Quit Doing Nothing
By Austin Mobley
Edmond Burke, famous English statesman, once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil over good is for good men to do nothing.”
I heard of a preacher who used to have what he called “Quittin’ Meetings” during his revivals. On one particular night the people came together for the purpose of telling the sins they intended to quit and those who spoke vowed to quit everything from A to Z. Finally, an old gentleman stood and said, “I ain’t been doin’ nothing and I’m going to quit it.”
Those who are spiritually lazy, lukewarm, doing nothing, or call it what you will, are sternly rebuked in the New Testament. Jesus said, “he that doeth the will of my Father will enter the kingdom” (Matt. 7:21). James exhorts Christians to be “doers of the word and not hearers only” (Jas. 1:22). The church at Laodicea was neither cold nor hot, but lukewarm. The Lord commanded “repent” or “I will spew thee out of my mouth” (Rev. 3:15-16, 19). The very familiar parable of the, talents teaches us to use our talents or lose them. The unprofitable servant was cast into outer darkness because he buried his talent. He was not an immoral person, but simply did nothing. Conversely, the first two servants had used their talents and doubled their capital. To them the Lord said, “Well done” (Matt. 25:14-30). It is also interesting to note that the two who used their talents gave a report to the Lord in fourteen words, but the sad servant used forty-two words to give his report. The extra words were excuses for doing nothing.
Many Christians seem to be content with merely attending the services of the church. Attendance is necessary (Heb. 10:25), and those who meet regularly are to be commended, but there are other duties enjoined upon us that cannot be fulfilled when we assemble. Some churches reported to be “strong” and “sound” are doing little more than meeting to worship at the appointed times. Perhaps preachers are partially to blame for not planning their teaching to include the “whole duty of man.” To fulfill my obligation in this respect and in anticipation of the question, “What can I do,” I offer the following suggestions:
1. Set aside some time each day for Bible study. Prepare for your Bible classes (2 Tim. 2:15) and prepare yourself to be a teacher of the Word.
2. Pray to God with regularity. Thank Him for the blessings received and ask Him for the things you need according to His will (1 Thess. 5:17).
3. Visit those who are sick in hospitals or shut-in at home. Offer to help them in any need they may have. Send cards to cheer them in addition to the visits. Call them on the phone also (Mat. 25:36; Jas. 2:14-17).
4. Personally visit the weak members, offer to study with them, try to find out their spiritual and physical needs, and help them (Gal. 6:1-2; Rom. 15:1).
5. All of us know some friends, family, relatives, etc. who are not Christians. Bring them to services, arrange for a Bible study with them in your home. If you cannot teach the class, others can and will do so gladly. Try to enroll the lost in a Bible Correspondence Course. Use available tracts by handing them to friends or mailing them (Matt. 28:19-20).
6. Welcome visitors and strangers to our services. Invite them into your homes (Heb. 13:2).
7. Welcome new members and those restored. Encourage them to faithfulness (1 Cor. 15:58).
8. Be interested in the work of the local church. Read the bulletins, keep yourself informed of the meetings, watch the financial reports and the bulletin board. Attend the business meetings. Get involved!
It might not be a bad idea for some churches to have some “Quittin’ Meetings” to encourage the members to “quit doing nothing.” Between the great things we cannot do, and the little things we will not do, is the tragic danger of doing nothing. – Truth Magazine, January 6, 1972.
The Cure For Indifference
By Donnie V. Rader
What can a church do when there are members who are indifferent? What can those who are indifferent do to overcome their problem? Let’s consider the Bible answer.
1. Preach and warn. Paul wrote, “Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Col. 1:28). This verse mentions a goal and how it is to be accomplished.
The goal: “...that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” The one who is perfect is mature; not indifferent. How it is to be accomplished: “Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man...”
Preaching is God’s remedy. It is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). We do not need gimmicks, fancy buildings, social programs, entertainment or activities for the whole family to interest those who are indifferent. We just need to preach and warn! Jesus said to the lukewarm church at Laodicea, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten” (Rev. 3:19). Soft soap preaching won’t do it.
2. Repent. Churches that had a problem with indifference were told to repent. Ephesus was told, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works...” (Rev. 2:5). Laodicea was told, “Therefore be zealous and repent” (Rev. 3:19).
Repentance involves a change of mind. It is prompted by godly sorrow (2 Cor. 7:10) and results in a change of life (Rom. 6). All of this is found in the letter to the church at Ephesus (Rev. 2:5). (a) Godly sorrow: “remember therefore from where you have fallen,” (b) A change of mind: “repent,” (c) A change of life: “and do the first works.”
If you recognize the signs of indifference in your life, you need to repent!
3. Study. Faith is based upon the word of God (Rom. 10:17). The more we study, the stronger our faith becomes (2 Thess. 1:3). The stronger our faith is, the more indifference fades. Study involves more than a casual or quick reading of a chapter or few verses. It consists of reading the text, meditating upon it, learning what it means, and seeing how it applies.
4. Be a doer of the word. It is not enough to learn what the Bible says, we must be doers of the word and not hearers only (Jas. 1:21-25). We must activate what faith we have (Jas. 2). One who is indifferent obviously has a weak faith. However, if he will use what faith he has, it will grow. It is like exercising a weak muscle. The more we use it, the stronger it becomes. The more we exercise our faith, the easier it is to continue in the practice.
Indifference, by its very nature, is a hard problem to battle. However, it can be overcome. – Truth Magazine.