Hardness Of Heart
Week 8 in a multi-part series
In the early months of the 1983, my wife Maude and I sold our home in Conyers, Georgia, and purchased a small home just outside of Wilmington, N.C. Maude had been born and raised in Beulaville, N.C., and wanted to be closer to her aging parents.
After an exhaustive search for the perfect will of God, we heard from Him to move back into the area of my old hometown and begin our new ministry. Doors for ministry slowly began to open and signs and wonders began to flow. We soon discovered there had been indifference toward God’s Word in eastern N.C. for a long time, –but teachings on healing, the Gifts of the Spirit (I Corinthians 12) faith and deliverance, was fresh manna, restoring the hunger.
The Holy Spirit warned the church in Laodicea about their current spiritual condition. Most Bible scholars believe that the church in Laodicea is “a type of” the end time church, serving as a warning for us today:
I know your [record of]works and what you are doing; you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth! For you say, I am rich; I have prospered and grown wealthy, and I am in need of nothing; and you do not realize and understand that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. Therefore I counsel you to purchase from Me gold refined and tested by fire, that you may be [truly]wealthy, and white clothes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nudity from being seen, and salve to put on your eyes, that you may see. Those whom I [dearly and tenderly]love, I tell their faults and convict and convince and reprove and chasten [I discipline and instruct them]. So be enthusiastic and in earnest and burning with zeal and repent [changing your mind and attitude]. (Revelation 3:15-19 Amp).
Over the years, most believers I have met are waiting patiently for a great move of God to fall on the last day’s church, expecting Him to come and miraculously prepare our hearts and attitudes for revival. Revival, both individually and collectively, begins with repentance and brokenness.
These verses tell us it is for each of us individually to totally submit to God, pursue after and humble ourselves for change. Most do not take this warning seriously, but I am convinced that if the church continues to choose lukewarm (Vs.16) there will be a season of chastisement, discipline and hard instruction such as the church has seldom seen. This is not judgment, but chastisement brought about by our own rebellion.
I hear Revelation 3:20 used as an evangelistic tool quite often. However, Jesus did not change the subject back and forth from the lukewarm church to the unbeliever. He is standing at the closed heart of some in the church today, offering fellowship and intimacy that thus far some have refused to receive.
Buddy and Maude Dawson are the founders and directors of the River of Life Worship Center, 3504 Carolina Beach Rd., Wilmington, NC. firstname.lastname@example.org