The illustration that God uses in Rev 3:16 to describe the lukewarm people of the church of the Laodiceans is a lukewarm beverage. A hot beverage will naturally become lukewarm if it is not reheated. I sometimes microwave coffee to keep it very hot while I’m drinking it. Likewise, we need to heat up for the Lord and then stay hot in order to please him.
The Bible word for this heat is “fervent.” We need to be fervent. The word fervent is defined as intensely hot. Other words that define fervent are enthusiastic and zealous. We say of zealous Christians, “they’re on fire for God.” What will heat you up and keep you hot for the Lord?
Fervent prayer – Jas 5:16 – “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” We are to be zealous in our prayer. Frankly, prayer can, at times, get monotonous. When it gets like that don’t quit. Stay with it. Like trying to start a fire with a stick of hard wood scraping along a piece of soft wood, keep at it. The fire will start. In Col 4:12 Epaphras was “laboring fervently for you in prayers.” In prayer you draw close to God who “is a consuming fire,” Heb 12:29. Your prayer will become fervent when you get “in touch” with God.
Fervent spirit – Rom 12:11 – “fervent in spirit.” You get a fervent spirit by being filled with the Spirit of God [Eph 5:18]. Notice “be not… be filled.” Whatever is keeping you from being filled with the Spirit is what needs to go or be put aside. And whatever gets you filled with the Spirit is what needs to be added. In Acts 4:31, their fervent prayer resulted in their fervent spirit. Apollos was fervent in the spirit [Acts 18:24-25] because he was “mighty in the scriptures.” You don’t want to just read the Bible, you want to become “mighty” in the Bible. That’ll get you on fire for God.
Fervent mind – 2 Cor 7:6-7 – The Corinthians had a “fervent mind” toward Paul. Paul had rebuked them for the sin in 1 Cor 5:5. They took that preaching with the right attitude and fixed the problem completely [2 Cor 7:8-11]. They repented and they got zealous for keeping this stuff out of the church and our of their lives. The Lord told the church the Laodiceans what to do about their lukewarm condition in Rev 3:18-19. He said, “Be zealous, therefore, and repent.” That’s a fervent mind that stays receptive and zealous for the preacher who preaches like Paul told Timothy to preach in 2 Tim 4:2-4. Responding to good hot preaching will keep you good and hot for the Lord.
Fervent charity – 1 Pet 4:8 – “have fervent charity among yourselves.” 1 Pet 1:22 “see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.” When sin in a brother or sister gets in the way of a good relationship with them cover it with charity. We are the children of God and we need to keep the love between us fervent. Church is the perfect place to do that. Stay in faithful fellowship with your friends in church. For example, when one coal in a charcoal fire is left to the side of the burning coals, it will not be hot. Put it with the burning coals and it will be just as hot as they are in short order. You won’t be lukewarm if you are faithful to your church and your church is on fire for God.
Conclusion: you know the moment you start cooling off for the Lord. Don’t be complacent. Be fervent in you prayer life, your Bible reading, your response to hard preaching and you charity. These will keep you fervent for the Lord and keep you from being lukewarm.