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Cold? Hot? or Lukewarm? Part 2

Sound of Faith / Sharon Hardy Knotts and R. G. Hardy
The Truth Network Radio
November 10, 2021 7:00 am

Cold? Hot? or Lukewarm? Part 2

Sound of Faith / Sharon Hardy Knotts and R. G. Hardy

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November 10, 2021 7:00 am

In His last letter to the seven churches of Revelation, Jesus indicted the Church of Laodecia:"I would that you were cold or hot. But because you are lukewam, I will spew you out of my mouth!"Did He mean, as some have said, that it's better to becold...a sinner or backslider in the world, on-fire believer in the church, than to belukewarm...mediocre, or worse, a hypocrite?

Scripture proves there are no circumstances where God wants anyone to be cold in sin. And while Jesus sharply rebuked hypocrites, calling them serpents and sepulchres, He was not referring to them in thelukewarmcategory.

So what did He mean bylukewarm?Laodecia's ill-famous aquaduct and her two sister cities' water supply hold the key.

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Greetings, friends and new listeners, and welcome to The Sound of Faith. I'm Sharon Otz thanking you for joining us today because we know faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. In Revelation, John's seventh letter from Jesus was to the church of Laodicea. Jesus indicted them, I will spew you out of my mouth. Did he mean it's better to be cold, backslidden, or hot on fire for God than to be mediocre or a hypocrite?

Find out in today's message, cold, hot, or lukewarm. We saw that it was a banking center. We saw that it was a fashion center. We saw that it was a medical center.

What has all this got to do with being hot or cold? Another thing that Laodicea boasted of was an architectural marvel, and that was that they had built an aqueduct, an above-ground aqueduct to bring drinking water into the city from nearby areas and cities. How many understand what an aqueduct is? You know, when we went on our Holy Land tours, we actually saw one up close in Caesarea. The ruins are still standing.

I'm going to tell you what it kind of looks like to me just to give you an idea. If you ever go in Brooklyn and see the Hanover Street Bridge, it's that old-style architect that has those arches that hold up the bridge. Now, think about that idea, but instead of it being a road on top that you would walk or drive on, think of it as being a trough that water would flow through, and you'll have a general idea of what an aqueduct looked like. And so they had built this aqueduct, and you know, that meant that they had water coming straight into the city all the time. Water was just coming right into the city. Now, really it was an engineering marvel, and it would seem to have been a great idea that would have made them just seem to be on the cutting edge of things. But there was a problem.

Because it was above ground, quite a bit above ground, it was always exposed to sunlight. So that meant however many hours of day the sun was shining, it was beaming down on that aqueduct, and that meant the waters were always lukewarm, always being warmed up by the sun. And how many know there's nothing quite as distasteful as lukewarm water. Amen? Somebody say yuck! I mean, when you are really, really thirsty, you've been working on the treadmill, you've been jogging, you've been lifting weights.

I didn't hear very many amens, but I'm going to ignore that. I've got to find another illustration. So you've been working and exerting yourself and sweating and you're becoming dehydrated. Your body is screaming for water. And so you want to drink so bad.

I've been jogging and running around on the different recreational playgrounds around the city. I remember when I was a kid growing up we used to go up on Federal Hill and they had a water fountain there. But sometimes you would go and turn that water fountain on and you'd spit it right out. Because it was lukewarm. Amen? And it was nasty. And you didn't want it lukewarm.

Amen? Have you ever been in a hurry at home to get a drink of water and you turn on the faucet and it hasn't been turned on for a while and you don't let it run and you stick your cup under there and you take a drink and you spit it out. Because it's lukewarm. We want our water either cold or hot so we can make some tea with it.

But we don't want it lukewarm, do we? You know when you leave that bottled water in your car. You've left it in your car a couple days. And now you're riding down the road and you are so thirsty and you reach over for that bottle of water that's been sitting there in that little component and you take a drink of it and it is disgusting.

Amen? It's been sitting in the sunlight. And it's lukewarm and it tastes nasty. I remember down the campgrounds, how many ever went to Masters Retreat campgrounds in Fruitland? Okay, a lot of you. Do you remember the water? How many remember the water down there?

Yeah. That water would make you spew it out of your mouth in a hurry. Amen? You'd be spewing that water out in a hurry.

Amen? One year I got dehydrated. I didn't realize I got dehydrated but I did because I just wouldn't drink that water.

It was so nasty. I didn't want to drink it so I didn't drink much water. Plus I'm sweating and perspiring all the time in ministry and in the pulpit and all and yet I wasn't replenishing it. And when I got home from campgrounds, I got very sick. So I went to the doctor and so finally he says to me, have you been drinking water? And I said, well, recently, no, I haven't because I explained about this campgrounds. We went, had nasty water and so I just didn't drink very much water in the previous weeks. He says, well, that's your problem. You need to drink some water.

Amen? And so Jesus was showing them when he said, I would rather that you be cold or hot. I don't want you to be lukewarm because if you do, I'm going to spew you out. Now, what does this got to do with being cold or hot? Well, let me tell you about a city that was 11 miles east of Laodicea and that was the city of Colossae.

There is an epistle in the New Testament that Paul wrote to the Colossians. OK, so there was a church there and the thing about Colossae was it had very, very cold water that came from subterranean sources. And, you know, if you ever drink spring water that comes from deep within the ground, it is cold. It is pure.

It is chemical free. It is delicious. It is refreshing. It is hydrating.

You just can't get enough of it. Amen. That's what Colossae was like. Their waters were so refreshing that weary travelers said, you know what? Let's go to the Holiday Inn at Colossae tonight.

Let's stay at the Holiday Inn. Let's go to Colossae because they've got the best water you have ever drank in your life because, you know, folks, they didn't have 7-Elevens that they could run in and get a big thing of soda pop. They didn't have Pepsi machines and Coke machines. They didn't have any of that. They drank water. Amen.

And they didn't have water treatment plants either to take bugs out and put bleach in. Amen. They said, oh, let's go to Colossae. Let's stay there because they have refreshing water. And I've been thinking about that water since the time we left our last destination. I've been thinking about the cold water at Colossae. I am ready for a good drink.

I need to be refreshed. I'm dehydrated. This trip has been hot and arduous and long and taxing and my body is getting weak and I'm feeling faint because I need water. And I can't wait to get to Colossae and get a good drink of that cold, refreshing water.

Amen. So when Jesus said that you would be cold, he was saying that I want you to be out in the world of sinner. He was saying, I want you to be refreshing. I want you to have something. I want you to have a fountain of living water springing up out of you, out of your innermost being shall flow rivers of living water of the Spirit of God.

He was saying, I want you to be so filled with my Spirit that it flows out of you. That when people come into your presence, they are refreshed. They are uplifted. Just being around you.

Don't you love people like that? You've met people in your life that when you're just around them, you just feel uplifted. You feel refreshed.

Amen. Jesus said, that's what I'm asking of you. You are boasting about all that you are. You're rich, you've got this, you've got that. He says, and I'm telling you the things that count, you don't have.

You're lukewarm. I want you to be refreshing for people that are weary because they've been on a long journey of faith. It's been a long journey and now it's taken a toll on them and they're feeling weak and faint. And how many know that you can actually reach a point where if you don't have water that you will faint, go into a coma. Amen. There's a lot of situations with elderly people that could be fixed if they would just drink water. 73% of our brains is water. 60% of your body is water. So if you don't drink water, you're going to start having problems. Amen. And a lot of times if elderly people would drink more water where it seems like they're mentally slipping up, they start drinking water, that they will start thinking clearer, thinking better and conversing better because their brain is getting hydrated. Amen. So you need to think about that, whether it's for yourself or a loved one of yours. It's important to drink water.

How many say amen? And of course, water does a lot of other things. But here they had this aqueduct and they thought it made them a hotsy totsy city. Well, it made them a lukewarm city. And what they thought would draw travelers and visitors to come and stay at the Holiday Inn at Laodicea, people thought, I don't want to stay there.

They got some of the nastiest water I've ever had. Instead, they wanted to go to Colossae and get the cold, refreshing waters. And then there was another city six miles to the north, Hierapolis. Now, there's not an epistle that Paul wrote to the church at Hierapolis, but there was a church there. He didn't found it, but there was a church there.

In fact, later on, the apostle Philip spent his latter years at the church at Hierapolis. What's so unique about Hierapolis? This city was founded on a natural thermal spa. What I mean by that is natural hot springs, water that comes out of the earth hot, consistently hot all the time. And it bubbles up.

Amen. And this water attracts many people who have arthritis and rheumatism and aches and pains and other ailments. They want to stay at the Holiday Inn at Hierapolis. That's where they want to go because they want to get in those warm baths and let that soothing mineral water, because it's rich in minerals as well, that warm water that's bubbling up. Oh, it feels so good. How many have ever went or visited any kind of natural spring? Okay, I see a couple of hands.

Okay. But you've all seen pictures of it, right? I mean, you've heard of Hot Springs, Arkansas.

How many have ever heard of that? There's places around the world, the rich people that can afford it fly to these places. There are some in Germany and other places in Europe, and they go there because it is like a cure for them getting in those waters.

Amen. There is, which I didn't know, there's one called Hot Springs, Virginia, and it's an outside pool. They built a structure to enclose this natural water coming up out of the earth. It was built in seventeen sixty one. Think about that.

That's older than the United States of America as far as being a nation. Amen. And I found out that the water there is consistent at ninety eight degrees year round, even in the winter when it's snowy. You can go and get in that warm pool when the snow is coming down. And I read that one of our presidents, Thomas Jefferson, used to go there because it helped his rheumatism. Those hot waters that bubble up, you know, when I first hurt my back in the early 90s and I struggled for a very long time. And then my mobility was getting less and less. And so I was to the point where I was barely moving because every move I made put me in pain. So when you move and it's painful, you say, OK, I won't move like that anymore.

I'm not going to move that way. But then to move this way is painful. And then to do this is painful. After a while, everything's painful.

Do you just scared to even move? And that's where I was. And so I finally found a physiatrist, not a psychiatrist, OK, a physiatrist. You say, I've never heard of them.

Well, they're rare. What they are is it's a regular M.D. But they specialize in trying to help people that have pain because of spinal injuries and other things. And they try to help them to avoid surgery. If there's any way that you can avoid surgery, they take you through a lot of protocols. And for many people, that's the answer.

And they don't need to have surgery. So I went to see him. And unfortunately, I didn't find out about this type of thing until after I had surgery. And so I was suffering. So you know what he did? He told me to walk. And he watched me.

And he was like, oh, man, she can't even move hardly. So he says, this is what we're going to do. I'm going to send you to water therapy. And there in the water, you won't have all the gravity working against your muscles and your joints. And you'll be able to move more. And as you move more, then the muscles will start working more.

And we'll just go from there. And that was the thing that really helped me. Because they kept that water between 94 and 96 degrees. And to get in that water, it helped me so much. And before I knew it, I was walking more and doing exercises and everything.

And I was getting looser and looser. But what happened is my insurance only paid for 50 visits a year. And when you go three times a week, you're going to hit 50 pretty quickly. I hit my 50 visits and they said, you can't come back until next year. So I didn't want to stop because it was really helping. So my mom says, well, I'll take you to the YMCA. So we started going to the YMCA.

Guess what? They kept their water in the low 80s, upper 70s, low 80s. That may sound warm to you.

I'm telling you, it's not anywhere warm as you think. I got in that water and my lips turned purple. I used to have to wear a nylon jacket in the water because I was so cold. And it was a purple jacket. And the people used to always say, your lips are the same color as your jacket. Folks, I lost weight like this.

You know why? The whole time I was in there, I shook it off. I shook it off. I probably need to go back.

But here was the problem. Instead of it helping me, I started getting worse. Because all my muscles from that cold water were going, ugh. I needed hot water. And they kept it cold because they had lap swimmers in there that were, you know, trying out for different races and all. And they have to have cold, cold water.

So I told you that to say this to you. Hot water that was coming out of the springs especially then, they wouldn't have had spas where they had electricity to warm up water so you can go into a nice pool like you can at L.A. or whatever the mother places you go to. No, this came out of the earth at 98 degrees consistently. And so people came from far and near to get in these waters because they would find healing there. For their bodies, they had healing.

Amen? So when Jesus made the analogy, I want you to be cold or I want you to be hot, what he was basically saying is the same thing. I want you to be able to help people in need. I want you to be able to either give them the cold, refreshing water to revive the faint. Or I want you to be able to give them the comforting, healing waters for the sick and the ones that are hurting and diseased, whatever it is.

Now there's a spiritual analysis that goes with that. And that's what Jesus was talking about. He was saying for all of your boasting, you are so self-absorbed. I am rich, I have need of nothing. He said you are not only wretched, miserable, blind, poor, naked, but you're totally, here's the key, you are totally ineffective in helping those in need. That's the real indictment.

You are ineffective. And that describes much of the church today. Oh, yes, the church can boast, I'm rich. We've got some rich churches, don't we? We have some rich churches. No longer does the pastor, the apostles, so and so say, silver and gold have I none. They can't say that anymore, can they? You know, they can't say like Peter and John said, silver and gold have we none.

They're rich. But they also can't say, such as I have, give I unto you, rise up in the name of Jesus and behold. Amen, that's what Jesus was saying. He's saying it was a picture of the church that they were absolutely ineffective in helping the community around them.

And also because they were in a very opportune place on a trade route that brought foreigners in and travelers in and people in. They should have been able to win those people for Christ. They should have been able to be on fire with the Holy Ghost to bring them in and deliver them and set them free. They should have been able to have the power of the Holy Spirit and living water flowing out of them to refresh those that Satan has beat down, beat up. He said, you've got all this you boast of, but spiritually you are destitute and you have nothing to help those that are in need.

Amen. Now you know this story, but we'll still turn there. Turn in Luke the 10th chapter and we'll close with this story. One that you well know that Jesus told us.

Luke 10 verse 30. And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment and wounded him and departed leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And like was the Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan as he journeyed came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion on him and went to him and bound up his wounds, poured in oil and wine and set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And on the morrow, when he departed, he took out two pence and gave them to the host and said unto him, take care of him and whatsoever thou spendest more.

When I come, I will repay thee. And Jesus asked, which now of these three thinkest thou was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves? And the man that he was talking to said, he that showed mercy on him then said, Jesus unto him, now you go and do likewise.

Amen. So in this parable that Jesus gave, he said a man went from Jerusalem. Now Jerusalem is built up on seven hills, so whenever you left the house of God, you're always going to go down because the house of God was up. So he went down to Jericho. And the road from where he was to Jericho was a treacherous road, very windy road with steep up on the side of the mountain and the cliff. But in addition to that, it had a lot of places where thieves and robbers could hide undetected and then spring on somebody, surprise them, because they would be hiding up in these little places where you didn't see them until they sprung out at you. And that's what happened to this man.

These robbers attacked him, stole everything, but they left him for dead. You know, and we've got people today. They don't just say give me your money or your life. They say give me your money and your life.

Amen. So that's what happened to this man. Now he's lying there half dead. What was going through his mind? What do you think he was thinking? Will I ever see my wife again? Will I ever see my children again?

Amen. Am I going to die right here? Because he felt his life leaving him. When you're half dead, amen, unless someone helps you, you're going to die. I'm sure that he prayed. I would have to think being a Jew, he would have prayed. He would have prayed, God, please have mercy on me.

Send somebody to help me. And if he did pray, wow, he couldn't have got a better answer to his prayer. I mean, he couldn't have got a better answer because he heard footsteps. And when he probably strained to look and see, his heart began to beat faster with hope because he saw the well manicured feet of a priest.

He saw the tassels that would have been hanging down like this crochet is on my skirt. He would have seen the tassels hanging down from that man's garment and he would have said, Hallelujah, I'm about to get rescued. Here comes a man of God. This is the servant of the most high. This is the priest. He's the one that stands in the gap for the people. He's the one that stands between God and the people.

He's the one that is touched with the feelings of the infirmities and the weaknesses of the people. Surely heaven is smiling down on me right now. Amen? But his hopes of being rescued were quickly dissolved because the feet of the priest didn't even stop, just passed on the other way.

Just went the other way completely. Did that man cry out, wait a minute, help me? Well, if he did, it didn't do him any good because the priest was too busy serving God to serve people. He had places to go. He had important people to see. He had appointments on his agenda he had to keep and he didn't have time for this interruption.

So he just didn't even stop and kept going. . Attention friends of Sound the Faith, September is radio month and we want to send you a free gift. It could be a CD or a book and it's coming to you free if you write in with the call letters of this radio station written on the bottom left corner of your envelope. This will help us determine where our program is blessing people like you. Write to Sound the Faith, P.O. Box 1744, Baltimore, Maryland 21203. Don't forget those call letters on the front of the envelope. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-04 13:30:36 / 2023-05-04 13:40:58 / 10

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