The Worst Disease
Years ago, when my wife and I attended the Labourers Together with God lectureship held by the Northwest Florida School of Biblical Studies in Cantonment , FL, we heard a lesson I will likely never forget. Oddly enough, the best lesson I heard happened to not be given by one the lecturers. It was given by a man leading us in prayer in one of the sessions.
It was surely not the good brother’s intent to preach a lesson in the prayer, but something he said struck me as something that needed to be remembered. He said, “Father, we not only pray for those who can’t be here because of sickness and for those who for other unavoidable reasons could not come tonight. But we pray for those who CHOOSE not to be here; for they have the greatest sickness of all.”
As the brother prayed, the greatest sickness we as Christians face is apathy. Merriam-Webster defines apathy as: (1) lack of feeling or emotion: impassiveness, (2) lack of interest or concern: indifference. If someone is apathetic, in our everyday language it means that they simply do not care, or we might say, “They couldn’t care less.” What the brother said was absolutely correct. Those who chose not to be there that night showed by their fruits that could not have cared less about the truth of God’s word, the church, or even their own souls.
Of course, no one but the person who misses the various assemblies of the saints knows the reason why. That is unless of course the person is suffering from an illness of which others are aware, or is known to have to work or something of that sort. Yet, we all know that there are some who choose not to assemble with the saints. It has never been clear to me how people who are members of the church can hold themselves and others in such low regard.
What do I mean by “low regard”? Hebrews 10:24, 25 make it perfectly clear: “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (KJV) I am to consider you and you are to consider me. We are to encourage one another to love and do good works. I can’t do that if I’m not here or if you are not here, and neither can you!
Brethren, I hope that none of you suffer from the greatest disease, this thing called apathy. Oh sure, we will all care come on the day of our judgment, but God knows our hearts right now. Do you care? Then be here when you can. My soul is at stake and I hope you love me enough to care! ~B.W.P.