19 “They will discard their silver in the streets, and their gold will be treated like filth. Their silver and gold will not be able to deliver them on the day of the LORD’s fury. They will not satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs because their wealth was the obstacle leading to their iniquity. 20 They rendered the beauty of his ornaments into pride, and with it they made their abominable images–their detestable idols. Therefore I will render it filthy to them.”
“The LORD said to him, “Go through the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of the people who moan and groan over all the abominations practiced in it.” 5 While I listened, he said to the others, “Go through the city after him and strike people down; do no let your eye pity nor spare anyone! 6 . . . But do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary!” So they began with the elders who were at the front of the temple.”
Judgment starts with the house of God – in His sanctuary. Where does apathy toward sin or the world’s woes begin? When do we decide to pretend we cannot see, or to no longer care? As souls deaden and our hearts grow cold, how can the tide be turned to revive the church? Let it begin with me.
Political correctness eases into the church through the disguise of avoiding judgmentalism. Only God is the One Righteous Judge, and we are all laden with planks in our eyes, so, who are we to ever speak against sin? Yes, we are all flawed, but this reasoning is, as well. We are all desperate sinners at the foot of the cross, but we need to speak the truth into one another’s lives – admonition and encouragement – spoken in love. Judgmentalism comes with an attitude of superiority, not with a caring disposition from someone who loves you enough to point out the poison of sin that is slowly killing us all. We must not neglect this benchmark of discernment and speaking into other’s lives – though it hurts, it is death to us if we do not.
Selfishness is the next proponent toward apathy, To protect self, we don’t want to speak into someone else’s life, for fear of their perception of us (self worship), and because we know we are not perfect, we hide behind the log in our own eye with false humility.
Materialism and money were the obstacle mentioned in the passage above which led to their sin. We value wealth more in our society, which can develop pride. Pride is blinding and makes us forget what we really were before Christ found us. What if no one ever spoke into our lives to reveal sin? Where would we be then? Their confidence was in their wealth, not in God. We might not carve golden images today, but what are our hearts trusting in? Are we trusting in God daily for our provision – spiritually, physically and materially?
It is so very hard to remain fervent. So much chips away at our passion for God and His bride. The fear of man, expressed through the PC movement as well as self preservation and popularity, can be very persuasive. The tidal wave of sin in our culture can be overwhelming – it might seem futile to speak against it, but we dare not give in or give up! We cannot allow our hearts to grow cold or apathetic. We have to still care – love people but do not love the sin. It is actually uncaring to ignore sin and ironically, it will be our own undoing, if we sit idly by and do nothing. If we “okay” the sin, we slowly move from acceptance to participation on some level. Doing nothing is perceived as condoning sin and grants a license for sin to grow.
When God was judging His people in the book of Ezekiel, who was it that God spared? The ones who were burdened by the sin around them and cried out to Him about it. The people of God who had God’s heart toward sin and did not shut their mouths about it. Our eyes have been opened to make a difference right where we are. We might not be popular, but we can make a difference for eternity. So, although the image I chose for this article is humorous and science does not actually have the cure for apathy, God’s Word does. Don’t compromise – stay fervent, praying for God’s people and this lost world. Resist the urge to be comfortable and apathetic – who knows what God wants to do through You at such a time as this?
Lord, please forgive our silence and fading zeal for You and Your Word. Help us to never stop caring about Your church, Your people and Your will being done.