The Oaktrees and The Sprouts

“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:” 2 Corinthians 4:1-3.

This is to all of the oak trees and the sprouts, the elders and the babes, the young and old…this is a letter to the Laodiceans. This is for the ones who God is calling back to their first love, Jesus Christ and Him Crucified. There will come a day soon, very soon, where we all will have to fish or cut bait. The day is coming when we will have to choose, God’s way or our way.

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.” Revelations 3:15.  I always thought I understood what that scripture meant. The hot ones were the ones with the fire, zealous for the Lord. The cold Christians were those sitting on their tombs every Sunday morning at church. And the lukewarm, well they were just somewhere in the middle; one day hot and the next day cold; on fire for God then burn out for a while. You can easily look around and see each of these “classes” of Christians, right?

However, I have come to understand that a hot or cold Christian has absolutely nothing to do with any of these factors. A “hot” Christian could be the very ones sitting on their “tombs” still singing out of the old red Hymnals (which I love by the way). While the cold Christians are the ones who appear to be on fire, very “spiritual”. In reality we are judging these hot and cold Christians by their emotions and know nothing of their relationship with God.

It seems to me as though the hot or cold Christians have nothing to do with emotions or even Biblical knowledge but more to do with our proximity. In other words, hot or cold is not a vertical scale but a horizontal scale. The closer we come to the Truth of the full Gospel of Jesus Christ, the hotter we become. The further away we get from the Truth, the colder we become. Didn’t we all play the game of Hot and Cold as children?

“So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:16. It seems as though some of us Blood bought, devil chasin’, old fashion, red hot Christians may very well be lukewarm in the eyes of the Lord because we have indeed grown further from the Truth instead of closer to the Truth. Upon our arrival in God’s plan for our lives, we begin to mold what He started. We start out hot, both vertically (emotionally) and horizontally (spiritually) but as the world begins to appeal to our flesh and we attempt to mold our Christianity to our world. We think we are on fire for God but are deeply offended when the Truth is presented because we are in fact lukewarm, possibly even cold.

All of the works this counterfeit grace has piled on to Christians has now become the law in which they will be judged. The programs, methods, processes and steps to recovery are laid waste against the Gospel of Jesus. Our problem is sin. When we are saved our sin nature doesn’t go away but we die to our sin nature; it no longer has dominion over us when we say yes to Jesus Christ. We accept His finished work upon salvation but immediately turn away after. We turn inward, to our selfwill and learn how to be holy through church class 101, then 201, etc., etc. All the church wants is a year, or sometimes 40 days and they will show you how to live a holy life. In the mean time, you are lukewarm. You started off hot but began to follow man’s ways for spiritual growth instead of God’s way. God’s way for spiritual growth will cause you to cry out “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord..” (Isaiah 6:3), instead of I am righteous of God…even though you are, you understand it has nothing to do with you. It requires humility and not pride to do it God’s way through Jesus finished work. None of our programs or declarations of righteousness are needed in God’s plan, which is offensive to the lukewarm.

The time will soon come when we have to decide – are we hot or cold. Do we want to seek the Truth of the Word of God or the truth of the word of man? God will not be judging you by what I told you, He will be judging by what HE told you. Jesus said “It is finished” John 19:30, which means “It is finished”. I still believe those words and refuse to partake in the programs of today’s church to help do what the Cross of Jesus has already done.

So to all of you “oak trees” that have held true to the Truth, I’m thankful to God for you. I’m thankful you have withstood the persecution of the spoiled baby’s screaming legalism because the full Gospel of Jesus Christ didn’t fit into their lifestyle. To the ones who started off hot but have become lukewarm, I pray you understand your emotions have nothing to do with your spiritual temperature. I pray you allow the heat to burn off the chafe as you seek the Truth and no longer allow man leaven the lump. – Donna Warren

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