Institutional First Baptist Church Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr
Delivered On
November 9, 2014 at 10:45 AM
Spiritual Apathy
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr. Sunday November 9, 2014
Spiritual Apathy
“Woe to them that are at ease in Zion...” Amos 6:1
The human group craves comfort, pleasure, success, peace, 
and leisure time. In pursuit of these goals, people use different 
methods. Some individuals works incessantly; some work 
occasionally; some work not at all; some seek entitlements such 
as food stamps; and some tread to soup kitchens. Within this 
diversified setting are found people with different attitudes toward 
others and even themselves. There are people, for example, who 
worry about and pray for the less fortunate. In contrast, there 
are others who are completely self centered and, therefore, have 
no concerns about the welfare of less fortunate persons. These 
highly egoistic individuals reflect a view known as apathy. This 
word denotes the lack of concern, the absence of feeling or an 
attitude of indifference toward a person or situation. 
While it is generally known that people can be apathetic with 
respect to others, our sermon will address an even more danger 
type of apathy; it is that of personal apathy within one’s Christian 
belief. In this connection, the sermon has been entitled, Spiritual 
Apathy. It is lifted from a warning uttered by the prophet Amos. 
The sermon will examine three aspects of Spiritual Apathy, 
namely: some of its characteristics; some of its causes; and some 
of its evils. 
As background for the sermon, attention will focus briefly on 
the textual author and, next, the general attitude of the spiritual 
apathetic person. A glace at Amos discloses that he was a Jew, 
a person of lowly estate, an earlier keeper of sheep who later 
became a prophet in the Northern King, and a courageous 
spokesman against idiolatry. In the text today, is found his 
warning to the so called Orthodox Jews, the group liken unto 
church folk in Christianity. He was especially troubled by the 
Jewish belief that mere Temple worship was all that God required 
of them. Hence, Amos penned the words of our text to them - Woe 
to them that are at ease in Zion. 
Moving from Amos’ warning, next, to the general attitude of 
the spiritual apathetic person. The late Jabez Burns wrote, “Some 
people are at ease in their sins, though heinous and aggravated 
may be the act.” Their conscious seems insensitive to injustices; 
their eyes seek excitement; their action is entertainment oriented; 
and their actions are for personal gains. Such people, further, 
place little emphasis on God and prayer until confronted by 
trouble. Many are like the man who stood in the temple and 
recited his knowledge of Judaism and his offering only to have 
them negated because he merely sought self gains. The text, in 
this regards, is a somber warning even for us today to never 
become apathetic regarding spiritual matters. This warning - woe 
to them that are at ease in Zion - leads to the first of three 
consideration which is some of the characteristics of spiritual 
In the Church it is delightful to observe the spiritually minded, 
the thankful, the prayerful, and the dedicated followers of Christ. 
In contrast, it is heart breaking to see the other group known 
as the spiritually apathetic. How can they be identified? First, 
these people are suspicious, critical, and even hostile toward the 
ardent followers of Christ. Further, their bodies are present in the 
Church, but their thoughts, desires, and plans are elsewhere. 
Additionally, such individuals tend to watch the clock more than to 
either read the order of service or listen to the sermon. In sum, the 
spiritually apathetic persons are present in body but not in spirit. 
Secondly, this person is opposed to holy activity. Yet activity 
is one of the basic laws of the universe: day and night, sunshine 
and rain - to mention but two! Well, in a similar manner, activity 
is required in the Church: Sunday School, Bible Study, Worship - 
all are part of the holy activity of the Church. Yet there are many 
people who will say - I’ll go to Church and that is it! Well, beloved, 
such person are destined to become further stagnated in apathy. 
Thirdly, the spiritually apathetic person is opposed to 
generous liberality in service and giving. Most people will support 
joyfully what they can afford. Such individual give with a feeling of 
appreciation. There are others, however, who complain about the 
call for volunteer service in the church; they grumble about the 
financial aspects of the church; they give sparingly; and they 
seldom volunteer. Unfortunately, such persons are unaware of the 
fact that they are drifting further into Spiritual Apathy. 
Having noted some characteristics of spiritual apathy, let us 
now identify some causes of this condition. Heading the list is that 
of mistakes as to the true nature of Christianity. This religion is 
not only enjoyment and privilege, but it is duty, labor, and action. 
Christianity makes a person better and happier, but it also makes 
the individual a servant of the Lord. 
A second cause of this apathy is the lack of biblical knowledge 
regarding Christian responsibilities. This reference knowledge 
speaks to us regarding self control and it tells us of the ultimate 
outcome at the end of life. 
The third cause of apathy is the tendency of some persons 
to associate with the wrong crowd after having given their life to 
the Master. It must never be forgotten the Satan is after the 
Church folk; thus, he uses some of his henchmen to lure Church 
folk away from their commitment to Christ. To offset the prospect 
of yielding to worldly temptations, Christians must stay involved 
in some aspects of Church work. 
The last consideration of spiritual apathy is a consideration of 
its evilness. Remember Amos warned - Woe to them that are ease 
in Zion. This state of mind is evil in itself. It displeases God; it 
grieves His Spirit, and it blocks spiritual blessings. 
This apathy is, secondly, evil in its influence. It generates 
a feeling of anger, it renders the soul barren, it robs the person of 
peace, and it creates a false sense of importance. The evil influence 
can impact on one’s actions toward others; it can spill over into the 
Church; and ultimately, it the can dims one’s outlook on the world. 
In sum, this evil influence of spiritual apathy is bad for the 
individual, for those with whom that person interacts, for members 
of the Church, and for people in general. 
In closing, what does this text tell us ? Let it be a test of our 
present attitude and behavior. Next, let it lead us to a greater 
devotion for church membership and its opportunities for us to 
exercise out talents in the Lord’s work. Amen!
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