Christ compared indifference to lukewarm water in His mouth. It’s a vivid image that makes a powerful point about the dangers of not feeling. Indifference is insidious. It’s gradual and subtle on the outside but deadly when it creeps inside the human heart.
“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.
“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.
“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.” (Revelation 3:15-22 NLT)
Christ reminds those who will listen that riches we think we have do not compare to the refined gold of a transformed heart, the freedom of a changed mind, and the clear vision of truth God’s love offers. Christ knocks at the door, offering those riches along with a friendly meal. He makes it clear that He would prefer a hot or cold response to no response at all. I agree because there’s nothing worse than being left standing outside the door when it comes to love.
I can chose how to respond to Christ. I can open the door with delight and welcome Him in; I can tell Him to get lost and never come back, or I can ignore His knock and go about my normal routine. The latter is lukewarm and safe, and that’s what’s so dangerous about it. I don’t know anyone who would be so cold as to tell Christ to leave, but a cold response is better than leaving Him standing on the other side of the door with no response at all. I know Christ is speaking to the churches in this passage, but the clear message to all who refuse to respond when love is offered is, “Open the door!”