Jesus Christ gave His life so souls could be saved
I’m not 100 percent sure about this, but if I was a betting man, I’d bet that the thing God hates the most is Christian lethargy.
When you have no idea what the Truth is and you’re not all that sure God really exists, you will be attracted to the things in this world because that’s what you can see.
I understand that, I really do.
I don’t expect an atheist to be on fire for God – and if he was, I’d figure he was either really crazy or trying to pull some stunt.
I figure God looks at it the same way because He says He would rather you were hot or cold, but if you are lukewarm, He will vomit you out of His mouth.
(Spit is one thing; vomit is a whole ‘nother level.)
That doesn’t leave us much of a choice, unless you want to choose the "cold" option, but as near as I can figure, "cold" is going to be rubbing shoulders with "lukewarm" as they both burn in Hell.
Maybe the temperature will be a little bit different between the two, I don’t know, but I’m not so curious that I want to find out.
Zephaniah put a different way.
He said God was going to destroy those who have not sought the Lord nor inquired for Him and he likens it to wine.
I don’t know how they do it today, but wine used to ferment with all the stuffings in it – the grape pulp, skin, seeds, etc.
The lees are the sediment that forms during that fermentation and eventually the lees settle to the bottom where they harden.
In other words, these are people that are "in the wine." so to speak.
They know about God, have been partakers of the wine of God and understand and know the Truth, but they are just floating — Ho hum, La de dah, (yawn) — slowly drifting in the bottle, little by little making their way to the bottom where their lethargy will finally harden their hearts.
At that point they will no longer be part of the wine.
Zephaniah says these are people who say God will not do good and neither will He do evil.
They may acknowledge the Truth, but they don’t believe in judgment because God is a God of Love and He would never exact the terribleness of judgment on us because He’s our Daddy.
Same lie Satan told Eve in the Garden of Eden: "Hath God said?"
"Oh no, don’t worry about that. God wouldn’t really kill you."
Well go check for our ancestral couple under "A" in the phone book and tell me what their address is, will you?
But the real showstopper for me is nestled in the midst of Zephaniah 1:12 where God says He will search for these bums.
He is hunting them!
It’s bad enough to show up at judgment when you are 11 cents short of a dime, but for God to actually go on the hunt for you?
I don’t ever want God that mad at me.
So what is the big deal?
Why is being apathetic so bad?
What is it that ticks God off so much He will actually go looking for you to destroy you?
After all, most of these people are just good ol’ church folks and are really nice people.
While they may not be exactly energetic and I sure wouldn’t call them on fire for God, they do go to church.
And while they may not be squeaky clean, they don’t seem to be that bad.
So what’s the problem?
A person who is "settled on his lees" is one who, through spiritual idleness and ease, has gradually become morally indifferent so that sin doesn’t seem so bad anymore.
He becomes tolerant of his own lack of spiritual drive, because he no longer really cares and ultimately becomes hardened to God and sin.
In the process, he becomes blind to his spiritual state and is, in all reality, a Christian Atheist.
But Jesus Christ gave His life on the Cross so souls could be saved.
He shed blood for us — that’s how much He cared.
When we dismiss the poignancy of that sacrifice and breeze over it as if it was some academic precept, then we find ourselves guilty of trampling the very blood that was shed to save our souls, and far more guilty at the Judgment Bar of God than the sinner who never got saved and never understood the reality of Christ’s sacrifice.
At least they made an honest choice.
I argued in prayer one time, "But God, they’re really nice people!"
And the answer came back, "I will spew the lukewarm out of my mouth … and you think they’re nice?"
"If they are so nice, why aren’t they cut to the heart for lost souls?
"Why are they more infatuated with the world and its prosperity than the sufferings of the Cross?
"Why don’t they care?
When you allow yourself to be settled on your lees, you begin a separating process which will end with you on the bottom of the bottle, no longer part of the wine of God.