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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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The word occurs only in Revelation 3:16 -‘because thou art lukewarm (χλιαρός), and neither hot nor cold, I will spew thee out of my mouth.’ As tepid water causes nausea, so lifeless religious profession leads to Divine disgust and rejection (cf. Ecce Homo11, 1873, ch. 13.). There is greater promise in men who are outside the pale of the Church than in those whose nominal allegiance to religion has created a false confidence, dulled all sense of need, and checked all spiritual growth (Revelation 3:15). The following verses (Revelation 3:17-18, for the local references of which see article ‘Laodicea’ in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols) ) suggest that this condition of tepid religion in Laodicea had been fostered by an excess of material prosperity. The Laodiceans had become so comfortable as not to need God, nor ought God to expect much more than patronage from go consequential a community. He must, in human fashion, be on good terms with a church with so satisfactory a worldly status, not inquiring too closely about their spiritual zeal. For an analysis of this lukewarmness see also F. W. Faber, Growth in Holiness, 1854, ch. 25.

H. Bulcock.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Lukewarm'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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