OceanSide church of Christ
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Victor M. Eskew
A. The Bible contains several passages that teach us to be content.
1. I Timothy 6:6
But godliness with contentment is great gain.
2. I Timothy 6:8
And having food and raiment, let us be therewith content.
3. Hebrews 13:5a
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have…
B. The contentment that is urged upon us involves material goods. Our goal is to strive for satisfaction with whatever we have at any given time.
C. Financial contentment is good, but there is another contentment that the Bible condemns.
1. This contentment can impact entire churches.
2. It can impact only a few members, but still have a negative impact on the church.
D. OceanSide seems to be infected with this malady.
1. It does not appear to be congregational.
2. It appears to have impacted some of our members.
3. The malady is complacency.
4. We’ve entitled our lesson: “Individual Complacency.”
I. THE DEFINITION OF COMPLACENCY
A. In Hebrew the same word for complacency is “undisturbed.”
B. A formal definition is: a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, smug satisfaction with an existing condition, often unaware of potential danger
C. Other ways complacency has been defined:
1. Contented to a fault
2. Contentment with lower standards
3. Unnatural state of calmness
D. When one has grown complacent spiritually, there are traits attached to him.
3. Lack of interest
4. Lack of energy
5. A look of being at ease
6. Settling into some easy, unexemplary routines
II. BIBLE EXAMPLES OF COMPLACENCY
A. The northern kingdom of Israel in the days of Amos (Amos 6:1a).
Woe to them that are at east in Zion…
B. The children of Israel after their return from Babylon. The temple had been destroyed by the Babylonians, but the children of Israel showed little interest in rebuilding the house of God (Haggai 1:2-4).
Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built. Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet, saying, Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste?
C. The Hebrew Christians who had begun to suffer some persecution at the hands of the Jews (Heb. 12:12-13).
Wherefore lift up the hands that hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
D. The church at Laodicea (Rev. 3:15-16)
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.
III. THE CAUSES OF COMPLACENCY
A. Ignorance (Hosea 4:6)
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
1. People are complacent about their minimal attendance of worship services because there are ignorant of the worthiness of God and His desire for men to worship Him.
2. People are complacent about Bible study because they are ignorant of the holiness of the Bible and the power it has to transform their lives.
1. Haggai 1:4
Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house to lie waste?
2. Paul described some of his day that were filled with selfishness (Phil. 2:21).
For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.
3. Some will often choose something that involves self over serving the Lord’s cause. The more we do this, the easier it is to let the Lord’s cause slide.
C. Distractions of the world
1. Jesus described this cause of complacency (Luke 8:14).
And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with the cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
2. Two of the largest distractions that take people away from the church today are work and recreation.
1. The examples of Israel and Laodicea.
a. Israel (Amos 6:4, 6)
That lie on beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall…that drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.
b. Laodicea (Rev. 3:17a)
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing…
2. Our spiritual lives do not consume too much of our time. Most individuals in the church do not have leadership positions. Because of this, the church is not on their minds. As long as their home and work are going well, the happenings of the church seldom, if ever, really prick their conscience.
1. There are two kinds of strife in churches:
a. Overt: arguing and fighting that leads to division
b. Covert: feelings and talk that leads to complacency
2. The later find the two sides constantly at odds. One side wants to do something and the other side will not assist. The other side longs to do something and the first side will not help. Both finally quit trying. They become satisfied with the way things are.
IV. THE RESULTS OF COMPLACENCY
A. No growth to the church
B. Backsliding among members
C. Hindrance to the conversion of others
D. The wrath of God
E. Spiritual death in the hereafter
V. THE CURE FOR COMPLACENCY
A. We must do an honest spiritual inspection and wake up to our true spiritual condition (II Cor. 13:5).
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith, prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
B. We must mourn over our complacency (James 4:9-10).
Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
C. We must repent (Isa. 32:11)
Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones: strip you, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins.
D. We must live like Jesus (John 9:4)
I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
E. We must develop a Second Coming mindset (Matt. 24:46)
Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
A. Complacency among God’s people angers the God of heaven (Matt. 24:48-51).
But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware. And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
B. Complacency, however, is a choice. We do not have to stay in that condition. We can repent of it, more forward in our Christian service, and be well-pleasing to our Lord when He returns.