In his book Crazy Love, Francis Chan has a chapter titled “Profile of the Lukewarm.” Chan says the term “lukewarm Christian” is an oxymoron and that a Christian cannot be lukewarm, and thus, we will find no lukewarm Christians in heaven. He goes on to give several hallmarks, endorsed by differing scriptures, which he says describe what a lukewarm Christian looks like (hence, the profile of the lukewarm).
I normally do not ask for people to give feedback, but in light of Chan’s comments in this chapter, I would not mind hearing your thoughts regarding 1) Chan’s comment that we will find “no lukewarm Christians in heaven.” And 2) your thoughts regarding the hallmarks below which makeup the profile of the lukewarm. I know there are several verses below, but if you don’t have time to read them all, I encourage you to at least glance at the 12 hallmarks making up the profile of the lukewarm.
Do you agree with Chan? If not, why?
Hope you enjoy the video at the bottom.
1. Lukewarm People attend church fairly regularly. It is what is expected of them, what they believe “good Christians” do, so they go.
“The Lord says: ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.” – Isa. 29:13
2. Lukewarm people give money to charity and to the church… as long as it doesn’t impinge on their standard of living. If they have a little extra and it is easy and safe to give, they do so. After all, God loves a cheerful giver, right?
“King David replied to Araunah, ‘No! I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.’” – 1 Chronicles 21:24
“As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘I tell you the truth,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the other. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on’” – Luke 21:1-4
3. Lukewarm people tend to choose what is popular over what is right when they are in conflict. They desire to fit in both at church and outside of church; they care more about what people think of their actions (like church attendance and giving) than what God thinks of their hearts and lives.
“Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.” – Luke 6:26
“I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.” – Rev. 3:1
4. Lukewarm people say they love Jesus, and He is, indeed, a part of their lives. But only a part. They give Him a section of their time, their money, and their thoughts, but He isn’t allowed to control their lives.
“As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.’ He said to another man, ‘Follow me.’ But the man replied, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’ Still another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.’ Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the service in the kingdom of God.” – Luke 9:57-62
5. Lukewarm people love God, but they do not love Him with all their heart, soul, and strength. They would be quick to assure you that they try to love God that much, but that sort of total devotion isn’t really possible for the average person; it’s only for pastors and missionaries and radicals.
“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” – Matt. 22:37-38
6. Lukewarm people think about earth much more often than eternity in heaven. Daily life is mostly focused on today’s to-do list, this week’s schedule, and next month’s vacation. Regarding this, C. S. Lewis writes, “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”
“For as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” – Phil. 3:18-20
“Set your mind on the things above, not on earthly things.” – Col. 3:2
7. Lukewarm people do whatever is necessary to keep themselves from feeling too guilty. They want to do the bare minimum, to be “good enough without it requiring too much of them. They ask, “how far can I go before it’s considered a sin” Instead of “How can I keep myself pure as a temple of the Holy Spirit?” They ask, “How much do I have to give?” Instead of “How much can I give?” They ask, “How much time should I spend praying and reading my Bible?” Instead of “I wish I didn’t have to go to work, so I could sit here and read longer!”
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” – Matthew 13:44-45
8. Lukewarm people will serve God and others, but there are limits to how far they will go or how much time, money, and energy they are willing to give.
“‘All these commandments I have kept since I was a boy,’ he said. When Jesus heard this, he said to him, ‘You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’ When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. Jesus looked at him and said, ‘How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God’” (Luke 18:21-25).
9. Lukewarm people are thankful for their luxuries and comforts, and rarely consider trying to give as much as possible to the poor. They are quick to point out, “Jesus never said money is the root of evil, only that the love of money is.” Untold numbers of lukewarm people feel “called” to minister to the rich; very few feel “called” to minister to the poor.
“Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world… I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matt. 25:34, 40).
“Is not this kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter – when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” (Isa. 58:6-7)
10. Lukewarm people are continually concerned with playing it safe; they are slaves to the god of control. This focus on safe living keeps them from sacrificing and risking for God.
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” (1 Tim. 6:17-18)
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both the soul and body in hell.” (Matt. 10:28)
11. Lukewarm people feel secure because they attend church, made a profession of faith at age twelve, were baptized, come from a Christian family, vote Republican, or live in America. Just as the prophets in the Old Testament warned Israel that they were not safe just because they lived in the land of Israel, so we are not safe just because we wear the label Christian or because some people persist in calling us a “Christian nation.”
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 7:21)
“Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria, you notable men of the foremost nation.” (Amos 6:1)
12. Lukewarm people do not live by faith; their lives are structured so they never have to. They don’t have to trust God if something unexpected happens – they have their savings account. They don’t need God to help them – they have their retirement plan in place. They don’t genuinely seek out what life God would have them live – they have life figured and mapped out. They don’t depend on God on a daily basis – their refrigerators are full and, for the most part, they are in good health. The truth is, their lives wouldn’t look much different if they suddenly stopped believing in God.”
“And he told them this parable: The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ Then he said,’This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, ‘You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink, and be merry.’ But God said to him,’You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:16-21)