The Danger of Indifference and Neglect

Have we forgotten about the seriousness of sin?  Friends, sin is destructive.  This must be taught repeatedly.  The world doesn’t think sin is destructive.  We laugh at it instead of being grieved and angered over it like God.  We accept it as harmless, just alternatives to tradition or as a mere matter of choice and personal preference.  Yet in the end, sin is destructive to Christians and to the church.  This is why Christians are commanded to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Ephesians 5:11).  Many professed followers of Christ will refuse to do this out of indifference, which results in neglecting to obey God’s will in Scripture concerning these matters.  The reason many do not fight the good fight of faith and abandon the frontlines of the spiritual battle in front of us is due to indifference and neglect.

Do we lack concern about that which God regards as holy?  Are we apathetic about that which is spiritual?  Have we reached the point where we can no longer weep over sin?  Do we view the work of the church as someone else’s responsibility and duty instead of our own?  How indifferent are we to the cause of Christ?

Negligence is closely related to indifference.  In fact, it cannot exist without apathy as its foundation.  It carries with it the idea that one knows what to do and is qualified to accomplish it…and yet chooses not to fulfill their responsibilities.  This may be due to willful ignorance, depression, persecution, unjust anger, arrogance, selfishness, family relationships or other relationships, worldly pursuits, or apathy.  Does any of this describe you or me?

Read Revelation 3:1-5.  The Sardis church was rebuked by Christ because of their indifference.  What’s worse, they had deceived themselves.  They talked a good talk about being active in God’s work…but in reality they were very far from it.  They had become so inactive in the work of the Lord that their hearts were dull to God’s Word and they were in danger spiritually.  Their spiritual senses had become dull.  This prevented them from caring for the spiritually sick, being evangelistic like they should, and earnestly contending for the faith.  They had fallen out of love with the Lord.  There was no spiritual pulse to be found.  They were simply going through the motions.  Are we like them?  Have we become spiritually dead even though others think we’re alive?

Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).  This is not optional if we want to go to heaven.  However, if we care more about other things, if we hear a message right out of the Bible but place higher credence on our own views, if going to church and Bible class is a burden and we would rather be elsewhere, or if we never meditate on Scripture during the week, then we don’t love God or his Word.  Plain and simple.

The righteous man’s “delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:2).  It is his “meditation all the day” (Psalm 119:97).  Could you or I honestly say that?

Here’s the attitude we need to have.  We must look at our fellow disciples of Christ and every opportunity to study the Bible and say, “Are we friends?  Because if we are and if you are concerned about my soul, give me the truth.  Don’t flatter me or praise my strengths while remaining silent about my shortcomings.  Do not fear that the truth will offend me.  Do not place our friendship above my salvation.  You won’t help me by ignoring my sins.  You won’t prove yourself more loving by being blind to my sins.  Give me the truth, regardless of how I react to it.  Only the truth of God’s Word, given to me with love but with firm authority, can make me free from sin.”

Is that your attitude, friend?  Is it mine?  Or are we more caught up in indifference and neglect than we think?  It’s something to think about (2 Corinthians 13:5).