A question that should push us all to study more carefully is: Are we mistaking the echo of our own assumptions for the meaning of God's Word?
If you haven't read it yet, Reenacting the Way (of Jesus) unwraps the commonly misunderstood messages of the Gospels. Jesus' healing miracles, turning water into wine, feeding the 5,000 and calming a storm all lose their meaning when we reduce them to miraculous moments that revealed Jesus' divinity. They had very specific meanings for their original audience not just some generic meaning for everyone.
The same miscommunication happens when we chase the futuristic relevance of the book of Revelation rather than the reason John recorded it for his ancient audience. We miss Jesus' personalized message for his first century audience in Asia Minor. Let’s stop doing this. Flattening the Bible's first meaning loosens the anchor that holds it from floating down the river of your imagination.
So let's talk about a specific example: being lukewarm. In the popular passage of Revelation 3:15-16, Jesus says, “I wish you were cold or hot, but because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth.” Why does Jesus want people made of extreme temperatures, like hot or cold, or else he will discard them?