Summary: Laziness is a core issue for most of us.
We started a few weeks talking about what is called “the 7 deadly sins”. An ancient list of core sins that are appetizing to all people everywhere. It was constructed by early Church leaders in the sixth century. Great Christians over the ages have recognized that these particular sins can erode away any spiritual life and so they must be avoided at all cost.
We have used a modern title to describe the sermon series, what happens in Vegas stays in you. Sin is not something you visit then easily leave behind never to repeat again. The sins we commit whether in Las Vegas or Carrollton stay with us and only a spiritual remedy can heal our wayward hearts and minds. Today we look at the sin of sloth. We would call it laziness today.
My mother used to say, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” Then she would give me a list of chores to do.
Someone told me about a man who came into a local factory to apply for a job and asked to fill out an application. The manager on duty said, “I’m sorry, I can’t hire you. There just isn’t enough work to keep you busy.” The man said, “Oh, you’d be surprised how little it takes.” (to keep him busy) We all know people who aren’t examples of energy.
Paul warned the readers of Hebrews (6:12). “12We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” Laziness or sloth is a real problem. We don’t want to admit that. This is a sin seldom admitted by anyone in our society. We brag about other things, but not this one. No one here would ever admit, “Yeh, I look for ways to not do my work on the job.” Sloth is a sin that goes far beyond working 8-5. There is a spiritual idleness that dulls our attention to God and keeps us motionless as Christian coach potatoes that have little or no effect in our community. It is a part of the human sinful nature to avoid labor, physical or spiritual.
I. THE BIBLE LESSONS WE SHOULD REVIEW.
The Bible teaches us that the corresponding virtue to sloth is zeal. That’s the virtue that washes away the sin.
Romans 12 “9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
“Never be lacking in zeal.” That is to be our goal as believers. Some of you might be thinking why do we need this sermon. This is not a realistic problem in our middle American Church. Yet on closer examination we realize that many Christian today are left without any spiritual enthusiasm. Some nominal Christian say they have enough faith to carry them to heaven when they die, but it hasn’t even carried them to church worship in years.
I heard about a small town that had 3 churches in it. A Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist Church. All three had a serious problem with squirrels nesting and living in their church building. So each church met to discuss the problem.
The Presbyterians decided that it was predestined that squirrels be in the church and that they would just have to live with them.
The Methodists decided they should deal with the squirrels in the loving style of Charles Wesley. So they humanly trapped them and released them in a park at the edge of town. Within 3 days they were all back in the church.
The Baptists had the best solution, as per their tradition, They voted the squirrels in as members, Now they only see them at Christmas and Easter.
God wants us to be active and energetic for Him. We do not serve a mediocre or idle God and so He expects from us a zeal in our faith that is obvious and consistent.
If you go back to the early chapters of Genesis we realize that in the garden of Eden Adam and Eve worked at caring for the animals, gathering their food even before the fall to sin. But when they disobeyed God and they fell to sin God came to them and said in Gen. 3. Let me read there.
16To the woman he said,
“I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing;
with pain you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”
(We see two consequences in that first verse directly related to women. 1. Pain of childbirth (Terri, never again) But it means more than that. Paradise was lost and now children would be more than just painful for a women at birth, Eve had never experienced childbirth when this consequence was enacted. But now children would be disobedient and rebellious and the chore of raising children would be increased and secondly 2. Loss of position, your desire will be for your husband)