Radical Discipleship

“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot.
I could wish you were cold or hot.
So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,
I will spew you out of My mouth” (Rev. 3:15-16).

One of the things I love most about the Bible is that it doesn’t mince words. You don’t have to wonder what Jesus meant when He said that our being lukewarm in our faith makes Him want to “spew” (spit or vomit) us out of His mouth. In essence, He is saying that ho-hum faith makes Him want to throw up.

Sound sacrilegious? It’s not. It’s what Jesus said. It’s part of His call to radical discipleship. Jesus hasn’t called us to a lukewarm faith that gives lip-service to His Word and maybe even sets aside most or even all of our Sunday mornings to attend church and mingle with other Christians and read the Bible and pray occasionally. He has called us to a sold-out faith, a level of devotion and dedication that readily gives up everything—family, possessions, career, ministry, relationships, wealth, even our very lives—to obey Him. A radical disciple holds back nothing and follows in everything. That’s the kind of life that receives a “well done, good and faithful servant” commendation when we step into eternity.

And it goes against everything we feel or desire. It also goes against much of what we have been taught from non-radical people. My dad, whom I loved dearly and who is now with the Lord, spent all but the last week of his life denying the existence of God. He was a “middle of the road” kind of guy, who taught us not to go overboard with anything. When it comes to nonessentials, like eating chocolate or spending time outdoors in the sun, it was probably good advice. But when it comes to serving God, it’s not so good. God doesn’t want us to be “middle of the road” Christians, afraid to take a radical stand and occasionally rock a few socially, politically, or even religiously correct boats. Jesus calls us to an “all or nothing” faith, a faith that denies self and follows Him, regardless of the price.

Our problem is that we’ve tried to turn the Lion of Judah into a pussycat, when indeed the Lion of Judah cannot be tamed—nor should we want Him to be. The Messiah came first as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, but when He returns it will be to judge those who have rejected Him as Lord and Savior.

The call to discipleship is a radical one, folks, so let’s not take it lightly. I, for one, don’t want my faith to be lukewarm and to cause Jesus to “spew” me out of His mouth. Though radical discipleship is costly—requiring everything that is near and dear to us, including the right to “call the shots” in our life—it is the only thing that will assure us of joy here on earth and a heavenly reward when we pass on. May we all be found faithful—and radical—in His service!

Copyright 2008 Kathi Macias, all rights reserved. Used by permission.
Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored seventeen books. Her newest book “Beyond Me. Living a You-first Life in a Me-first World” (New Hope Publishers) The author can be reached at: http://www.kathimacias.com

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