“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15,16).
THE BLEAKEST CONDITION OF THE HUMAN HEART IS THAT IN WHICH WE FEEL NOTHING, NOT EVEN ABOUT GOD. If we absolutely couldn’t feel anything at all, we would be beyond any hope.
The strongest language in Scripture is reserved for the dull of heart, those who simply don’t care about God one way or the other. For that reason, it is sobering to observe that our world is a world gone gray. Modern life is all but defined by nihilistic boredom and indifference. Jaded as we are, most of our acute social ills are symptoms of a chronic emptiness of heart. We have become, as T. S. Eliot warned, “hollow men.” And this hollowness, this world-weary nothingness, is frightening in its implications. We are never closer to hell than when our hearts feel . . . nothing.
We often think of the “hardened” heart as one that is angry and defiant in its self-will. But the hardest heart of all is the one that no longer feels anything, not even hatred. God gave us hearts that were meant to respond. When they no longer do so, when quite natural feelings of love and gratitude are not evoked even by the acts of God, we’re in grave danger. It is good to be warned concerning those who are “without natural affection” (Romans 1:31 KJV) and those who are “past feeling” (Ephesians 4:19). These terms may sound extreme, but this is where we’re all headed if we don’t let our hearts respond to God as they were meant to.
One of the most memorable phrases in the King James translation of the Bible is found in Hebrews 4:15. There it says that Christ, as our great High Priest, can be “touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” This is an astounding thought. Jesus Christ feels our infirmities and moves toward us in love. But what do we feel? Toward whom do we move? Do we experience our faith as something both intellectually believed and emotionally felt? If our hearts don’t feel anything, it is “high time to awake out of sleep” (Romans 13:11). It is later than we think.
“In the world it is called tolerance, but in hell it is called despair . . . the sin that believes in nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die” (Dorothy Sayers).