Are you Hot, Cold, or Lukewarm? Many people who claim that they follow Christ Jesus do not really understand what it actually means to, truly follow Christ Jesus. These people may think that they are running “Hot” for Christ Jesus yet in fact, may actually be just “Lukewarm” or even running “Cold.” So ask yourself this question as you continue to read this article about what it truly means to follow Christ Jesus; “Am I Hot, Cold, or Lukewarm in my following Christ Jesus?”
Truly following Christ Jesus gives to no one a shortcut around humiliation, pain and suffering. Jesus himself said in Luke 14:27 – "Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” The Roman authority in that day would led a criminal to his execution site while making the criminal carry the very cross on which he would be placed on to die. This was done to not only display the criminal’s submission to the Roman authority, it was done to make a powerful statement to all the people who saw it happening that they too should submit to Roman authority. As a true and honest follower of Christ Jesus, we are to carry our own cross and follow where Jesus leads us… even to our own death.
Truly and honestly following Christ Jesus means it is not something to take lightly and casually as in following your favorite sports team’s progress. In Revelation 3:15-16, Jesus says, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.” Jesus is telling us as He did in Luke that truly following Him means a total submission of us to Him.
This kind of total submission is something that many people do not want to do. In fact, at times I don’t want to do it because it is much easier just to go with the flow and take the easy path yet I know beyond doubt that it is my responsibility to lovingly and gently point others to Christ Jesus no matter how rude and/or crude to me they are. In Matthew 7:13, Jesus said for us to, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.” This verse means a great deal to me as Jesus also said in Matthew 7:14, “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” I personally do not want to be lukewarm so to miss that narrow gate. Jesus made it clear in Luke 13:24 that everyone should, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.”
An example of such total devotion to Christ Jesus is displayed in Acts 14:21-22 when Paul and Barnabas returned to visit the people who had not very long before placed their faith into Christ Jesus. These new Christians were located in all of the cities where Paul and Barnabas had just recently been threatened and physically attacked. Did this deter Paul and Barnabas? No, these two men knew exactly the dangers which they faced and were not afraid or ashamed to continue because they knew what their cross to carry at that time was; their personal responsibility to encourage and instruct the new believers in Christ Jesus and to tell everyone they encountered the Gospel of Christ Jesus.
What a great and wonderful testimony of courage, faith and perfect example of submission to Christ Jesus that Paul and Barnabas displayed. In their example we learn how far we should go to help others find and not just accept Christ Jesus but to help them maintain their faith in Christ Jesus. Helping someone find and accept Christ Jesus is worth giving one’s life in doing because the love of Christ Jesus is purely perfect! Jesus said; “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it.” Mark 8:35
Were Paul and Barnabas ashamed of the Gospel? No, they were in no way ashamed of the Gospel. Were Paul and Barnabas running “Hot” for the Gospel? Yes, by all means they were running extremely Hot for the Gospel of our Lord, Christ Jesus. I am so thankful for their examples of faith in Christ Jesus and in their determination and eagerness to spread the Gospel. Each time I read about them, I grow stronger in mine.
Am I ashamed of the Gospel? No, I am not in any way ashamed of the Gospel and in each passing day find that my faith in Christ Jesus is leading me to do more to get His Gospel out to others. Am I running “Hot” for the Gospel? Yes however, I wasn’t always running Hot for the Gospel. There was a time when I was actually running very Cold for it. As I began to read the Holy Bible more and actually let go of my will and started to embrace God’s will for me, I started running warmer and warmer. I found that with my being willing to let go of my fear of embarrassment, that God points out to me the right timing to let someone hear His Gospel. At that point, it is my responsibility to gently and lovingly plant the Gospel in hope that it falls on fertile soil so that it will flourish and be fruitful.
Are you ashamed of the Gospel? Only you and God know your answer to that question. I pray that you are not ashamed of the Gospel and that you too find that each passing day your faith in Christ Jesus growing stronger and leading you to point others to the perfect love of Christ Jesus. Remember what Jesus told us to do; "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15) Are you running “Hot” for the Gospel? I pray that you are running Hot for the Gospel because I don’t want you to be spit out of Jesus’ mouth; I want to see you in Heaven!
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes”