By Donnie V. Rader
What can a church do when there are members who are indifferent? What can those who are indifferent do to overcome their problem? Let’s consider the Bible answer:
1. Preach and warn. Paul wrote, “Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Col. 1:28). This verse mentions a goal and how it is to be accomplished.
The goal: “. . . that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” The one who is perfect is mature; not in- different. How it is to be accomplished: “Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man . . .”
Preaching is God’s remedy. It is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). We do not need gimmicks, fancy buildings, social programs, entertainment or activities for the whole family to interest those who are indifferent. We just need to preach and warn! Jesus said to the lukewarm church at Laodicea, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten” (Rev. 3:19). Soft soap preaching won’t do it.
2. Repent. Churches that had a problem with indifference were told to repent. Ephesus was told, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works . . .” (Rev. 2:5). Laodicea was told, “Therefore be zealous and repent” (Rev. 3:19).
Repentance involves a change of mind. It is prompted by godly sorrow (2 Cor. 7:10) and results in a change of life (Rom. 6). All of this is found in the letter to the church at Ephesus (Rev. 2:5). (a) Godly sorrow: “remember there- fore from where you have fallen,”( b) A change of mind: “repent,” (c) A change of life: “and do the first works.”
If you recognize the signs of indifference in your life, you need to repent!
3. Study. Faith is based upon the word of God (Rom. 10:17). The more we study, the stronger our faith becomes (2 Thess. 1:3). The stronger our faith is, the more indifference fades. Study involves more than a casual or quick reading of a chapter or few verses. It consists of reading the text, meditating upon it, learning what it means, and seeing how it applies.
4. Be a doer of the word. It is not enough to learn what the Bible says, we must be doers of the word and not hearers only (Jas. 1:21-25). We must activate what faith we have (Jas. 2). One who is indifferent obviously has a weak faith. However, if he will use what faith he has, it will grow. It is like exercising a weak muscle. The more we use it, the stronger it becomes. The more we exercise our faith, the easier it is to continue in the practice.
Indifference, by its very nature, is a hard problem to battle. However, it can be overcome.