WACO—Christians need to “bring the fire back” and reject any tepid commitment to Christ, a Waco pastor told participants at the African-American Fellowship Worship Rally, held prior to the Baptist General Convention of Texas annual meeting.
Samuel J. Doyle, senior pastor at Greater New Light Missionary Baptist Church in Waco preached from Revelation 3:14-22 and warned against “lukewarm” Christianity. In the Scripture passage, Christ describes his disgust with the church at Laodicea, which is described as “neither cold nor hot.”
Doyle offered two insights from the first century cultural context of Laodicea to help understand the reference—one related to wine and the other related to water.
In the time the passage was written, it was considered hospitable to give guests either chilled wine or warm wine, he explained. To give them lukewarm wine would be considered rude.
“The lukewarm church is an insult to Jesus,” Doyle said.
The city of Laodicea received hot water from one neighboring city, and cold water from another. By the time the water traveled through the aqueducts to Laodicea, the water was not only lukewarm but filthy.
“The lukewarm church makes God sick. It is disgusting to him,” Doyle said.
Being lukewarm is disgusting to Jesus, he said, because it causes deception in one’s life. Lukewarm people think they are rich when, in reality, they are poor—“poverty disguised as prosperity,” he said. This is a dangerous place, because it makes people prone to let their riches define them.
“You define a church not by what they do, but by who they belong to,” Doyle said.
“Bring the passion back. Bring the fire back,” he urged.