Spiritual Laziness and Complacency
By: Brian A. Yeager
The inspired writer of the book of Hebrews wrote these words: “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:10-12). The inspired Apostle John revealed the words of our Lord by writing this quote: “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be” (Revelation 22:12). As Christians who have been taught and have initially obeyed the Gospel, we should understand that we will be rewarded for our WORKS (Matthew 16:27).
While our works are not the source of our salvation, we are created to do works of righteousness (Ephesians 2:1-10). While our works are not the source of our salvation, we will be judged according to our works (I Peter 1:17). God’s word plainly declares this: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (II Corinthians 5:10).
If you are a Christian these are things that you have been taught since before your conversion into Christ. You know that standing before the Lord on the Day of Judgment you will account for what you have and have not done (Matthew 25:14-46). Yet, we live in a very indifferent time in regard to spiritual matters. The world can have an influence on us whether or not we like to admit that (I Corinthians 15:33). Additionally, spiritual laziness and complacency abounds amongst the many apostate congregations in our present day. Some congregations just exist mainly in name, for their works are severely lacking (Revelation 3:1-6). Will we allow those things to bring us to a grinding halt in the work of our Lord? We have to set our minds, because of all the laziness around us, to keep busy in the work of the Lord.
Always Abounding In The Work Of The Lord
At the conclusion of teaching on the resurrection to come (I Corinthians 15:1-57), the inspired Apostle Paul wrote this: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (I Corinthians 15:58). The Lord did not do our work for us. In fact, consider this: “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14). Think about those Scriptures. Think about what it means to always abound in the work of the Lord. Think about what it means to be zealous of good works. Do those things indicate that serving God is a spiritual nap time?
Unfortunately, some Christians fall asleep spiritually and need to awaken to righteousness (I Corinthians 15:34). Does serving God equate to a spare time endeavor? When you were converted to Christ, were you taught that you are to remain faithful to God until the end of your life (Colossians 1:23 and Revelation 2:10)? If not, the teacher who taught you erred. If so, as most of you reading this article locally were taught the Christian life is a full-time endeavor, ask yourself if you are keeping to that call.
The children of Israel became complacent many times. They were, as the Scripture says, “at ease” (Amos 6:1). The fact is, life can become too comfortable. We can get too “at ease”. It is certainly possible to have a recliner chair approach to spiritual matters. What if the Lord comes and we are “just chilling” (Matthew 25:1-13)? Doesn’t God expect us not only to be busy in the work, but also to be alert and watching?
In a Bible discussion in October here in El Paso, our brother Bob [John] stated that as a congregation we could become too comfortable because things are “good” [spiritually speaking]. He was 100% right. When things in the congregation are good it is easy to drop our guard. Consider the following in light of that danger: “And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch… Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears… Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong… Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober” (Mark 13:37, Acts 20:28-31, I Corinthians 16:13, and I Thessalonians 5:6).
The few Scriptures quoted above, of many that could have been quoted, are very clear. We need to be alert! We need to be sober minded (Titus 2:1-12 and I Peter 5:8). We need to watch for ourselves (Matthew 26:41). As a congregation, similar to the warning quoted above to the elders in Ephesus (Acts 20:28-31), we need to watch for error from within or coming in from the outside. It is NOT time to take a spiritual nap. It is NOT time to sit back and just enjoy the peace we have as a congregation. It IS time to continue in the right things watching and being alert so that the good we have going doesn’t get corrupted.
I have observed many Christians who get too comfortable and they essentially retire from their responsibilities in Christ. The only person that can keep you from falling into that trap is YOU! Don’t get tired and retire. Don’t get comfortable and take it easy. Consider these words as our conclusion: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:7-9).
Volume 17 – Issue 19 - January 22nd, 2017