There was once a group of people that lived in a town called Laodicea, in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey). These people claimed to belong to a religious group called Christians, but they had vomitably lukewarm behavior (Revelation 3:15). Their famous leader, Jesus Christ, wrote a letter to them, through the hands of a man named John, and told them that He would rather their faith and actions were either a burning hot or an icy cold, but since their church-body temperature was just lukewarm, He would eject them, puke them out of His life, upchuck them out of His stomach (literally He would un-enlist them off the church roster, whether they still met in the building or not). This story brought up a burning question in my heart, “What does it mean, scientifically, to be hot, cold or lukewarm as a Christian?”
In the scientific world of physics:
- temperature is the measurement of the active energy within any object (including the air)
- active energy, or kinetic energy, means the movement of the particles, or molecules, that make up any object
- particles (molecules) are made up of atoms within any object.
Another way to say all of this is that every object functions like a nuclear power plant or a nuclear reactor, because what makes molecules and atoms work are the nuclei, electrons, and the protons interacting with other nuclei, electrons, and protons!
If any object’s nuclear power plant is not operating at all—no movement, no action whatsoever—then the temperature is at the absolute bottom-of-the-scale-freezing-cold, or 0 Kelvins (which has never yet happened, but scientists are currently trying to discover what that would be like).
When objects become just any cold (above 0 Kelvin), their particles, their kinetic energy, their nuclear power plants are still at least vibrating enough for the objects to be noticed and possibly used or reckoned with (think ice, icebergs, icy smiles, etc.).
Most objects can become very active, when prompted by some outside power source operating upon them: like a virus, a frying pan, or a determined mother. The acted-upon-objects can then become hot, which means that their internal nuclear reactors start working and putting out heat; or they start operating to the max and boil everything around them and even melt themselves down or turn into another object or substance! (Think about the Christian martyrs who were so flaming hot for the Lord that they had no problem with dying, because they knew they would change into another substance—spirits in Paradise, not made up of atoms at all).
This can explain why, many times, a truly righteous and godly person will make a truly wicked person boiling angry! When a super-active-hot-object comes near an inactive-freezing-object, it transfers (even unwittingly) its heat so fast that the cold object can crack or melt with the change. Remember the Bible’s Old Testament accounts of Daniel and the Lions’ Den, where Daniel’s goodness made the evil Babylonian leaders mad enough to kill him; and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, where their righteousness kept them from worshipping a statue of metal and they made the king so angry he tried to burn them to death; and Cain and Abel, where Abel’s obedience to God’s will forced self-centered Cain to burst and murder him. These three incidents are just for starters.
Today, Christians, as followers of Jesus Christ, must understand that God, through Jesus, activated each individual Christian into a nuclear reactor (at his or her re-birth, or re-charging ceremony of baptism), to work alongside other individual reactors to produce tons of light, knowledge, energy, and power for the benefit of a world stock full of inactivated, dysfunctional, damaged, or deactivated individual power plants (Romans 12:4-21; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; 1 Corinthians 15:22).
Back to the book of Revelation, Jesus said He’d rather have individual reactors that just barely vibrate (cold), than have them with the engines going without putting out the heat (lukewarm). Lukewarm Christians actually use energy from others, like leeches—taking, but not giving out. They are better off shut off, for the benefit of the church and the world, because Jesus wants us to not only accept the energy from others, but to transfer our own heat, action, and energy in return; back and forth, the constant making and utilization of godly energy (Hebrews 10:23-25). Being a Christian, or being for Jesus, means occupying a fully operational, individual nuclear power plant; and working together with others, all to further the cause of Christ, which just happens to be…
- all about illuminating a dark world with education and love (so people aren’t always bumping into each other and getting hurt)
- all about bringing knowledge to an ignorant world (in the sense of knowing God) with
- the good news of Jesus Christ and
- salvation from spending an eternal-cold-power-plant-existence in an ultra-active-kinetic-energy-dark-place called the Lake of Fire (without the luxury of protection or of feeling like it’s a vacation resort, Matthew 25:32-46; Revelation 20: 12-15; 21:8)
· all about shedding the energy of good deeds, good words, and good thoughts on a world suffering from hatred, depressions, miseries, losses, pains, jealousies, and selfishness (Acts 9:36-42; Ephesians 2:10; 1 Timothy 6:18, 19)
There is good news for the inactive and the lukewarm Christian reactors. In the Laws of Thermodynamics and Entropy, the lack of energy and power can be fixed with something called work (Titus 2:13, 14; James 2:14-26). Heavens to Betsy! It’s that simple?
If a Christian is cold or lukewarm, all he or she has to do is start working, moving, getting into motion; and amazingly his or her nuclear reactor becomes extremely effective and power efficient, able to interchange energy and heat with others. All this makes for a bright, cheery world full of hope, education, dreams, reachable goals, safety, and loads more. Knowledge in, ignorance out. Useful people in, users out.
May the Heat truly be with you!
1. Dobson, Ken. Holt Science Spectrum, Physical Science with Earth and Space. Holt, Rinehart, Winston. Orlando, FL. 2008. pp 394-493