Yes, lukewarm is better than cold Christianity, based on the misuse of cold and lukewarm in many churches. I grew up being taught that according to Revelation 3:16, God would prefer for you to be completely rebellious to Him than be a “lukewarm Christian.” The implication is that God would rather have you “quit faking it,” by going to church on the weekend but living the life of a sinner throughout the week. I guess a Holy God would want you to live in utter debauchery than to try, but not hard enough, and continue missing the mark. That’s pretty much what this teaching boils down to. Here’s where I got confused as a kid, though: the will of God for you is holiness (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Unless He doesn’t understand His own will, these teaching is ridiculous. Unless He contradicts Himself, this doesn’t work.
God, through John, was making reference to the water system of Laodicea, Hierapolis, and Colossae. Hierapolis had hot springs, used for medicinal purposes; Colossae had cold springs, which were refreshing; Laodicea had tepid, lukewarm water that was good for nothing. That’s the lukewarm that nauseates God. God doesn’t want you to be useless. He wants you to reach sin sick world with Jesus Christ, and He wants you to be a source of refreshment to weary people in the world (which, by the way, we as Christians have been traditionally horrible at). When God said He preferred for you to be cold, He didn’t mean rebellious or carnal. So don’t quit trying to please God, because you know you will fail. He wouldn’t prefer that at all.
And that is pretty much sums up week 2 of the mythbusters series in REACH Student Ministries.