Have you ever noticed that at camp fires the best place to be is close to the fire? This is because the closer you are to the fire the warmer you become. In fact if you are so close to the fire that you are able to stoke it not only do you become warm but you will actually become hot by reason of the fire. And if you are not careful you can be burned by the flames. With this good reason dictates that the further you are from the fire the cooler you become. In fact you can be so far from the fire that you become cold. Yet you can be close enough to the fire to see the flames yet far enough away that it has no immediate impact on you. This is living on the fringes. You can see and appreciate the fire but the desire to be close to it is evasive.
Such is the case with many in and around the church. Some are the first to get to church because they have been taught to come to church from their youth. Yet there is no commitment to the things of God and no desire to serve Him. These are on the fringes because they see the hand of God working in the lives of others with great appreciation but there is no time for them to dedicate their lives to the things of God. You see there are some things that are more important such as the Sunday football games. So, these that are the first to get to church are also the first to leave because the dinner might burn and the kickoff cannot be missed. The fact is that these are the people that have been around the church so much that they have all the moves down and know all the right words. The problem is that they are lukewarm having a form of godliness while denying the power thereof (II Timothy 3:5).
And then there are others on the fringe. Consider for a moment some that work in the church. Some drive the church van. Others are deacons or ushers while even more sing on the choir or run the sound booth. While they perform many great works that is all that some of these do. Yes, they dress well and have the mannerisms of Christendom down perfectly. But the problem is that there is no love for God. Some of the workers not only lack salvation but the pretense is some evident that it literally reeks from their beings. That is they drink, smoke and even indulge in illicit drugs. Even more they live lifestyles that are far from godly expecting that their works will be sufficient to get them into the Kingdom. These fringe livers have fooled themselves because they are aware of the consequences of hypocrisy but that they rely on their works for salvific purposes (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Even while these are obvious people living on the fringes there are many others. For instance there are those that think it OK to interpret the Word of God based upon their own ideologies. Then those that think OK to lie without consequences. Others live contrary lives under the guises that God knows their hearts. Well, they are right because God does know their hearts. He knows that with their mouths they worship Him but their worship is for show only (Ezekiel 33:31; Matthew 15:8). These fringe loving people do not realize their destinies if they do not turn from their contrary ways.
So then, the danger of living on the fringes is that this life is not pleasing to God. He would rather that you be hot or cold. Those that are lukewarm will be regurgitated from His mouth (Revelation 3:16). You see living on the fringes is an affront to Christianity. Even more it is smacking God in the face. It is to say the sacrificial death Jesus is not good enough and that it is not necessary for redemption. Living on the fringes is a nullification of the Word of God not out of ignorance but out of choice and free will. To know the love of God and ignore it is to say that God’s love is not worth having. Living on the fringes is saying the fire is good for those that can feel it but not good enough for the rest.
When God says that He will spew the lukewarm out of His mouth He means that He wants nothing to do with them. It is much like a person sick to the stomach and that thing which has irritated the organ is forced out through his mouth. The waste that is rejected by the body is not to return because it has proven vile and no good for the body. Such are those that walk on the fringes of holiness. They will be rejected by Jesus (Matthew 7:22-23) thereby being rejected by the entire Godhead.
It is my prayer that those on the fringes get close to the fire. Don’t let hypocrisy ruin your chances of eternal life with God. The only other choice is eternal damnation. This is a choice that is unacceptable so in this New Year please get close to the fire. No, get so close that the fire burns you because eternal life was made for you.