OceanSide church of Christ
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CRISIS IN THE WORLD (INDIFFERENCE)
Victor M. Eskew
A. Bible events:
1. In the days of David, Goliath challenged the armies of Israel daily on the field of battle, putting them to shame (I Sam. 17:4-10).
2. In the days of Nehemiah, the walls of the city of Jericho lay waste (Neh. 1:1-3).
3. In the days of Haggai and Zechariah, the remnant who had returned to Jerusalem had yet to complete the building of the temple (Hag. 1:1-4).
4. The church at Corinth had failed to withdraw from the fornicator that was in their midst (I Cor. 5:1-2).
B. What was the cause of the inactivity in those days gone by?† One clear answer is indifference.
C. Indifference is defined as:
1. Little or no concern
2. Lack of feeling or interest
3. Mediocre quality
D. Indifference has always plagued society and Godís people.† It is a blight upon our nation and the Lordís church, even at this time.
I. THE DISEASE OF INDIFFERENCE
A. Indifference to the truth
1. Proverbs 23:23
Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
2. Evidence of indifference to the truth
a. In some places, the truth is not preached at all.† In other places, only part of the truth is set forth.
b. Preachers do not try to fill their sermons with truth.
c. Congregations are pleased with stories, positive thinking, pop-psychology, current events, skits, and dramatic performances instead of Bible-based sermons.
B. Indifference to worship
1. Psalm 29:2
Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
2. Evidences of indifference to worship
a. Many brethren desire shorter worship services.
b. In most churches, attendance at the Sunday evening service is ľ to Ĺ fewer than for the morning worship services.
c. Worship has been changed in some congregations into a concert or circus in order to please man.
d. Some congregations have cut out Sunday evening services altogether.
C. Indifference to immorality
1. I Thessalonians 4:7
For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
2. Evidences of indifference to immorality
a. Almost all of us tolerate immorality on TV, in the movies, and in music.
b. Drinking, gambling, smoking, and sex outside of marriage is found in most congregations.
c. Adultery is tolerated in many churches.
d. Our speech and our dress often mimics that of the world.
D. Indifference to the local congregation
1. God ordained the local church and desires for elders to be over every flock (Acts 20:28; See Acts 14:23 and I Pet. 5:1-3).
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
2. Evidences of indifference to the local congregation
a. It is difficult to fill positions of work in the local church (i.e., teachers).
b. Works of the church are not always supported by members (i.e., gospel meetings).
c. Many churches are suffering financially because members do not give liberally.
E. These are just a few areas of indifference.† When preparing for this lesson, I quickly jotted down sixteen areas that could be used as examples.† A few more are as follows:
1. Indifference to service
2. Indifference to giving
3. Indifference to church discipline
4. Indifference to the lost
5. Indifference to the erring
6. Indifference to benevolence
7. Indifference to the brotherhood
II. THE CAUSES OF INDIFFERENCE
A. When we think we cannot make a difference
1. This is one of the reasons that we do not excel in soul-winning.† We do not think we can make a difference.† Thus, we have become indifferent.† Even lessons on the subject do not spur us to greater action.
2. Perhaps we do not understand what difference we are to make.
a. The increase is not in our hands.
b. We are only to plant and water.
1) Mark 16:15
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
2) I Corinthians 3:6
I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
B. When those around us are indifferent
1. When others seem not to care that spirit of indifference seems to infect us.† We reason:† ďIf they arenít concerned, why should I be?Ē
2. NOTE:† Indifference keeps us from doing the will of God.† Therefore, indif-erence is sin.† The Bible warns us about the permeating effects of sin (I Cor. 5:6).
Your glorying is not good.† Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
C. When changing things will take a lot of focused effort
1. Most of like quick, easy, simple fixes to problems.† If something involves a lot of work, we quit and become indifferent.
2. To be a teacher takes a lot of time and energy.
a. Two points:
1) The church needs good teachers.
2) The time should come in every Christianís life that he/she becomes a teacher (Heb. 5:12).
b. Many churches cannot find enough teachers.† Members seem to be very indifferent about it.
3. NOTE:† The Bible tells us to put forth effort in our Christianity (Heb. 4:11).
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
D. When we grow tired
1. Many Christians do exert themselves.† Over time, however, they grow weary.
2. This tired feeling cause them to reason in unsound ways, especially if others are not laboring.† ďWhy bother?Ē
3. II Thessalonians 3:13; Galatians 6:9
But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.
E. When we or those close to us are in sin.
1. Sin stifles.† Sin halts progress.† It makes us indifferent to spiritual things.
2. Thus, the Bible exhorts us to flee from sin in its early stages.† When sin blossoms, it has too many terrible consequences (Jms. 1:15).
Then lust when it hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin:† and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
F. When there is no success
1. We long for fruit, for success, and for positive results.† When they do not come, we can become indifferent.
2. There have been many who did not have positive results.
b. The prophets
c. Jesus Christ
3. By faith, we persist in our efforts (Heb. 10:38).
Now the just shall live by faith:† but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
A. Indifference to the Lordís cause can be overcome.† We will deal with the cure for indifference next week.
B. Perhaps you know that you have been indifferent to the Lordís business.† Today, you need to be forgiven of your transgressions.†
1. If you are not a Christian, you need to put on Christ in the waters of baptism.
2. If you are a child of God, you need to repent, confess your sins, and ask God to forgive you of your sins.