Apathy Is Dangerous
HOW often have Jehovah’s witnesses called at your door of late? Almost every week? Once a month, perhaps? At times you may have been too busy to listen to the message that they brought from the Bible. But if you have ever stopped to listen to what they have to say, you observed that they stick close to the Bible’s authority on every question. You noted that they do not speak as the clergy, and that many things they show you from the Bible are quite different from what the churches teach.
But now, the question is, Are you doing anything about it? Or, have you concluded that there is nothing to be done? Have you decided to let things slide along as they are, on the basis that all religion is good? Surely you must know that when one religion teaches that Jesus Christ is God and that Mary is the Mother of God, and another presents evidence from the Bible showing that Jesus did not claim to be God and that Mary is therefore not the Mother of God, both cannot be right. And if one is wrong, how can any truth seeker support in any way what God disapproves? Love of the truth will move him to break free from false worship and actively engage in true worship now.
On the other hand, perhaps you are simply indifferent to the religious questions that are at issue in these days. Is it possible that you feel that as long as you have a Bible in your home and read it occasionally everything will be all right? Is this a sound view? Not when you review these words of Jesus Christ: “Everyone hearing these sayings of mine and not doing them will be likened to a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. And the rain poured down and the floods came and the winds blew and struck against that house and it caved in, and its collapse was great.” (Matt. 7:26, 27) The apathetic attitude can lead to disaster.
The Bible account contains some warning examples of those who manifested apathy. Consider the position taken by the multitudes who must have seen Noah’s boat-building operations and heard the warning message delivered by that faithful servant of God. They were not going to allow any such unusual happening to disturb the normal course of their lives. “As they were in those days before the flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark; and they took no note until the flood came and swept them all away.” (Matt. 24:38, 39) These were Jesus’ words, and he added: “So the presence of the Son of man will be.”
And what about the attitude adopted by those young men who were betrothed to the daughters of Lot? Their prospective father-in-law had been warned by God about the oncoming destruction of Sodom. He hastened to them with the urgent message: “Get up! Get out of this place, because Jehovah is bringing the city [Sodom] to ruin!” They heard him, but did they pay attention? Did they do anything about it? No, for the account goes on to tell: “In the eyes of his sons-in-law he seemed like a man who was joking.” (Gen. 19:14) They were unimpressed by the urgency of Lot’s message. Are you likewise unimpressed by the urgency of the message delivered by Jehovah’s witnesses? You do well to examine your reaction.
Like Lot, Jehovah’s witnesses of today are warning about the nearness of God’s great day of anger, urging people to take the practical steps that will bring them into peaceful relations with God before that dreadful day arrives. (Zeph. 1:14-18; 2:2, 3) Apathy cost Lot’s sons-in-law their lives, for only Lot and his daughters escaped. Apathy now can cost you your life.
Can you imagine what must have gone through the minds of the apathetic ones when they realized the full extent of the calamity that had overtaken them? As the floodwaters rose higher and higher toward the peaks of the tallest mountains, would not Noah’s contemporaries remember that open door of the ark that God finally shut? And what about Lot’s sons-in-law when the tempest of literal fire rained down upon their home city? Would they not then realize, when too late, that Lot’s warning had been right after all? Then what about the message you have received again and again from Jehovah’s witnesses? It will soon be too late to act on it.
RESPONSIBILITY TO ACT
When apathy and complacency prevent one from taking a clear stand against that which is wrong in God’s sight, a grave responsibility comes upon such one. In one Biblical example the outcome was disastrous. This was the case of Eli, priest in ancient Israel at God’s place of worship at Shiloh. His two priestly sons were “good-for-nothing men” who showed great disrespect for Jehovah’s clean worship. (1 Sam. 2:12-17) Eli remonstrated with them, but took no positive action, even though their evil doings were common knowledge and were bringing reproach upon Jehovah’s name. Eli failed to dissociate himself from their wickedness.—1 Sam. 2:29.
Eli now received a terrible message from God: “Look! Days are coming when I shall certainly chop off your arm and the arm of the house of your forefather, so that there will not come to be an old man in your house. And this is the sign for you that will come to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas: On one day both of them will die.” (1 Sam. 2:31, 34) In fulfillment of that word, Eli received the stunning news of Israel’s defeat in battle with the Philistines, the loss of the ark of the true God and the death of both his sons. The shock caused him to fall backward and to break his neck.—1 Sam. 4:17, 18.
Have you learned about the blasphemous nature of clergy teachings and practices? Have you learned that they are not in agreement with the Word of God? Then what have you done about it? Do you think it is proper to say or do nothing about the matter for the sake of peace? Do you keep putting off the day when you will take a firm stand against wrong, as did Eli? Such a course of apathy could bring God’s displeasure. It could bring you into danger.
Listening to Jehovah’s witnesses simply because you enjoy their evident sincerity or their ability to use the Scriptures will bring no approval from God unless you exert yourself to do something about your own relationship with him. Failure to bestir yourself and apply in your life the things learned from the Witnesses could put you in a class with those faithless Israelites who heard the pronouncements of God’s prophet Ezekiel, but were not moved to action. Jehovah informed his prophet: “Look! you are to them like a song of sensuous loves, like one with a pretty voice and playing a stringed instrument well. And they will certainly hear your words, but there are none doing them.”—Ezek. 33:32.
IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED
Can there be any doubt about what you should do? The urgent need is to conform your life to God’s requirements. One of these is to assemble regularly with others who have keen appreciation for Bible truth. (Heb. 10:24, 25) The meetings of Jehovah’s witnesses are open to you, and you have doubtless received many a warm invitation to attend. There you will have the opportunity to participate in group discussion of the Bible’s teachings, a practice that results in swift progress to Christian maturity.
‘Well, I will do it next month,’ you may be saying, ‘or, just as soon as I have some pressing problems straightened away.’ But what could be more important than your life? You cannot afford to delay. Eli delayed acting until it was too late. Lot’s sons-in-law might have done something had they had just a few more weeks or months to think about it. But God’s hour for Sodom’s destruction arrived. Nothing could delay it. So, too, the shutting of the door of Noah’s ark came at God’s decreed hour, and nothing could then prevail to have it opened.
Now is the time to cast aside the apathetic attitude, and act resolutely for your own safety. Hesitation now could be fatal. Your very life is in the balance. Quickly grasp the opportunity for eternal life in the New Order under God’s kingdom of the heavens. Act NOW!