Real Man 2: Mr. Zeal (Mark 3:17)

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Real Man #2 James—Mr. Zeal

Part 4 Real Men, from Mark 3:17


Men are zealous beings–they’re passionate about sports, work, cars, tools, their sons and especially their daughters.  In fact one daddy was so zealous about his little girl, when she came of age, he came up with his seven rules of dating–here they are.

Rule One:  HONKING

If you pull into my driveway and honk, you’d better be delivering a package, because you’re sure not picking up my daughter.


Do not touch my daughter in front of me.  You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck.  If you cannot keep your eyes off my daughter’s body, I will remove them.

Rule Three:  ON TIME

It is usually understood, in order for us to get to know each other we should talk about sports.  Please do not do this.  The only information I require from you is a clear declaration as to when my daughter will be safely back at my house.  And the only word I need from you on this subject is this single word–“early”.

Rule Four: ONLY HER

I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls.  However, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you.  If you make her cry, I will make you cry.


The following places are not appropriate to take my daughter–places where there are sofas, places where there is darkness, places where there is dancing, holding hands or happiness, places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, or anything other than overalls and a goose down parka zipped up to her throat.  Movies with a strong romantic theme are to be avoided–cartoon movies or movies which feature Bilbo or Yoda are okay.  Hockey games are also okay.  Old folks’ homes are even better.


Do not lie to me.  I may appear to be an overweight, middle-aged, dimwitted has-been.  But on issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless king of your universe.  If I ask you where you’re going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and to do so quickly–no stuttering or stammering.  I have a shotgun, a shovel, and five acres behind my house and I’m not afraid to use them.

Rule Seven:  BE AFRAID

Be very afraid.  It takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car in the driveway for a chopper coming in over a rice paddy near Hanoi.  When the Agent Orange starts acting up, the voices in my head frequently tell me to clean my guns, while I wait for you to bring my daughter home.  As soon as you pull into the driveway, you should exit the car with both hands in plain sight.  Say the perimeter password, announce in a clear voice you have brought my daughter home safely and early, then return to your car–there is no need for you to come inside.  Remember, the camouflaged face in the window is mine.

Men are zealous–the only question is, are we zealous for the right things.  Are we passionate for Christ?  Webster’s dictionary says zeal is an eagerness and ardent interest in pursuit of something–an intense, driving, overmastering feeling or conviction.

About Christ–what do Christians say about zeal?

In things pertaining to enthusiasm, no man is sane who does not know how to be insane on proper occasions.  It is better to wear out than to rust out.  William Carey said, “Attempt great things for God; expect great things from God.”  It is easier to cool down a fanatic than to warm up a corpse.  Unless a man undertakes more than he can possibly do, he will never do all that he can.

Charles Spurgeon said, “If by excessive zeal we die before reaching the average age of man, worn out in the Masters’ service, then glory to God, we shall have so much less of earth, and so much more of heaven.”  Friends, you need zeal for Christ–and we need zeal at FBC!  Why?  Because our Lord Jesus Christ is zealous–zeal is a Christlike, godly, normal quality.  In John 2:17 the apostle wrote, “His disciples remembered that it was written [of Christ], ‘Zeal for Your house will consume Me.’”

A normal fruit of the Spirit in your life is to be zeal—it is not for the exceptional Christian, but the normal believer.  No born again believer runs to win, fights the good fight, presses on, or works out his salvation without zeal.  Zeal is the fire that keeps a believer hot, and not in the uncertain, unknown, non-assured position of being lukewarm.  Zeal is essential to your spiritual health, your assurance of salvation, the cultivation of your first love and your life with Christ.  Every single Christian needs zeal, and the Church today is dying a slow death of compromise and convenience because of the lack of men and women of zeal for Christ.

It is true, from the New Testament we know zeal can be misdirected, misapplied, off-center and potentially very dangerous.  The Jews in Romans 10:2 had zeal, but not for Christ.  “For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.”  Paul in Galatians 1:14 had zeal, but not for God’s Word, “And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.”  But still, in spite of its dangers, Christians today need the fire of zealous hearts.  Pray with me right now that you would become a man or woman of great zeal for Christ.

Open your Bibles to Mark 3, and follow along from the outline in your bulletin as we continue our series on real men.  We’re working our way through the gospel of Mark, word-by-word, and we’ve come to the section where Jesus picks his twelve disciples.  These verses enable us to focus on each one of these men, and learn what kind of men God uses—real men.  They were ordinary men who became extraordinary.  They were uneducated types who became scholars.  They were fishermen who became fishers of men.

And today you will meet the zealous disciple, James the son of Zebedee.  Real aloud with me verses 13 to 17, “And He went up on the mountain and summoned those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him. 14 And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach, 15 and to have authority to cast out the demons.16 [And He appointed the twelve:] Simon (to whom He gave the name Peter), 17 and James, the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James (to them He gave the name Boanerges, which means, ‘Sons of Thunder’).”

It is the mid-point of Jesus’s public ministry.  The religious leaders are plotting to kill Christ in verse 6, so He moves His ministry from the synagogues to the outdoors, but the crowds are so-o huge they could crush Christ.  And Christ is now unable to minister to everyone’s need.  So the Lord formulates His team of twelve men to be with them, and to be sent out for Him. And Christ gives the twelve authority.  They will help meet the demands of the multitudes by preaching the Gospel to even more people and casting out demons—and later even heal.  Ultimately, it’d be this twelve who’d continue the work of Christ after His death for sin, resurrection from the dead, and ascension into heaven.  The Church, the body of Christ, would be born.

Of the twelve, last time we met Peter, Mr. Initiator.  Today we meet James, Mr. Zeal.  Peter the leader, now James the fireball.  Read again Mark 3:17, “And James, the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James (to them He gave the name Boanerges, which means, ‘Sons of Thunder’).”   What do you know about James?

#1  The Person of Zeal

This is not James, the author of the book of James–that was the Lord’s half-brother.  Nor is this James, the son of Alpheus of verse 18, the multi-named apostle.  This is James, fisherman, the brother of John, the son of Zebedee.  Of the three apostles in Jesus’s closest inner circle, James is the least familiar to us.  The Bible is almost silent about the details of his life.  He never appears as a stand-alone character in the Gospel accounts, but he is always paired with his younger and better-known brother, John.  The only time he is mentioned by himself is in the book of Acts, where his martyrdom is described.

This relative silence about James is ironic since, from a human perspective, he might have seemed to be the logical one to dominate the group.  Between James and John, James was the eldest.  (That is probably why his name always appears first when those two names appear together).

And between the two sets of brothers, the family of James and John seems to be more prominent–more than the family of Peter and Andrew.  This is hinted at by the fact that James and John are often referred to simply as “the sons of Zebedee”, signifying that Zebedee was a man of some importance.  Zebedee’s prestige seems to have come from his financial success and his family lineage.  He was well-to-do.  His fishing business was large enough to employ multiple hired servants (Mark 1:20).

James’s mother was likely Salome of Mark 15:40.  Most believe Salome is Jesus’s mother’s sister (Mary’s sister) which, if true, makes James and John cousins of Jesus.  Plus Zebedee’s entire family had enough status that the apostle John “was known to the high priest,” and that’s how John was able to get Peter admitted to the high priest’s courtyard on the night of Jesus’s arrest (John 18:15–16).  There is some evidence from the early church record that Zebedee was a Levite and closely related to the high priest’s family.

Whatever the reason for Zebedee’s prominence, it is clear from Scripture he was a man of importance, and his family’s reputation reached from Galilee all the way to the high priest’s household in Jerusalem.  James, as the elder brother from such a prominent family, might have felt he ought to have been the chief apostle, which might explain why there were so many disputes about “which of them should be considered the greatest” (Luke 22:24).  But James never did actually take first place among the apostles except in one regard–he was the first to be martyred.

Yet James is significant in two of the lists of apostles–his name comes immediately after Peter’s (Mark 3:16–19; Acts 1:13).  So there is good reason to assume he was a zealous leader, and probably second in influence next to Peter.  Of course James also figures prominently in the close inner circle of three.  He, Peter, and John were the only ones Jesus permitted to go with Him when He raised Jairus’s daughter from the dead (Mark 5:37).  The same three witnessed Jesus’s glory on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1).  James was among four disciples who questioned Jesus privately on the Mount of Olives (Mark 13:3).  And James, John and Peter were urged by Christ to pray with Him privately in Gethsemane (Mark 14:33).

So as a member of the small inner circle, James was privileged to witness Jesus’s power in the raising of the dead, he saw Christ’s glory when Jesus was transfigured, he saw Christ’s sovereignty in the way the Lord unfolded the future to them on the Mount of Olives, and he saw the Savior’s agony in the garden.  All of these events prepared him for the suffering and eventual martyrdom he would ultimately face.

Look at verse 17 again.  Why does Mark say, “(to them He gave the name Boanerges, which means, ‘Sons of Thunder’).”?  Jesus literally placed upon James another name.  Why is James a Son of Thunder?  Turn to Luke 9:51.

#2  The Passion of Zeal

In Luke 9, you get a look into the heart and passion of James.  Jesus and the disciples are headed toward Jerusalem for His final Passover, which would culminate in His death for sins on a cross.  They decide to take the shortest route, which is to travel through Samaria.  Most Jews avoided Samaria all together, and would literally travel miles around this region to get to Jerusalem.  Why is that?  There were two reasons.

The Samaritans were a mixed race, and they practiced a corrupted faith.  Hundreds of years before during the Assyrian captivity, the northern tribe of Jews in this region intermarried with Assyrians.  As a result, they developed a corrupted form of idol-worshipping Judaism.  Second Kings 17:33 says, “They feared the Lord and served their own gods according to the custom of the nations from among whom they had been carried away into exile.”

Now instead of going to the Temple in Jerusalem for festivals, they worshiped at a local mountain called Gerazim.  Remember the Samaritan woman at the well?  In John 4:20 she said, “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.”  All of this ignited a massive hatred between Jew and Samaritan.

So when Jesus and his men traveled through Samaria on the way to Passover, they were treated badly by the Samaritans in Luke 9:51 to 53.  “When the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem; and He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make arrangements for Him. But they did not receive Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem.”

The problem was not lack of room at the inn–the problem was the Samaritans were being deliberately inhospitable.  They hated the Jews and their worship as much as the Jews hated them and their worship.  Jesus of course was nothing but kind and gracious to the Samaritans.  He healed the Samaritan’s leprosy in Luke 17:6.  He accepted water from the Samaritan woman in John 4.  And the Samaritan was the hero of the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10.

So this refusal to allow them to eat and sleep in their region, even for pay, was a heavy, rude blow to the disciples.  And zealous James had enough.  James said in Luke 9:54, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”  Some manuscripts even add, “Do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven ‘like Elijah’?”   James is making an allusion to Elijah in 2 Kings chapter 1 here.

Samaria was the center of Baal worship, and when Elijah the prophet refused to deal with the idolatrous Baal worshipping king of Samaria, the king sent soldiers to arrest Elijah three separate times.  The first two ended badly for the soldiers, since Elijah called down fire from heaven and destroyed the first two teams of fifty.  Second Kings 1:10, “Elijah replied to the captain of fifty, ‘If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.’ Then fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.”  Fifty men, two separate times were utterly consumed by fire—one hundred!  They were reduced to ashes before his eyes.  That is why the third group came humbly, and Elijah actually went with them.

Just like that, James the Son of Thunder wants to call down fire on these inhospitable, idolatrous Samaritan half-breeds.  After all, Elijah wasn’t punished for His actions.  Elijah wasn’t stripped of his prophet’s credentials, nor was Elijah “grounded” for burning up these false worshippers.  Those Assyrians were the enemies of Israel, and now the Samaritans, this mongrel race of Jew and pagan, these corrupters of the true faith, the distorters of genuine temple worship are rejecting the One who is greater than the Temple itself.  Burn ‘em, burn ‘em all–stoke up the fire and turn ‘em to ash!

James likened himself to Elijah, who called down fire from heaven.  This is most likely how James got the title “Son of Thunder”.  While Andrew quietly brought different people to the Savior, James wanted to torch them.  Flame on—toast ‘em, God.  You gotta’ love James and John’s loyalty to their Master.  They are sticking up for Christ, speaking in support of Christ, defending Christ, and loving Christ with this response.

Like a friend of mine who kept listening to a table of people at a restaurant use the Lord’s name in vain.  He got up and said, “Excuse me, my name is Sam.  I love Jesus Christ more than life itself.  If you wouldn’t mind, would you please use my name as a swear word, and please stop using Christ’s name in that manner.  Thank you.”

Plus, you gotta’ love their faith in Jesus.  They believed Christ was instantly capable of calling down fire from heaven–which He is.  They trusted Him to be able to do anything He pleases.

Yet look at our Lord’s response in Luke 9:55 to 56, “But He turned and rebuked them and said, ‘You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”

Without truth and love, zeal can be a deadly thing.  Without relationship and grace, zeal is always off-center.  Jesus corrects James’s misguided zeal by reminding him of his mission of mercy to proclaim the Gospel, the good news–God alone can save you from your sins.  Jesus says that’s why I’ve come.  Our Lord rebuked their spirit–their zeal was impure.  It was mixed with the flesh, unrighteous anger and partiality.  So why did Jesus come?

Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

John 3:17, “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”

Mark 2:17, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Matthew 9:13, “‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

This is the time for salvation, not searing.  One day Jesus will indeed judge the people of this world, and all those who are not in Christ will experience eternal torment in hell—but not now.  Do you realize what happened to the same Samaritan people later when Philip preached to them in Acts 8:5 to 8?  “Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them. 6 The crowds with one accord were giving attention to what was said by Philip, as they heard and saw the signs which he was performing. 7 For in the case of many who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice; and many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 So there was much rejoicing in that city.”

It doesn’t seem a stretch to imagine that some, who were delivered by the preaching of the Gospel through Philip, were the same ones rescued from the fire James wanted to call down.  This misguided zeal of James would one day be molded into a missionary heart by our Lord.  Luke 9:56 finishes, “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”  And they went on to another village–they moved on.  The Lord rebuked James’s selfish and intolerant heart, and fashioned his zeal into a passion for the Gospel and salvation.

Turn to Mark 10.  Another reason for the title Son of Thunder and the zeal of James is found in Mark 10:35 to 37, “James and John, the two sons of Zebedee, came up to Jesus, saying, ‘Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask of You.’ 36 And He said to them, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ 37 They said to Him, ‘Grant that we may sit, one on Your right and one on Your left, in Your glory.’”

James wants a place of glory, a place of fame, a position of honor.  This was a selfish ambition for glory.  Christ’s response is in 38 to 40, “But Jesus said to them, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?’ 39 They said to Him, ‘We are able.’ And Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I drink you shall drink; and you shall be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized. 40 ‘But to sit on My right or on My left, this is not Mine to give; but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.’”

Matthew’s gospel informs us that the Zebedee boys actually got their mom (Jesus’s aunt) involved in asking for the best thrones.  We’re related, we’re zealous, we’re inner circle, we deserve this.  So Jesus reminds them that suffering is a prelude to glory.  But sadly, the damage was done–the rest of the apostles resented them.  There is a needed place for zeal in spiritual leadership, but it must be tempered by humility and graciousness.

John MacArthur writes, “There is nothing inherently wrong with zeal. Remember that Jesus Himself made a whip and cleansed the temple. … Much of what James saw Jesus do probably helped stoke his zeal—such as when the Lord rebuked the Jewish leaders, when He cursed the cities of Chorazon and Bethsaida, and when He … destroyed demonic powers.  Zeal is a virtue when it is truly zeal for righteousness’ sake.  But sometimes zeal is less than righteous. Zeal without wisdom is dangerous.  Zeal mixed with insensitivity is often cruel.  Whenever zeal disintegrates into uncontrolled passion, it can be deadly.  And James sometimes had a tendency to let such misguided zeal get the better of him.”

What was the suffering before glory God designed for James?  When persecution arose in the Early Church, Herod went after James first.  In Acts 12:2, James was the first apostle martyred, and he had James the brother of John put to death with a sword.  This is the only place in Scripture where James appears alone, even apart from his brother John.  When tensions were rising between Jews and Christians, in order to score political points with the Jews, Herod Agrippa 1, had James killed.

When Herod saw how much it pleased the Jews, he next arrested Peter, who was jailed, but then released by an angel.  Why James first?  Simple–because James was zealous, on fire, outspoken, bold, out front, passionate and hot for Christ.  Zealous Christians are the first to get hit, be criticized and attacked–which is why too many believers stop being zealous.

Ultimately, James’s zeal was tempered by sensitivity and grace.  As he grew, he’d learned to control his anger, bridle his tongue, eliminate his thirst for revenge and lose his throne ambition.  The Lord transformed James’s selfish ambition into a model of selfless service.  The implication of his martyrdom being first was that James never lost his zeal.  When Christ’s enemies were looking to hurt the cause of Christ, they would look for the one who was the most outspoken, most on fire, and most passionate.  The first man they attacked was James–the zealous one.

The Church fathers seem to indicate James never lost his zeal, but saw it focused toward truth, grace and love as he sought to fulfill the Lord’s mission of proclaiming the good news of salvation.  Early Church writings say the soldier who brought James to be beheaded was so awestruck by James’s zeal he fell down at his feet and begged forgiveness for the part he had played in James’s death.  James lifted the man up, embraced and kissed him, and said, “Peace my son, peace be to thee, and the pardon of thy faults.”  It’s been said the man was transformed, publicly confessed Christ, and was beheaded alongside of James.  Are you a zealous Christian?   Are you hot for Christ?  Then honestly evaluate your life in light of . . .

#3  The Principles of Zeal

First  Zeal is a main source of influence

Just one live coal can set a whole stack of coal on fire.  The supreme need of any church is men on fire for Christ.  If I had to choose between a man of burning, passionate enthusiasm with a potential for failure on the one hand, and a cold compromiser on the other hand, I’ll take the man with the passion every time.  It’s easier to cool down a fanatic, than to warm up a corpse.  Why–because zeal always results in influence.  Want your wife to be a godly woman?  Then be zealous for Christ.  Want your children to desire Christ above all?  Be filled with zeal.  Want to see God use you to make an impact in other believers?  Be zealous for Christ, His Word, His Church and His mission.  Want to impact non-Christians for God’s glory?  Be zealous about Christ.

If you’re not excited about Christ, then don’t expect your wife and children to be.  If you’re not committed to faithfully attend church, give sacrificially to His purposes, serve others consistently, then don’t expect your family or friends to be interested in Christ.  Your job, men, is not to cheer your kids on at their games–your job is to model a zealous commitment to Christ for your kids.  More than watching them play, they need to watch you serve Christ.  And the scary truth is this–each of you are zealous.  Every single one of you is zealous–the only question is this.  If it is not Christ, it is something else.  Some are zealous for money, fame, sports, movies, job, pleasure, games, eating, whatever.  And whatever you are zealous for is your greatest influence.

Second  Zeal has obvious fruit

Zeal is seen in your use of time, money, your faithfulness and heart enthusiasm.  Don’t leave here today thinking you can be zealous and it will not show in how you live.  When you are zealous for Christ, it will dramatically affect your commitment level.  Paul was one who labored to the point of exhaustion.  The New Testament calls every Christian here, young and old, to run to win, press on, fight the good fight and work out your salvation.

Have you ever labored to the point of exhaustion in ministry?  Are you running to win?  Are you pressing on in your walk with Christ?  Living by faith means you sometimes take on a task you know is God’s will, but you’re not certain how you’ll be able to complete it.  Again, unless a man undertakes more than he can possibly do, he will never do all he can.  Are you faithfully giving, serving, attending, shepherding, discipling and reaching the lost?  True zeal has obvious fruit.

Third  Zeal must be directed, checked and feared

Directed by the Spirit of God, checked by the Word of God and the people of God, and feared by your own heart.  Zeal without sound doctrine and intimacy with Christ is like a sword in the hand of a lunatic.  Zeal is like fire in the chimney–it is one of our best servants, but out of the chimney it can be a dangerous enemy.  Zeal without the knowledge of truth and intimacy with Christ is like fire without light–it will burn and do damage.

Paul, before salvation, was one who Philippians 3:6 says, “as to zeal, a persecutor of the church”—that’s bad zeal.  Zeal with insensitivity is so cruel.  James had to get from the place where he said, “Just torch them, Lord, if they don’t cooperate,” to the place where he deeply cared about people.  My heart continues to be broken by the damage done by “confident, reasonable, convincing and convinced-they’re-doing-God’s-will” so-called Christian zealots who are wrong.  Check your zeal, friends–when you start distorting God’s Word or ruining God’s people or harming God’s Church, it’s misdirected.

Fourth  Zeal comes from a transformed heart

Do you remember Jehu, the king who drove his chariot fast?  He was passionate about wiping out the evil house of Ahab, and zealous about sweeping away all Baal worship.  Yet in his zeal he was bloodthirsty and cruel.  And 2 Kings 10:31 says Jehu did not walk in the law of the Lord with all his heart.  Zeal comes from a transformed heart.  In contrast to Jehu, King Josiah had genuine godly zeal in 2 Kings 23:19 to 25.  “Josiah also removed all the houses of the high places.  Moreover, Josiah removed the mediums and the spiritists and . . . the idols and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might confirm the words of the law. . . .  Before him there was no king like him who turned to the Lord with all His heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses.”

True zeal finds it’s source in a heart that has been made new.  True zeal comes from those who live under God’s grace daily.  True zeal springs from a life totally dependent upon the Holy Spirit.  Zeal does not come from a life that tries to be zealous, but from a life that surrenders all to Christ–a life that allows Christ to control our thinking, actions and speech.  A life that no longer lives, but Christ lives in me and through me—a life that knows it is only a vessel for God to work through . . . a tool for God to use.

This week surrender to Christ every morning and throughout the day, and by next Sunday you’ll be far more zealous for Christ.  You can’t save yourself nor sanctify yourself.  Surrender to Christ.

Fifth  Lack of Zeal is a spiritual warning

Turn to Revelation 3:14 to 18 and look at the warning given to the church at Laodicea and to us, “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: . . . 15 ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.  17 Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, 18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.’”

Friends, the cold are unsaved, the hot are saved and the lukewarm are not the saved who are cooling spiritually.  The lukewarm are the unsaved who think they can be saved, even though they don’t live hot.  Notice the text–God never spits His children out of His mouth.  God never describes his true children as wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.  And God’s true children don’t need white garments–nor are they called naked and can’t see.

The non-zealous, marginal churchgoer is in danger of being lukewarm, and lukewarm means you are unsaved.  The Church is filled with wheat and tares, saved and unsaved.  The Church has lukewarm and hot, with occasional cold visitors.  Many people hear the Gospel and spring up, only to burn out or choke out, still attending church, but with no passion and no fruit.  The lack of zeal is a spiritual warning.  Today is the day for you to turn to Christ.  Be warned friends–genuine Christians are zealous.  Real men are hot for Christ.  Let’s pray.

About Chris Mueller

Chris is the teaching pastor at Faith Bible Church - Murrieta.

1 Comment

  1. […] Sunday, Chris spoke on Mark 3: 17 and talked about the zeal of the apostle James. Near the end of his sermon, Chris said that “we […]