Updated: Apr 28
There will be a lot of side-effects from this forced lock-down. We are seeing some of the side-effects already. Loneliness, isolation, depression, anxiety, etc., are all bound to affect a good number of the population. Our bodies and minds are in danger. But worst of all, our souls are in danger.
I believe that apathy will be (if it isn’t already) the greatest side-effect that will affect our soul. Apathy means having a lack of interest in something; spiritual apathy is losing interest in the Word of God.
Falling prey to perpetual fear-mongering and being riddled with anxiety every day only does one thing: it stops us from praying. This coldness of faith and overall boredom and laziness with God's Word is a tremendous spiritual danger. Keep this in mind: The opposite of love is not hate; it's indifference. Hatred presupposes that you care about something enough to hate it or be angry. But indifference doesn't even care enough to argue or consider it. It won't even entertain a conversation about it because it doesn't matter. Remember what our Lord says about the lukewarm in Revelation (3:16). In some of the Psalms (6, 10, 13, 35, etc.), the Psalmist is upset with God, and even question Him. This is not unbelief. To be angry with God presupposes faith. Even angry prayers are still true prayers. And a prayer in anger is better than no prayer at all.
The longer we go without church, the more prone we are to apathy. The great danger is growing cold in the faith and becoming completely indifferent to the Word. God has given the Sacrament of the Altar not only for the forgiveness of our sins, but also to strengthen our faith. That's why going for long periods of time without the Lord's Supper does not increase our appetite for the Lord's Supper. In fact, the less we hear God's Word, the less we want to hear it. The same goes for the Lord's Supper. The less we receive the Lord's Supper, the less we want to receive it. We are tempted to think that it's really unnecessary for the Christian life. We are tempted to believe that our souls will be fine without it. But the more we go without the sacrament, the more the devil tempts us to diminish its worth.
This is a very serious danger to faith. God kills apathy with His Word. If you are bored and tired of hearing the Word of God, the solution is to not go away and "clear your mind" or do something like that. The solution is to hear the Word of God all the more. God gives us the appetite, and He even increases that appetite, only through His Word. Hearing the Word of God leads you to hearing the Word of God. God's Word won't drive you away from Him. Your apathy and indifference will. That's why skipping church and going so long without the Lord's Supper is harmful to faith. The more you miss church, the more you will miss it, that
is, missing one Sunday leads to missing two, and so on. Unless you repent, your faith will grow cold and die.
This is an exhortation to you so that you don't grow cold and lose the faith. If you've read this and are not moved in the slightest, then repent and pray that God give you faith. Ask the Lord to be merciful to you and not hand you over to your indifference and unbelief. But if these words and warnings against apathy disturb and make you uncomfortable, then good. That means you still believe and your faith is alive. The words of God which bother you and terrify you are meant to drive you back to Him, to find your comfort in the forgiveness of sins which Christ has purchased and won for you. Seek out the Word of God at all costs. You can't afford to lose the Word. Without the Word, your faith will die. Be courageous and go and get the Lord's Supper where it is offered, even if it costs you your goods, fame, child, wife, and life. Seek first the kingdom of God.
The devil wants to sift us like wheat. Pray that your faith will not fail. Pray for yourselves, your loved ones, and all Christians. Pray that we all don't fall into apathy and make a shipwreck of the faith that God has given us. Flee to the altar where the precious blood of Christ forgives your sins and strengthened your faith against all indifference and apathy. Look to the cross and see that your God was not indifferent or apathetic when it came to saving you. He poured out every drop of blood and water from His heart for you, and for your salvation.