by Matt Slick
The term "lukewarm Christian" generally refers to someone who says he's a Christian but does not go to church very much, does not read his Bible very much and really doesn't live for Christ. There are variations in what it means to be "lukewarm." But generally, those who abide in lukewarmness are probably false converts.
True Christians are those who seek the Lord Jesus and want to follow him. This does not mean that we always do everything right or that we always succeed in our war against sin and in being a representation of him in the world. It does mean we continue to come to the cross, seek forgiveness, and seek to grow in our relationship with him. It means that we are not seeking friendship in the world over friendship with Christ. It means that we do not seek the approval of men over the approval of God.
So, what are some of the signs of being a lukewarm Christian? Following is a proposed list. It is not exhaustive and is not authoritative. In other words, this list is not the definitive list of all lists about lukewarm Christianity. Instead, it is common sense and derived from many years in the ministry working with people and those who claim to be Christians but don't really walk with Jesus. I hope this helps.
Typically, some of the signs of being a lukewarm Christian are as follows, but not everyone will fall under all of these:
- God is not first in their life. They give of their leftover of money, time, and fellowship
- They live a different life on Sunday than they do the rest of the week.
- They have lots of unbelieving friends, more than Christian ones.
- Their friends don't know they're a Christian
- They would rather be accepted socially than reveal their Christian faith.
- They use foul language without conviction.
- They have a decreased interest in the things of God
- They don't read the Bible very much, if at all.
- They don't pray very much, if at all.
- They don't believe the Bible is truly inspired, but is a good suggestion book.
- Their behavior is more worldly than godly.
- Their appearance, their clothing, for example, is more worldly than godly.
- They don't share their faith very often, if at all.
- They make excuses for sinful behavior.
- They only turn to God when things go bad.
- They don't give financially to the church.
- They only go to church for social reasons, if they go it all.
- They don't want to hear about God or Christ very much, especially when they're in sin.
- They are more worried about what others might think of them than what God would think of them.
- Put their faith in their baptism, church attendance, and good works more than they put it in Christ
As you can see many of the signs of being a lukewarm Christian center around selfishness, putting self first, and not living for God. I tell people who want to become Christians that they'd better count the cost. Jesus said so.
Luke 14:28, “For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?"
Being a Christian is not always easy. I warn people about the cost of following Christ. People don't realize that God will take us as we are but he won't leave us as we are. He will convict us of our sins (John 16:8). He will change us. Following Christ means being honest even when it can injure us financially, socially, etc. Being a Christian means telling people about Christ when it's appropriate even if it means being ostracized. Generally speaking, being a Christian means we put Christ first above everything in this world. It does not mean we ignore the things of the world. Rather, it means that we live in this world, but Christ is our King. He is our Lord, and we are to let our light shine. As I said, this can be costly. So, when I'm speaking with someone who is entertaining the idea of becoming a Christian, I tell the person that he better consider what he's doing seriously - because God takes it seriously. I find that most people are willing to count the cost. If they do, they rarely, if ever, become lukewarm Christians.