The worst state possible for a human being is not being an atheist in the grip of the devil but being a fallen-away Christian, a backslider, a lukewarm believer. Jesus prefers that a person be an atheist rather than a lukewarm Christian (see Rv 3:15). Lukewarmness nauseates Jesus (Rv 3:16). "When men have fled a polluted world by recognizing the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and then are caught up and overcome in pollution once more, their last condition is worse than their first" (2 Pt 2:20).
The writer of Hebrews also indicates Jesus' revulsion towards lukewarmness: "When men have once been enlightened and have tasted the heavenly gift and become sharers in the Holy Spirit, when they have tasted the good word of God and powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to make them repent again, since they are crucifying the Son of God for themselves and holding Him up to contempt" (Heb 6:4-6).
Although this seems to give little hope of repentance, Jesus does call the lukewarm to repent. He commands: "Repent! Here I stand, knocking at the door. If anyone hears Me calling and opens the door, I will enter his house and have supper with him, and he with Me" (Rv 3:19-20). Let's repent of anything less than a 100% commitment to the Lord. Let us obey the first and greatest commandment, and love the Lord with all our hearts, all our minds, all our strength, and all our souls (Lk 10:27).
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from October 1, 2008 through November 30, 2008.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 1, 2008.