When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:34-38)
The Cost Of Indifference
Martin Niemoller was a minister of a church during the turbulent years of Germany in the 1930s. Adolf Hitler had risen to power and was taking the nation toward a world war that would kill millions. Niemoller was arrested and killed in one of the many death camps. Before he died, he wrote: “In Germany, they first came for the Communist, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionist, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. And then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”
Indifference can be a costly experience. Failing to speak up at the right time can bring serious consequences. No one would fail to warn a young child of impending danger if they were engaged in something that would harm them. If they were walking too close to a cliff, a concerned parent would warn them of the dangers. Playing with fire could have catastrophic results if care is not given to teach a child the dangers. The natural response of humanity is to help their fellowman avoid danger. There are many dangers in life that can bring death and destruction but there is nothing as great as the consequence of sin. While the natural response for one human being to another in times of danger is to rescue them, this is not the case in spiritual matters.
Paul wrote to the Romans reminding them that all men sin. This is an incredible statement. What this suggests is that every human being on the face of the earth is in peril, danger, and the threat of eternal damnation. Without the blood of Jesus, most people will live full lives on earth and die with no hope. What can be more tragic is the number of people standing around these lost souls saying absolutely nothing. The price of indifference is eternal. It is not an easy life to be a follower of Jesus Christ. He requires cross-bearing. It will cost a full life of dedication and service to the will of God with no quarter given. Gaining the whole world is not just a problem for those who do not obey the gospel. Too many of God’s children are so busy gaining the world they have little time to share the word of truth with others.
The price of indifference is explained by Jesus when He said, “Is anything worth more than your soul?” What is the exchange rate for a soul? It becomes easy to live in a world cushioned by the casual pursuits of life, liberty, and happiness when souls are doomed to perdition. The modern religious climate within the church leaves the work of the gospel to paid professionals who themselves become so engaged in the affairs of their job that little is done to reach the lost. What becomes of the effort of the church is to have a sense of shame to let others know there is only one way, one truth, and one life. The Bible is no longer discussed as this might offend someone. Friends will never know the person they enjoy spending time with is a devoted Christian because they will never divulge that part of their life. Indifference to others is costing many lives to the consequences of eternal darkness. Maybe it is time for the Lord to take away the work of the church from this country and give it to a people who will stand up for truth and let their voice be heard. When we become indifferent to indifference we cannot make a difference. The light fades. Salt is good for nothing but to be trodden upon. Souls are lost. All because I did not speak up.