Indifference
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Indifference. A Common Problem. Many who have it – don’t know it Those that do – don’t care! Affects Every Congregation. Indifference. Apathy, unconcerned, and disinterest.

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Indifference

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Indifference

Indifference

A Common Problem

Many who have it – don’t know it

Those that do – don’t care!

Affects Every Congregation


Indifference

Indifference

  • Apathy, unconcerned, and disinterest.

  • “1. Characterized by a lack of partiality or bias. 2. Not mattering one way or the other; of no greatimportance. 3. Having no marked feeling one way or the other... 4. Having no particular interest or concern... 8. Not active or involved” (AHD, p. 655).

  • Lack of diligence, dedication and devotion.

  • Attitude and actions that say, “I don’t care!”


Indifference

Indifference

Not A New Problem

God’s People Have Always Been Plagued

  • Lam. 1:1-12 – Judah is doomed – act as if nothing

  • 1 Cor. 5 – Fornication in midst – done nothing – not even upset

  • Rev. 3:15-16 – Church at Laodicea was lukewarm

Eats away at the life of a Christian & a local church – Cancer…


Indifference

Indifference

People of God Should Be Diligent, Devoted & Zealous

  • Matt. 6:33 - Seek first the kingdom of God

  • 1 Pet. 3:15 - Sanctify the Lord in your heart

  • Rom. 12:11 - Fervent in spirit serving the Lord

  • Col. 3:23 - Put everything you have into the service of the Lord

  • Eccl. 9:10 - Whatever do - do it will all your might

  • Tit. 2:14 - Zealous of good works


Indifference

Actions

Mind

Manifest

A. Develops Gradually & Slowly

1. It doesn’t happen overnight.

a. Not diligent / enthused one day – indifferent the next

b. This makes it hard to recognize

2. It strikes first at the heart – then manifest itself in action

I. Its Subtlety


Indifference

Hebrews 2:1

“Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away” (NKJV)

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. (KJV)

Footnote KJV “run out as leaking vessels”


Indifference

B. Hard To See What We’re Not Doing

  • 1. Heb. 5:11-12

  • 2. Overt acts are easily seen by self & Others (Lie, curse, steal, drink)

  • 3. Even sin in attitude involves doing. (hate, lust, bitter, envy, jealous, anger)

  • 3. Harder to see what I fail to do!

  • 4. Even harder to see:

    • That I don’t care as much as I ought to

    • That I’m not involved as I ought to be

    • That I’m not as dedicated as I should be

    • That I should have grown more by now


Indifference

C. We Focus on Signs / Fruit – Rather Than the Real Problem

1. When we see the symptoms, we deal with them

a. If one doesn’t attend as he should – we preach on attendance. (It may not help)

b. If one doesn’t study and grow, we talk to them about study & growth (It may not help)

2. The real problem is the heart (Prov. 4:23; Matt. 15:19)

a. Problem is they don’t care!

b. Cure the indifference – symptoms will be gone


Indifference

A. Lack of fear of God

1. Fear involves:

II. Its Causes

Afraid of

Displeasing God

1 Sam. 11:7

Psa. 119:120

Isa. 66:2

Heb. 10:31; 12:29

Respect & Awe

Luke 7:16

Deut. 28:58


Indifference

A. Lack of fear of God

1. Fear involves:

2. Those who fear will:

II. Its Causes

1. Do what God says (Duet. 6:2; 13:4; 17:19)

2. Be dedicated (Deut. 10:12, 20; 31:12)


Indifference

A. Lack of fear of God

B. Focus on the present world

1. Get wrapped up in this life

a. Spiritual pushed aside

b. Matt. 13:22 – cares of the world

c. 2 Tim. 4:10 – loved present world

2. Materially blessed

a. Tendency to forget God (Prov. 30:8-9; Deut. 6:10-12)

b. Beware when at ease (Amos 6:1-6)

c. Riches make us overconfident in material things (Psa. 30:6)

II. Its Causes


Indifference

C. Ignorance

1. Ignorance destroys God’s People (Hosea 4:6; Isa. 5:13)

2. Reasons why there is ignorance:

a. Not been taught (cf. Matt. 28:20) –we leave them to “sink or swim”

b. Forgot what we knew (Heb. 5:11-12)

c. Ignore what we’re taught (Rom. 10:3, 17)


Indifference

C. Ignorance

1. Ignorance destroys God’s People (Hosea 4:6; Isa. 5:13)

2. Reasons why there is ignorance:

3. What we don’t know makes a difference

a. If we don’t know commands – can’t obey (Eph 5:17)

b. If we don’t know about judgment – can’t fear (Heb.10:27)

c. If don’t know truth – led into error (2 Pet. 3:16-18)


Indifference

D. Softness

1. Soft Preaching

a. Comforts those who are indiff. (Isa. 30:10)

b. Does little to prick the heart

c. “Positive” preaching make people who are in sin (and indifferent about it) feel good!

2. Lack of “teeth” in message

a. Not enough to preach truth – must correct, rebuke, withdraw –if no repentance

b. Often want the truth taught – nothing more done about it


Indifference

A. A Loss of zeal

When service to God is

“Ho-hum, no big deal”

Fire has gone out!

B. Loss of spiritual interest

III. Its Signs

  • Easily follows a loss of zeal

  • Lack of desire for word (Psa. 119; 1 Pet. 2:1-2)

    • No interest in studying

    • Don’t want to know what text means

  • Not bothered by sin in self or others (Prov. 8:13)

  • Not bothered by false doctrine (Psa. 119:136)

  • Not concerned about the lost (Mk. 16:15-16)


Indifference

C. Missing services

1. May start as occasional absence

a. Maybe allow work to hinder. Bothers us at first, then we adjust

b. May miss once in a while for other reasons

c. Now becoming easier to miss

d. May begin missing BS, or Wed. then Sunday PM and then AM


Indifference

C. Missing services

1. May start as occasional absence

2.Every service we miss – miss out on spiritual growth

a. If being present builds us up (Heb. 10:25; Eph. 5:19), then if we miss we are weaker!

b. Thomas Missed out (John 20:20-28)

3. Do you forsake for reasons within your control?


Indifference

A. Preach & Warn

1. Col. 1:28

- Goal: present every man perfect (not indifference)

- How? “Him we preach, warning…”

2. Preaching is God’s remedy

- Gospel has power (Rom. 1:16)

- Don’t need gimmicks, social programs, entertainment, etc.

- Just need to preach & warn

IV. Its Cure


Indifference

A. Preach & Warn

B. Repent

  • Churches with indifference were told to repent

    • Rev. 2:4-5

    • Rev. 3:16, 19

  • Repentance is a change of mind

    • Prompted by godly sorrow (2 Cor. 7:10)

    • Results in change of life (Rev. 2:5)

  • If you recognize signs of indifference – need to repent!

IV. Its Cure


Indifference

A. Preach & Warn

B. Repent

IV. Its Cure

C. Be doer of word

  • Jas. 1:21-25

  • Activate the faith you have (Jas 2)

  • More we exercise our faith – easier it is to continue in the practice


Indifference

A. Preach & Warn

B. Repent

C. Study

IV. Its Cure

  • Faith is based upon word (Rom. 10:17)

  • More we study – stronger become (2 Thess. 1:3)


Indifference

D. Consumed with secular interest

1. This life is merely a land we are passing through (Heb. 13:14)

- Means this is temporary

- Secular things should rank below sp. things

2. When our secular concerns overshadow and crowd out the spiritual – are indifferent

- When don’t have time for worship

- When don’t have time to study

- When making money is more important

- When having fun is pushed ahead of service


Indifference

A. A Loss of zeal

B. Loss of spiritual interest

C. Missing services

III. Its Signs

D. Consumed with secular interest

E. Not bothered by things used to…

Heb. 3:7-13


Indifference

A. A Loss of zeal

B. Loss of spiritual interest

C. Missing services

III. Its Signs

D. Consumed with secular interest

E. Not bothered by things used to…

F. Big contrast in what I used to be

Gal. 1:6-9; 5:7


Indifference

Indifference

I. Its Subtlety

II. Its Causes

III. Its Signs

IV. Its Cure


Indifference

Indifference

I. Its Subtlety

II. Its Causes

III. Its Signs


Indifference

A. A Loss of zeal

1. Dedicated people have a burning zeal (Rom. 12:11; Luke 24:32)

2. Possible to lose fire of enthus. (Rev. 2:4-5)

3. Judah let her service deteriorate into a weary routine (Isa. 29:9-14; Mal. 1:6–2:17)

4. When a church has members – lost their zeal – it has a problem with indifference

When service to God is

“Ho-hum, no big deal”

Fire has gone out!


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