I saw an altar on fire. The flames towered so high the sacrifice could not be seen. The altar was made of stones and earth but they burned like tinder, snapping and crackling.
Elijah’s Prayer in I Kings 18:37-38 “Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that You, O LORD, are God, and that You have turned their hearts back again.” 38Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The LORD, He is God; the LORD, He is God.”…
In contemporary terms this altar is the heart of individuals who have sold themselves completely to a Savior Who gave His life for them. Their passion for Him flames so high that even the stones and rammed earth are burning intensely. What the pagan worshippers need to see is this intensity. Words are completely inadequate. Nor is this passion about words or works. It is the life lived in abandonment that speaks eloquently to those watching.
Revelation 3:15-17 (NIV) “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”
This church/These believers nauseate Jesus. They make Him sick! So He “spits” them out of His mouth. The Greek word is emeo* means “to vomit.” Another word, ptuo, means “to spit” that John could have used if that is what he meant. A lukewarm church/believer makes Jesus vomit. He rejects this kind of Christianity. C. S. Lewis said, “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and, if true, of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important.” [C. S. Lewis,” Christian History (65.19.1)]
*Strong’s Concordance Transliteration: emeó 1692 eméō – properly, vomit (MM); (figuratively) repulsed, showing utter rejection (desiring total separation); “to reject with extreme disgust”.