“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” (Revelation 3:19)
“Be zealous!” the definition of zealous: “Warmly engaged or ardent in the pursuit of an object.”
But what he wants the church to be zealous about is repenting under the strong rebuke, because he is correcting them in love. He wants them to repent (meaning to turn away from) their coldness towards fully obeying Jesus, and their lack of concern for lost souls. Most people who have attended church for years don’t believe they need to repent because they are long-term members of the church.
“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons…”
If you are calling yourself a Christian, but yet you still sin, you are being unfaithful to your savior. If you are doing this, and you don’t feel any guilt in your heart, you have certainly drifted far away from God; even though you may be a regular church goer.
“Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” (Hebrews 12:5-14)
The Lord rebukes so strongly because he loves us! And he expects a demonstration of sincere repentance, therefore “be zealous” about repenting! The lukewarm condition is so strong that people who are made aware of their condition move slowly, with reservations, and definitly without the earnestness of one who recognizes the urgency of the situation. We need to be urgent and desparate – recognizing it is our only hope, and also the only hope of rescuing billions of souls that are lost!