The Curse of Apathy

“Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.” –Romans 12:11

Apathy is a deadly spiritual disease. It gradually weakens zeal for God’s glory until there is nothing left but mush. What’s worse, the disease is highly contagious. When it begins in an individual saint, it soon spreads throughout the entire community, weakening the spiritual vitality of God’s elect people. Apathy steals away all concern about ultimate reality. The apathetic person couldn’t care less about what really matters. Eternity is far from his mind.

We must shun all false remedies for the plague! Enthusiasm devoid of doctrine is a false cure. Worked-up emotionalism is of no spiritual and eternal value. Fanaticism is simply the vice on the other extreme of apathy. Zeal without knowledge is a poor substitute for a heart aglow with the Spirit. The true cure for apathy is godly zeal, a needed virtue in today’s church but a rare gem to find.

Is anything more incongruous with Spirit-filled Christianity than apathy? May the Lord deliver us from this malady! Apathetic souls are unmoved by the present crisis, unconvinced of their own sin, unstirred by sound preaching, unimpressed with Christ’s glory, uninterested in God’s Word, and uncaring about lost souls.

An apathetic soul is a dead man walking. As such he is a contradiction in terms. Although having the reputation of being alive, he is dead. It takes a true miracle to reverse the spread of apathy once it has taken root in a congregation. Only the Holy Spirit of God can rouse sleeping saints!

Therefore we must pray for the Holy Spirit and be on guard against all spiritual declension in our lives. Preachers must be willing to blow the trumpet in Zion! They must sound the alarm to the apathetic. Only the most piercing truth will have the desired effect. Without fervent prayer and powerful preaching the church will become a graveyard, and generations to come will wonder why more dramatic measures were not taken to stop the spread of Satan’s lethal pandemic.

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