Stirring Up the Loveless and Lukewarm Churches
by Manuel Vargas
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Stirring Up the Loveless and Lukewarm Churches
Genuine Love, how do we lose it? What happen to it? Why is it easy to lose sight of something that was first ignited into our hearts when we believed in Jesus Christ then over-time like everything else the passion for doing God’s Divine Will is gone!? The honeymoon is over and the Christian life becomes a normal social routine of going to Men’s and Women’s meeting on one day, Prayer Meetings on another day and then you’re normal Sunday Service to start the beginning of the week. Then after time we are only attending Sunday Services. Then we begin to go occasionally on Sunday’s, or when a special guest comes to minister there.
Hi Faith-writers, I thank God for another opportunity to share His Holy Word with you trusting that Our Heavenly Father will speak to us in this article. I was directed to help Pastors and Believer’s to consider the 7 Churches and the Lifestyles and activities that Jesus appreciates and hates that we may be knowingly or unknowingly practicing. If we are unaware of a certain doctrine that may be wrong or a behavior pattern that we slipped into that Jesus dislikes—one of the beautiful things that I love about Jesus is that He reveals what we are missing and direct us back into full fellowship with Him. This is what Jesus did with these 7 Churches found in Revelation chapters 2 and 3.
Today we will look at 2 Churches out of the 7 Churches because there’s some awesome revelation that we can gain from the examples that these Churches practiced for us to study—so we can get it right and if we fell into the same behavior patterns that they did Jesus will helps out of it.
The Loveless Church—the Church of Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7 NKJV)
The interesting thing that this Church was doing that Jesus approved of is; (1) They worked hard; (2) they have patience; (3) they resisted sin; (4) they carefully examine ministers to see if they were genuinely anointed by God; and (5) they endured hardships without becoming weary. These are some great Christian qualities that all believers should develop in their individual walk of faith over a life-time. However, the issue Jesus had against them was that they lost their first Love.
Jesus said, nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love (agape). (v. 4)
Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp-stand (the Church) from its place—unless you repent (v. 5) (Rev. 2:4-5 NKJV)
We have a few things we need to highlight in these verses;
1. The definition of Love (agape)—that is the affection and benevolence that we must display as believers. And it is also defining the charitable spirit of being involve with charitable deeds as well as, Love-feasts (gatherings, events that take place in a Church setting or with other believers in different locations.)
2. Jesus grants us insight to how to reignite the Love by saying, remember from where you have fallen, repent (turn around) and do the first works; (where did we stop Loving?) Did we stop reading the Word? Praying? Fasting? Attending different Services? Fellowshipping with other believers? Or helping out the Pastor? Then we must begin to get back in the practice of those things that we stop doing and begin to do the first works.
3. The consequence of failing to get back in the practice of Love is that the Lord is going to eventually shut the Church down. This is why Churches across America are closing down rapidly. I heard one report that 3500-4500 Churches close each year. Whether this is an accurate number or not it’s heart-breaking and we have the Word of God available to us to keep this from happening. Pastors are tired and leaving the ministry because believers are not listening and helping the Pastor run the Church in the level of Love that Jesus requires us to apply.
I understand that it’s the Pastor fault as well, but the fact of the matter is that it doesn’t have to go there. I also understand that many Pastors went with the suggestions of others to be a Chaplin or Reverend because their parents or the economy led them that way. I feel sorry for those people. But unless you are called, trained and placed in the ministry by God. Then I understand why you quit. However, to other Pastors that are currently having a hard time, well my spiritual advice is to learn the art of being sensitive to the Holy Spirit. How do you do that Manuel? I’m glad you asked!
Being Sensitive to the Holy Spirit
Allow me to share how the Holy Spirit prepared me to write this article. Yesterday I woke up and after washing up I drank an orange juice and began to praise God and I open my Bible and it opened up to the Book of Colossians. As I was reading it over again the Holy Spirit started high-lighting certain verses to me so I underline them and wrote notes along the edge of the pages. Then I arrived to chapter 4 verse 16, which says;
Now when this epistle is read among you, see that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea (Colossians 4:16 NKJV).
Then it hit me, the Loveless Church is Ephesus. Well, Paul wrote a Letter to the Church of Ephesus. And this Letter that Paul wrote to the Colossians was read at the Church at Laodiceans. So why did they become Lukewarm? I took out my study Bibles and found out that Paul wrote his letters to Ephesus and Colossians in A.D. 60-61 when he was locked up. The second thing I did was look at a map in the back of the Strong’s Concordance and found out the these 7 Churches are right next to each other within a 100 mile radius. The third thing I did was found out that John wrote the Book of Revelation around A.D. 70-95. This means 10 to 35 years after Paul had shared his letters with Ephesus, Colossians and Laodiceans you would think they would be on fire doing the Will of God. No, so Jesus appears to John on the Island of Patmos to give him the news about the condition of these 7 Churches and we read how they were really operating.
So the Lord instructed me to teach all this so we can reconsider what took place with them so that it would not take place with us and so that we won’t find ourselves being Loveless and Lukewarm.
The Holy Spirit’s Instructions
Here’s what the Holy Spirit said to me, “Teach about what I learned tomorrow (which is today). Secondly, Teach Pastors, Leaders and Believers how to be sensitive to My instructions.”
Here’s how the Holy Spirit will Teach you;
1. You must be Passionate to want to read Scripture. How can the Holy Spirit explain the Scriptures if you don’t read the Scriptures?
2. You must pray an ask God to reveal the Scriptures to you, Praying, Lord reveal wonderful truths to me from Your Word as I begin to read it. Bring the Scriptures alive to me so I may understand it, accept it, and begin to apply what you have revealed to me, to experience your Truth, in Jesus name amen.
3. Then as you read the Holy Spirit will begin to give you thoughts about that particular verse or chapter or Book that you are reading. Then through-out the day we should meditate further about those Scriptures we have read. The more we meditate on those verses the more revelation we will receive as questions begin to come into our minds about what we read. The Holy Spirit is helping you by placing those questions in your mind. To question the passages and to re-question, “Paul, John, Luke or Matthew on why they wrote that, or what did they mean by- that, or how do we apply that, etc”.
4. Then through-out the week when you’re at work, home, doing chores or relaxing the thought of the Scriptures will come back to you. It’s then that you should fellowship with the Holy Spirit.
5. Fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit simply means saying, Holy Spirit You’re my Teacher help me to understand why am I thinking about the 7 Churches, the topic of Love, the story of the Prodigal son, and so on. As you wait and listen quietly thoughts about reading the story over may come to you, or you may be directed to go and read about a certain topic that you’re thinking about at Faith-writers by various authors to see how God inspired them to write about that topic. Or you may be led to pick up a topical concordance that will outline the topic for you.
6. The Holy Spirit may grant you a Dream or a Vision of something in relation to what you’re seeking to understand.
7. The Holy Spirit may speak to you in an audible Voice: (it may sound like someone is talking inside of you if you never experience this kind of Manifestation.) Don’t be alarmed it’s Him inside of you (inside your human Born-again spirit).
I suggest you also read all the articles I wrote about the Holy Spirit to give you more insight with Scripture references that I did not share in this article. But the key to understand this article is that we do not have to lose our first Love for God or to do the Will of God. And we should not settle to be Lukewarm because we need to hear from God every day. Our God will speak to us every day thru Scripture as we read it. Then the other Super-natural stuff will take place, the Dreams, Visions, The audible Voice, the Angelic Visitations and so on. But if we neglect it then we will lose it. If we go after it, then it will begin to increase each and every day. It’s solely up to you on how much you desire to hear from God.
But it starts every day by reading His Word then it will progress and become more apparent that the signs you see, the circumstances you encounter, the thoughts, the ideas that come to your mind are not yours--but the Holy Spirit’s premonitions that is prompting you and communicating with you to consider the application of the Word of God. The more Scripture you know the easier it will be to pin-point what the Holy Spirit is trying to saying to you.
May God grant everyone reading this article the revelation needed to practically apply your-selves to be ultra sensitive to the Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name amen.
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Great article, really inspiring. But the question many would still ask is HOW do i re-ignite that passion i once had? t's difficult for a lukewarmed to just pick up the bible to read or pray not because they don't know it's relevance but because the passion is not there. Go i strongly believe that it's not enough to just to tell people 'go get your bible and study' but how do they get the passion for it. God bless you.
The simplicity in reigniting the passion is by taking the steps that you once took as Jesus explained. When you first started reading Scripture desire an inspiration that comes from the Holy Spirit will begin to increase as you devote time to fellowship with God and Him. Then as you continue to fellowship and read Scripture the passion will grow in your heart again if you are sincerely dedicated. If you are struggling ask Him to help you breakthrough the struggles and overtime with diligence on your part the Divine passion will grow greater and then you'll be back on track. May God bless you to apply it in Jesus' name amen.