OceanSide church of Christ
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INDIFFERENCE: THE CURE
Victor M. Eskew
A. Do you ever:
1. See a politician on TV and turn the channel with a feeling of indifference to what he has to say?
2. Hear about a murder in a large city and push it out of your mind with indifference?
3. Become indifferent to a situation in life that seems as if it will never change?
B. Indifference is that feeling of little or no concern.
C. Sadly, that feeling can infect our hearts with regard to the practice of Christianity.
1. Last week, we examined the disease of indifference.
2. We also noted some the causes of indifference.
D. In this lesson, we want to study “The Cure of Indifference.”
I. WE MUST DEVELOP A LOVE FOR THE LIVING GOD
A. Love is a tie that binds two people together.
1. When there is love, there is no indifference or lack of concern.
2. Where there is love, there is vibrant activity.
B. In II Corinthians 5:14, Paul declared that it was the love of Christ that “constrained” him.
For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead.
C. When we have a deep love for God, it will constrain us also.
D. The best way for us to develop our love for God is to study His love for us.
1. It is hard for us not to love someone one who truly loves us.
2. I John 4:19
We love him, because he first loved us.
3. A picture of God’s love for us (Tit. 3:3-7)
For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures; living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
a. Man’s decadence (Tit. 3:3)
b. God’s devotion (Tit. 3:4-6)
c. Man dividends (Tit. 3:7)
II. WE MUST DEVELOP A RESPECT FOR GOD
A. Proverbs 14:27
The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life; to depart from the snares of death.
1. Indifference is one of the snares of death.
2. When we develop a fear of the Lord, it will assist us in departing from such a snare.
B. Synonyms for respect: appreciation, awe, deference, esteem, reverence, adoration, homage, obeisance, and veneration.
C. Most of the time, there are three things that produce within us a healthy respect for another.
1. The Person
a. Knowing who someone is causes us to respect him.
b. His character and his qualities demand our respect.
c. When Moses was sent to the Israelites to deliver them, he knew they would ask: “Who has sent you unto us?” Exodus 3:14 contains God response.
And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
1) God is the self-existent one.
2) God is the eternal God.
2. The Position
a. There are times when a man’s character is suspect, but we do respect the position he occupies.
b. There are many positions that God holds that should cause man to respect Him.
1) Creator (Isa. 40:28)
2) Governor (Ps. 22:28)
3) Judge (Gen. 18:25)
3. The Power
a. A third reason individuals are respected is because of the power they possess.
b. God has all power. He is omnipotent. He is referred to as “the Almighty God” (Gen. 17:1).
And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
D. Really knowing who we serve as Christians will help us to do His will rather than being indifferent to it.
III. WE MUST INCREASE OUR KNOWLEDGE OF GOD’S WORD
A. The Word of God can put life into an individual.
1. Psalm 119:107
I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O Lord, according unto thy word.
2. John 6:63
It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
B. God has filled His Word with power.
1. Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is quick, and powerful…
2. According to I Thessalonians 2:13, it can effectually work in those who believe.
For this cause we thank our God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of man, but, as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
C. To work in our lives, however, the Word of God must move from the page into our hearts. This can only be done through diligent study.
1. Psalm 119:130
The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple.
2. I Timothy 4:15
Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear unto all.
D. As you study, your faith will increase.
1. Faith, according to Romans 10:17, comes by hearing God’s Word.
2. That faith will grow to such a point that we will be convinced that Christianity matters.
a. When David stood ready to fight Goliath, he was mocked and ridiculed by his own brothers. His response was: What have I now done? Is there not a cause? (I Sam. 17:29).
b. Our studies in God’s Word will lead us to this same belief. “Is there not a cause?”
IV. WE MUST COMMIT OURSELVES TO THE CAUSE
A. David committed himself to the cause (I Sam. 17:32).
And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.
1. David was not going to sit on the sidelines.
2. David was not going to wait unto another came to fight Goliath.
B. We, like David, must be willing to say: “Thy servant will go and fight.”
1. It was Paul who exhorted Timothy to fight the good fight of faith (I Tim. 6:12).
2. Paul did not fail to practice what he preached. In II Timothy 4:7, he wrote: I have fought a good fight.
C. How do you know when one is committed to the cause?
1. The person is attached.
2. The person is concerned.
3. The person is dutiful.
4. The person is zealous.
5. The person is steadfast.
6. The person is sacrificial.
V. WE MUST PRAY OFTEN
A. Two verses:
1. Matthew 21:22
And all things, whatsoever ye ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
2. Philippians 4:6
Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
B. What type of things can we pray for when facing indifference?
1. Forgiveness of our indifference in the past.
2. The removal of the things that are causing our indifference.
3. Help and strength when the seeds of indifference enter our minds.
A. Indifference can destroy both individuals and congregations.
B. We must recognize it quickly when it begins to affect us.
C. We must take action instead of yielding to it. NOTE: It will take an act of will to overcome this disease.
D. David asked: “Is there not a cause?” If the answer to this question is: “Yes,” then, how can we, how can I, be indifferent?