Soul-Chilling Indifference (II)
Don R. Hastings
Some members of our Lord's church remark, "I find the services of the church to be dull and boring." "I just can't get interested in church services." Well, it is not surprising. It reminds me of a little quote I have seen in several bulletins that have crossed my desk. The little phrase goes something like this, "Interest in the worship services is like interest at a bank. The more you put in the more the interest grows."
People enjoy what they have been trained to appreciate. The musician enjoys a concert. The artist enjoys art. The spiritually-minded enjoys offering up spiritual worship, which is in "spirit and truth" (Ps. 122:1). However, the worldly-minded finds spiritual food to be unappetizing and the worship of God to be a waste of time. We can develop an appetite for the spiritual or carnal. Which shall it be? Will you become interested, or indifferent, to the Lord's work?
Indifference Is Manifested: In Our Worship
Indifference can be seen in those who forsake their assembling together with the saints (Heb. 10:25). Many think it is important to attend civic meetings, sales meetings, union meetings, etc., but not a meeting called for the purpose of glorifying God. When such meetings, or vacation time, conflict with the Lord's meeting, many will forsake the Lord and attend worldly gatherings, or attend to worldly matters (Mt. 6:33). What is the cause of this sin? Indifference!
Indifference is seen in those who do assemble with the saints. Our worship is in vain when our heart is not in it (Mt. 15:8). What is wrong with those who do not have their minds on the words of the song, prayer, and lesson being proclaimed? What is wrong with those who do not have their thoughts on the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ as they partake of His supper? Indifference!
Indifference Is Manifested: In Our Teaching
Many seem to be unconcerned that multitudes are dying in sin because they are ignorant of the Gospel (Mk. 16:15; Ac. 20:20). With every tick of the clock, it is estimated that 8 to 10 people depart this life and most of these are not prepared for the judgment. We talk with our acquaintances about everything except the Savior of men and the church for which He died. "Are you sowing the seed of the kingdom, brother?" How many have tried to arrange a Bible study in your home with friends and neighbors? How often do you try to teach the precious Word (Phi. 2:14-16)? How often do you pray for wisdom to help you do so?
Many are just plain indifferent about teaching, both publicly and privately, those who have already become children of God (Heb. 5:12-14). As a personal observation, I have found it difficult to persuade others to teach the Scriptures. Have you turned down the opportunity to teach a Bible class? Do you try to correct some brother or~sister who has turned aside from the Truth (Jas. 5:19,20)?
Indifference Is Manifested: On The Part Of Some To Know The Truth (John 8:32)
How many just fail to study (1 Tim. 3:15)? How many refuse to study the false doctrines which are troubling and dividing the Lord's church? This failure will lead to a departure from the Truth.
Indifference Is Manifested: By Our Conformity To The World
How many are willing to be different from this world in order to please Christ? How many of us have the spiritual courage to stand alone, if we must, to uphold the principles Jesus taught (Rom. 12:2; 13:11-14; 1 Jn. 2:15)? We may be conforming to the world in our thoughts, language, actions, habits, dress, etc.
Indifference Is Manifested: By Our Failure To Actively Support A Work Of The Church
Do we support verbally, and with our presence: gospel meetings; ladies Bible class; men's training class; visitation programs; etc? Or do we say, "Well, there is no need in having them because only a few will atend." Or, "It won't do any good."
The Cure For Indifference
1. Regular assembling, accompanied by daily Bible study and prayer (Acts 2:42).
2. Working steadfastly in the Master's service (1 Cor. 15:58; Tit. 3:1; Eph. 2:10; Jas. 2:24).
3. Associating with those who are "zealous of good works" (Phil. 3:17).
4. Strong preaching (2 Tim. 4:2; Ac. 20:26,27; Gal. 6:1).
5. Disciplining the indifferent (2 Thess. 3:6). We may fail by not withdrawing from the "disorderly," but the Lord will not fail to remove His fellowship from the indifferent (Rev. 2:5, 3:16).
The indifferent do not feel that they are opposing the Lord, but they are! "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth" (Mt. 12:30, ASV). How can we be indifferent to the Lord when we consider: He is our Creator; His great love for us; and, that the salvation of our soul, and that of others, depends upon our diligent service to Him? Are we fervent or indifferent in our service to the Lord (Rom. 12:11; Col. 3:23,24)?
Truth Magazine XIX: 56, pp. 887-888