When Jesus says in Revelation 3:15, “I would thou were cold or hot,” He is saying that He does not want us to be lukewarm. Some translations say, “I would rather you be hot or cold but not lukewarm.” That little phrase “I would rather” is the difference between someone who is against you and someone who is for you.
If anyone is going to say “I would rather” about things in my life, I want it to be Jesus. When He says, “I would rather you be on fire for God,” you can be assured that He is releasing an all-out campaign, pulling out all available resources of heaven, on your behalf to turn your lukewarmness to fire — to bring you back!
We see Jesus say in verse 16, “Because thou art lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will . . . .” I love the fact that Jesus said, “I will . . .” because He could have said “I have.”
It is good news for lukewarm people that He is planning ways to bring them back into the fire of God. It is good news because even though He despises that taste in His mouth, His love is grand. The wrath-quenching love of the Lamb of God has been so poured out upon us that even when we are far from what He desires us to be, He hasn’t spit us out.
The early church fathers called this the forbearance of God. What is forbearance? It is God’s patience and bearing with us even in our lukewarmness. He doesn’t love your lukewarmness but He loves you. His grace, His plans, His power all are available right now to recapture your heart as you respond in obedience to Jesus Christ.
Jesus also said to the lukewarm, “I’m standing at the door of your heart and I’m knocking . . . and if any man opens the door, I will come in to him” (see Revelation 3:20).