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Religious Indifference 3-5

Religious Indifference 3-5

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III. The "Far-off and Far-away" Feeling.

III. The "Far-off and Far-away" Feeling.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Feb 23, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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RELIGIOUS INDIFFERENCE 3-5BY HENRY R. HEYWOOD III. The "Far-off and Far-away" Feeling. Two causes of religious indifference I have already mentioned : first, regarding saintliness as ancient, not modern, a possible virtue long ago, but not in these days ; secondly, of set purpose trying to hide from the presence of the Lord. To-day I come to a third cause, very common, very real, — the "far-off and far-away" feeling. I will explain myself directly. You will find the single word of the text in Rev. iii. i6: "Luke-warm." The second and third chapters of the Book of Revelation contain what are commonly called the Epistles to the Seven Churches of Asia Minor. The messenger was St. John, but the Sender was our Lord, Whose Own words we may still read in these seven epistles to the Asiatic Churches ; yes, we are able carefully to read them, for St. John
RELIGIOUS INDIFFERENCE, 85 was expressly bidden to write what in the vision he was told. The single word which I have chosen as a text is taken from the last of these seven epistles, from that to Laodicea ; and Laodicea seems to need rebuke, and that for one reason, — because of her religious indifference, because of her lukewarm-ness : " Thou art neither cold nor hot : I would thou wert cold or hot. So, because thou art luke-warm, I am about — I have it in My mind — to vomit thee out of My mouth ; " that is, " Thy lukewarmness hath made Me well-nigh sick of thee." Yet, in speaking even thus plainly, it would seem that our good Lord speaks in love and not in anger ; for He says, "As many as I love, I rebuke;" — I say, therefore, because I love, '' be zealous, repent." And then listen to the end, to the conclusion, of this epistle. I want you to listen, as you shall hear what is the attitude of Christ towards luke-warm Christians, towards Christians even girt about with lukewarmness, so terribly dangerous. That attitude is the attitude of a Christ come out in pursuit ; it is a Christ standing outside ; it is a Christ knocking ; it is a Christ waiting. " Behold,
I stand at the door and knock," at the door of the lukewarm ; '* if any one shall have heard My voice and opened the door, I will both come in to him and will sup with him, and he himself with Me." And more, for this is added, — but then, now of course lukewarmness must be a thing of the past ; 86 RELIGIOUS INDIFFERENCE. for lukewarmness can never win battles ; lukewarm-ness, however respectable, as men count respect-ability, can never conquer ; but for one who ventures for victory this is added : " He that conquereth, I will give to him to sit down with Me on My Throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His Throne." Thank God for that good cheer, for that Gospel news for those who dare to venture out of tepid waters and away from luke-warm surroundings. The Laodicean Churchmen are by our Lord, and because He loved them, re-buked for lukewarmness. I will not discuss to-day how it is possible for our Lord to say that He would prefer that they should be cold even, rather than lukewarm. I will not discuss to-day how it

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