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So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3.16

One sentence in a commentary I was reading about Christ's letter to the Laodicean church in the Book of Revelation stopped me in my tracks. The gist was that God was holding the church accountable for the behaviour of the whole city, which was so obsessed with generating wealth and improving the material well-being of its citizens that it was marginalising faithfulness. I hear a lot of complaining about the secularising agenda of our own government, which seems determined to push faith to the margins of society. But have ever wondered if we Christians might not bear at least some of the responsibility - for imposing too harsh an interpretation of the Gospel, for being too quick to compromise on sexual ethics in conforming to society's demand for liberation, for our own internal divisions which contradict our message of reconciliation and blunt our missional impact?

To be serious about our commitment to Christ we need to follow through in the every aspect of our lives. Whether it is the way we conduct ourselves, order our business, spend our money, use our time... people need to be able to look at us and notice the difference Jesus makes. That should not be difficult to figure out, though it can be hard to put into practice because discipleship challenges us to break the habits of a lifetime and to swim against the currents of popular opinion. The question is: when Jesus comes again or when our time comes to die - whichever is first - will we be judged on our faithfulness to Jesus or the extent to which we conformed with society? The truth is that it will involve both, so we need to make sure that the balance is firmly in favour of the former and at the expense of the latter!



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