not at all what God was saying. God's not saying that cold, we always think when you say cold, that we're cold spiritually, and when he says hot, that means we're on fire.
We're on fire for God. That's not at all what he's talking about here. He is talking about an illustration. He's talking about temperature. And he says this, you're not either cold or hot.
And he said, I wish you were one or the other. Now look at me, do you really think that God would rather you be further away from him than lukewarm? Now look at me, some people have preached this passage and they'll say this, God would rather you be very backslidden or close to him, one or the other, but he doesn't like you in the middle.
Look at me, you really think that I'd have you compacted differently, dear friend? Do you really think God would rather have you further away from him than lukewarm? Now look at me, what He is saying is this, something that's cold has use for things, something that's hot has use for things. But let me tell you the problem with lukewarm. Lukewarm has adapted itself to the surroundings around it. When something's lukewarm, that means it's been controlled by the temperature around it. Not changing others, but being changed itself. God is not I wish that cold is bad, hot is good, and I'd rather you be hot or cold than lukewarm.
What God is saying is this, I wish that you were committed to something. I wish that you had a passion for something. Whatever that is cold can be used, get cold. Whatever that is hot that can be used, get hot.
But do something. Don't sit there and be comfortable and be lukewarm. Can I tell you something? There's a lot of nourishing.
There's a lot of hot things that are nourishing. But God said I have seen your works and this is what I've noticed. You're not hot or cold. And this is what God says, I wish I would rather I would that you would be hot or cold. That was God's contempt. Listen to me, dear friend, as God looks at your life and as God looks at my life, remember who he's talking to. He's talking to a saved individual in a church trying to serve God.
If God looks at your life, would he see you right now as hot, as cold, or as lukewarm? Do you have a passion for church? Do you have a passion when you read the Bible? Do you have a passion to do something for God?
Can I tell you something, dear friend? The most dangerous thing that could happen to any church is for us to become apathetic. For us to lose our passion, to lose our burden, to lose our vision, to lose our energy, just to come sit and listen to something and watch and look and observe and go right back home the same way we came. Why even come to church if we're gonna do that? No wonder this unsaved world looks at us and says, well, I don't even understand what the big deal is, because they watch us go to church, they watch us sit like bumps on a log, they watch us go home, and then we tell them how badly they need that. Is this on, is this on?
Is this on? Kerwin Baptist Church, look at me. I am telling you this, that if God's gonna use this church, we are gonna have to go one way or the other.
We cannot sit back and be lukewarm. Let me look at me, bus captains, you're the unsung heroes at this place, but can I tell you something? If you're gonna run a bus route, you better run it. If you're gonna run a bus, you better have some passion about it. If you're gonna be Sunday school teachers, I don't care if there's one child in there, or if there's 100 children in there, if you're gonna teach a class, and if God's gonna entrust you with that great privilege, can I say this, my desire as your pastor is that you would get a passion for that thing, and that you would pray about it, fast about it, study for it, get down on your knees and say, God, this is one area that you've entrusted to me.
It might not be big to other people, but it's the biggest thing in my life, and I want to give everything I have to this. Can I tell you something? We need some help in the choir. It's getting pitiful that a church this size doesn't have more people in the choir, and we used to have more people in the choir. Where they've gone, I don't know, but can I tell you this?
What that is a sign of is lukewarm. That's a sign that we've lost our passion, we've lost our burden, we've lost our vision, and can I tell you this? There's some people up here that have been faithful and stayed in that choir and sung to the best of their ability, and it's unfair to them that everybody else exits and everybody else leaves when they're trying their best, and then people sit back and say, well, choir wasn't so good. Well, let me tell you why.
Because we lost our passion for it. Listen, I'm telling you the truth. You can get mad at me if you want, but I'm telling you the truth. I mean, we can't hardly get ushers, and you say, well, Brother Joe, preacher, I can't believe you're just, there's things that bad. No, look at me, our church is good right now, but that's what I'm scared of. We're gonna think we're fine. We're gonna think, well, everything's good. Hey, we've grown, and we've added some families, and some people are coming.
Look at me, dear friend. That's the worst thing that could ever happen to us is that we would just get lukewarm. I don't know about you, I find myself getting lukewarm, and you can find yourself getting lukewarm, and I don't wanna let it happen. God's contempt, I want you to notice, thirdly, God's condemnation. What did he say in verse 16?
So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither hot, neither cold, nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Look at me, dear friend, you say, preacher, why are you getting all excited? Why are you jumping up and down?
Let me tell you why. Because this is a big deal to God. It's a huge deal to him. That's pretty strong language coming from God, that he would say, it's not because they've been out doing a whole bunch of stuff that's wrong, it's not because we get on all these things, and he said, it's not because of that. Let me tell you why God said, I will literally throw up, because you're lukewarm. You say, well, that seems awfully hard.
Oh, look at me, dear friend. Did he not die on the cross for you? Did he not die on the cross for me? Did he not go through unimaginable suffering that nobody has ever gone through?
Did he not lay in a grave three days, and then because of his power, because he is God, because he was the perfect savior and a perfect lamb, did he not defeat death, raise from the grave after three days? Did he not ascend back into heaven, and right now is preparing a place for us, surely we would have something to be passionate about. I mean, if that doesn't do it, what else can we come up with? I mean, do we have to put on a concert every service for people to get excited? I mean, do we have to have a little song and dance, everything we do to get people passionate? Listen to me, dear friend, Jesus has already done it.
He's done enough if we would just get our passion back. Let me tell you something, there's people out there that need something different. I mean, if they just want, if we're just gonna sit and go through the motions, they can go to the Shriners Club for that.
They can go anywhere for that. They can go to Weight Watchers for that and lose some weight. Bless God, it's a sad day when people are more excited about a Weight Watchers meeting the church. And I'm excited about a Weight Watchers meeting. I oughta go, but can I tell you, we got more to be excited about here.
God said, this is what I think about your spiritual state. I don't want any part of it. I literally wanna throw it up. You know why? Look at me, dear friend.
Because it's fake. A church that gets lukewarm before long, they start going through the motions. And a church that starts going through the motions before long becomes fake. And look at me, dear friend. I know I haven't been your pastor very long, but there's one thing I absolutely can't stand and I think you know it, and that's fake. Now, there might be times that, you know, I'm just too blunt and too honest and everybody always picks on me, you oughta be more polished and you oughta be this, listen, the only thing I know how to be is Daniel Hotchley. That's all I know how to be. But let me tell you what I cannot deal with is Christians that act like they're above someone else and they're going through these motions at church and they live a different way at home, I'd rather you just be honest.
And can I say this, that that is not gonna do one thing for this world, because they see hypocrisy every day of their life. But what they oughta see is that somebody that goes to work, lives in the neighborhood, whatever the case might be, and loves them and has some compassion, but they see something different and there's something consistent and that person loves church, can't wait to talk about church, can't wait to talk about what God's done, they need to see something different. I have a feeling like this is going over like a lead balloon. I'm being honest with you. Let me tell you something, you talk about, I had a friend of mine text me this afternoon. And I texted him back, I said, I'm almost in tears. Because I felt more like a failure today, because it's hard to preach sometimes the things God has laid on your heart. And you think everybody's gonna get mad and their feelings are gonna get hurt and all these different things, but listen to me, dear friend, I have no choice but to tell you exactly what God's laid on my heart. And I believe we've got a wonderful church here and we've got the most precious giving people I've ever met, but can I tell you something, we're all in danger, we're all in danger. We're all in danger. Let me tell you something, we're all in danger, just like this church Laodicea that will start going through the motions and we'll get up and sing the same old songs and we'll stand up at the choir and sing the same old way and we'll go through this and shake hands and welcome visitors and before long, we've gone to church, gotten back in our car, gone home and done nothing more than waste our time.
And dear friend, that's nobody's fault but ours. I want you to notice, fourthly, God's cause. God gives him the reason this happened. Look if you would at verse 17. Because thou sayest, what do you mean because?
He said, let me tell you something, I would almost rather regurgitate because you're not hot and you're not cold. Here's why it happened, look at verse 17. Because thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods in need of nothing. This is why they got to this place. First, number one, prosperity.
They were just too blessed. He said, because you said, I'm rich, I don't need God anymore. Can I tell you something that would absolutely change Kerwin Baptist Church? You know what would make a bunch of us get real serious about serving God? You let things change in our state within a week and now it's against the law to even worship or be in a church. You let something like, and then that's where the cream rises at the top, that's where you separate the serious and the not serious. And I'm gonna tell you something, it would get back to the point we would start sacrificing and being thankful just to have freedom to worship. But we have been so blessed that he said, you've gotten to the point you say I'm rich and that has done nothing but cause you to be lukewarm. Second thing he says is increased with goods, materialistic. And I think that it's gotten to the point now that you're worried more about what kind of car you're driving than what the preacher's preaching on a church.
I've never seen the likes of it. We are so obsessed with things. And it's getting to the point that we can't even sit in church and listen to a sermon for more than 10 minutes without thinking about everything else under the sun because we're worried about this and if I'm gonna get this and how I'm gonna get money for this. And we become such a materialistic people in this country that I'm afraid it can sit right here at Kerwin Baptist Church because we've been so prosperous, because God's been so good and because we have so many things that we can get lukewarm about serving God.
Dear friend, it can happen. Third thing he said is self-sufficient. He said this, he said, you say I'm rich, increased with goods, notice this, and have need of nothing.
Self-sufficient. I don't need anybody for anything now. I've got it all. No, I don't really need, you know, God's wonderful and I love him, but I've got everything I need.
Can I tell you something, dear friend? You let your world end and the bottom drop out of our little buckets of stuff. And I'm gonna tell you something, we're gonna love God in a different way. And I would hate to have to see God judge America, take away every freedom we have and every blessing we have and every good thing that he's been given.
I'd hate to see God have to do that to get our attention, but I'm afraid it might just take that. God's cause. He said this is why.
Prosperity, materialism, self-sufficiency. Remember who he's talking to here, folks. Look at me, he's not talking to some visitor that just came into the church, man just visited for the day. He's talking to the church.
I want you to notice, fifthly, God's conclusion. Look at verse 17. Because thou sayest I'm rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing, God says this is what you think.
But let me tell you how it really is. Look at the middle of the verse. And knowest not that thou art wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. This is what God describes.
He says, hey, this whole time you think you're rich, you think you're increased with goods, you think you have need of nothing, but what really is the case, you have fooled yourself, because really you are foolish. You say, what do you mean they're foolish? Look at me. Though they were proud of themselves, they were pitied by others.
God's like you and proud of yourself, but I have to have pity on you. You ever seen somebody that really thought they were it, and you knew they weren't? They looked like a fool, didn't they? They're strutting around thinking they're Mr. Big Stuff, you know? I remember seeing a video clip.
I made a video for our teens one time. And it showed a guy in a bike race. And he was coming down, man, he must have had a 50 meter lead. He's coming down this long bike race, and he's getting down. You could see literally the finish line, this video footage.
You can see the finish tape. He had about a 50 meter lead, and he looked back and saw it, and he kind of sat up on his bike riding with no arms, you know, and he's like, you went like this, and bloop. Man, that guy wiped out. While he was trying to get back on his bike, that second place guy went right through the finish line.
He looked like an idiot, didn't he? You know why? Because he thought I had it, I have it made, but he didn't. And that's what God says a lot of times. You think you're rich, and you think you've increased with goods, and you think you're okay without me, and you think you don't need me anymore, but you're foolish.
That's what you think, but you fooled yourself. Kerwin Baptist Church, look at me. We've got nothing if it wasn't for God. Second thing he says is you're wretched. That word means of low estate. He says you think you're up here, but you're really down here. You know what the Bible says? The Bible says the first shall be last, and the last shall be first. He says you think you're up here, but let me tell you where you're at down here.
You're wretched, low estate. I was preaching in Tallahassee, Florida some years back, and a man came up to me afterwards, and I was preaching along the lines of humility, this thing of thinking you're up here, and really where we are is we're down there. He came up to me, and I think I've told this here years ago, but he said, preacher, he said, if you don't mind, he said, let me tell you a story about my dad. He said, my dad pastored a church in the mountains of West Virginia for years. He's home to be with the Lord now, he said, but he never had a college education, never even finished high school.
He just went up into those mountains, and buddy, he just served God, and man, God used him to build a church. And he said, we had this young man that came up into our church and wanted to be a preacher, and he went to Bible college, and he said, my dad loved him and did stuff for him and encouraged him and tried to teach him and spent time with him, and he said, this young man went away to Bible college, loved my dad to death, he said, but when he went to Bible college, he found out how you're supposed to do things and how you pronounce certain words and he got, all of a sudden, he got him some education, and when you get education, a lot of times, it makes you kind of look down on those that don't have education, and he said, one Christmas, he came home from college, he'd been there about three years, and he said, this young man, he said, we had heard through the grapevine, he just criticized my dad, because my dad didn't know how to outline a certain way and didn't know how to pronounce certain people's names in the Bible, and he was just almost making fun of him like he's some country bumpkin. And he said, we had one service that night, and that young man came in, he said, my dad was just so humble and kind, and he said, my dad got up, and when he saw that young man in the back, he said, boy, it's so good to have so-and-so here, and he said, just glad to have you home from college, he said, listen, he said, would you be willing to come up and preach tonight? I know you've been studying for the ministry, and he said, would you be willing to come up and preach? And that young man said, sure, I'll be glad to. And he said, as I sat there, he said, I was younger than this boy, he said, I was still living at home, he said, but I just couldn't stand that kid, because I'd heard him do nothing but criticize my dad, and yet, my dad, out of his humility, had him come up and preach, and he said, that young man got up out of the back, you know, had his shoulders back, had this little walk, and he said, that boy, you could just tell what he was thinking, he was thinking, you know what, this is now my chance to show these people how an educated man preaches.
It's my chance to let these people know, this is how a real preacher does it, and this is how study and education does it. And he said, that young man got up here, and he had his little shoulders back, his little head held high, and he said, when he got behind that pulpit and looked out and saw all the people, he said, something happened. He said, man, he said, that boy began to bumble around. He called out some verses, couldn't hardly read the verses, he'd got lost in his place, and man, he was trying to explain something, he said, you could just see the sweat building off him, and he said, the people were just kinda looking, he said, a lot of them didn't like him, because they knew he was critical, and he said, the people were just kinda rolling their eyes, and he's up there, and he sensed this wasn't going good, and he said, he finally got halfway through it, and finally, he just kinda closed, and he said, when he got done, he said, I loved every minute of it, because he made a fool out of himself. And he said, that boy that had his little shoulders back and his head held high, ready to show everybody how it's done, he said, when he closed that Bible and he got done, he said, he just kinda had his shoulders drooped and his head down, he said, buddy, he went down and sat on that front pew, just kinda looked down at the floor, and he said, my dad, in his generosity, got up and said, folks, what a wonderful job. Man, we're so proud of this young man, he said, let's take an offering for him tonight. And he said, I thought, dad, why are you taking an offering for him? He said, we took an offering, people gave money to help him with his college bill, and he said, I was sitting there in the seat, and that young man's just still sitting in the seat, and he said, a few people came by and said, good job, you know, and he said, most people didn't, that boy's just sitting in that front pew, he said, people had kinda left the front, and he said, my dad, in his tenderness, just came down and sat in that pew by that young man and got his arm, hit him on the knee and said, that was a good job. He said, that young man's looking up, had tears in his eyes, and he said, I just don't know what happened.
And he said, my dad looked at that boy and said this, son, if you had gone up to that pulpit the way you came down you would have come down the way you went up. Let me tell you something, dear friend, you and I sometimes think we're up here, we think we're better than anybody else, we think because we're cleaned up and smell decent, and man, you know, we don't look like thugs and all this stuff, we think we're better, and we think we're above, and boy, have we fooled ourselves. Boy, are we foolish because we're wretched.
We are nothing but a bunch of sinners that have been saved through the wonderful grace of God. God said, let me tell you what you are. You think you're rich, you think you're wealthy, you think you're good on your own, but you are foolish, you're wretched, he uses a third word here, miserable. You know what that means in the Hebrew?
It's the connotation of lack of peace. Can I tell you something? You might have everything there is, but if you don't have peace when you go to bed at night, you ain't got nothing, excuse the expression. Can I tell you something, I don't care what you do, what kind of talent you have, who you've got fooled, if you don't have peace when you lay down at night, you don't have nothing. He says they're miserable. Fourth thing he says is you're poor. Wait a minute, they thought they were rich, but they were actually poor.
They thought they were good, but really they didn't have anything. Thank you for listening today. We hope you received a blessing from our broadcast. The Kerwin Baptist Church is located at 4520 Old Hollow Road in Kernersville, North Carolina. You may also contact us by phone at 336-993-5192 or via the web at kerwinbaptistchurch.com. Enjoy our services live and all our media on our website and church app. Thank you for listening to the Kerwin broadcast today. God bless you.
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