“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Rev 3: 15, 16)
“I know your deeds”: It is Christ who does the scrutiny. He walks in the church (Rev. 1: 13, 20) and thus examines the church to point out its true nature. The defective nature of the Laodiceans could not pass over without Christ’s notice. Every thought and actions were adjudged by Him. His message is personal and direct, “I know your deeds.” Christ knows you personally, and your deeds as well. In the case of this Church that has lost vigilance of its own spirituality, only Christ could reveal it to them. Christ is the true witness who can mirror your true nature to you.
“… you are neither cold nor hot”: The metaphor of water temperature (cold, hot, and lukewarm) is used as a spiritometer to measure the spirituality of the church. The church is neither cold nor hot. It is lukewarm. This may suggest how the majority of the church members have become lukewarm, including its leadership. The church has lost a single identity. Her identity is compromised. She now bears a double personality. Lukewarm water is a mixture of cold and hot water—like in the city of Laodicea where the only drinkable water was from the pipelines that supplied them with lukewarm water. Besides their riches, the Laodiceans had no other choice than to get used to poor drinking water. So, this church in Laodicea is figured as lukewarm water. Lukewarm water is unsatisfactory and nauseating. The water metaphor in the text is drinking water as seen in the words of Christ, “I am about to spit you out of my mouth”. Christ says its nauseating effect in the stomach is making Him sick. Lukewarm attitude makes Christ sick! The church needed one state of identity, i.e. either cold or hot. It is only one of these states that the church could be useful to Christ. No middle ground. Schizophrenic (double personality) identity could be dangerous to our walk with Christ.