Apathy, the silent killer
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.
As followers as Jesus Christ there is much to be concerned about in this life. We are commanded in various passages of scripture to keep His commandments (John 14:15). We are tasked with going out into all the world and making disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and teaching them all that Christ commanded (Matthew 28:18-20). We are told what is good and what does the Lord require of us, But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8). Jesus tells us in John 16:33 that only He can offer us peace because in this life we will have troubles.
We will face persecution, devastation, and various other problems as detailed in Matthew 24; however, these are not the biggest problems we as Christians have to worry about. The biggest problem that the Christian has to worry about is Apathy. Apathy is defined as lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern. Apathy is the reason we stand by while 40+ million children are disposed of by pre-meditated murder every year. Apathy is the reason all manner of lawlessness continues to increase. Apathy is the reason that all manner of wickedness and sin permeate our society. Apathy is the reason churches in this country are crumbling.
Apathy is the reason pastors fall away, congregations are filled with dead men’s bones, and abuses are tolerated within the church. Apathy is the reason the next generation is void of anything remotely resembling a solid relationship with the Lord. Apathy is the reason parents are not teaching their children basic tenets of faith and expecting them to maintain a high level of moral excellence. Apathy is the reason parents are not maintaining the same high level of moral excellence and why families are falling apart. Apathy is the reason sin is tolerated in the lives of many Christians. Apathy is the reason our pews are empty and our ministry lacks volunteers. Apathy is the silent killer of Christians and it is killing them by the thousands.
If you find that you are struggling with apathy use the acrostic below to help you remember to remain hot, not cold nor lukewarm.
A – Apply scripture to your life (John 17:17)
P – Pray the Lords will over your life (Matthew 6:9-13)
A – Annul sin in your life (Galatians 5:16-17)
T – Tell the Gospel to the world (Matthew 28:18-20)
H – Help the local church (1 Peter 4:10-11)
Y – Yearn to know Christ better (Philippians 3:8)
the faith of Rahab
If you have read the book of Joshua, you have most likely read about Rahab the prostitute. In Joshua chapter 2 we read that Joshua sent two spies to spy out the land in Jericho. They come into the home of Rahab. Scholars believe that Rahab was the proprietor of an Inn or probably a brothel (could have been one in the same). We read that when the king’s men came to Rahab seeking the spies, she lied to them and sent them out of the city to pursue them. There are 3 things we should take notice of here in this passage as it relates to faith.
Regarding the spies we read that “before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof.” Take note of what Rahab says, “I know that the Lord has given you the land.” This is interesting because the people of Jericho were pagans and did not believe in the God of the Hebrews. Pagans believed in many gods, but not the one true God. Romans 10:17 says “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” Paul tells us that hearing the word of God produces faith as the Holy spirit works supernaturally within us.
Look again at Rahab’s response beginning in verse 9. She begins by saying, “I know.” What does she know and how does she know it? She says that she knows the Lord has given the Israelites the land. She tells us how she knows in verse 10. The entire land has heard what the Lord God did for the Israelites when He delivered them out of bondage from Egypt (paraphrased). She mentions the Lord drying up the Red Sea as the Israelites were vacating Egypt. She mentions two kings Israel devoted to destruction, Sihon & Og. This is fascinating to hear her speak of these incredible acts of God.
It is worth nothing that the Israelites were in Egypt 400+ years and then wandered the wilderness for another 40+ years due to their lack of faith. Here you have a pagan prostitute telling Israel that the whole land has heard about these great acts of God that have occurred over four decades ago.
Hebrews 3:8-9 says 8 “Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, As in the day of trial in the wilderness, 9 Where your fathers tried Me by testing Me, and saw My works for forty years,” God says, if you hear Him do not harden your heart as did the nation of Israel and as a result wandered the wilderness 40 years. Rahab heard what the Lord had done, and her heart was softened.
She not only heard what the Lord had done but she believed it. “I know” said Rahab in verse 9, and verse 11 “for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.” Rahab heard it, believed it, and repented of her ways. She was saved by grace through faith and not of her works but her faith was indeed justified by her works.
Rahab had faith that the Lord, the God of the Hebrews would deal faithfully with her if she surrendered to Him in faith. This is exactly what she did and what we all should do. Do you hear the Lord speaking to you through His word the Bible? Do you read His Holy scriptures with anticipation looking at all He has done, is doing and promises to do? Do you believe it? If you believe it, do you repent of your ways and put your faith wholly in Jesus? We hope so. Below you will find the start of a prayer, finish it as He leads you.
God, you are God of Heaven and of Earth, I have heard of your mighty works…