The Danger of Apathy

apathyTITLE: The Danger of Apathy

SUBJECT: Attitudes

PROPOSITION: In this lesson, we will discuss the danger of apathy and how to address it.

OBJECTIVE: The hearer should understand the causes of apathy and what he can do about it.

AIM: I want to address how apathy hinders the church.


1. Read: Revelation 3:15-16 – “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”

2. About the Text:

1) Jesus most severe criticisms were given to the church at Laodicea.

2) They were lukewarm, another way of saying apathetic.

3) They were satisfied with their own situation physically and wouldn’t see their spiritual degeneration.

4) Apathy causes spiritual blindness and ultimately spiritual death.

5) What is apathy, how is it dangerous, and how do we address it?

3. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.

DISCUSSION: In order to address the problem of Apathy we must . . .

I.   Define Apathy

1. What is apathy?

1) Lack of Action – James 1:22-25

2) Lack of Love – John 14:15 – “If you love me, keep my commandments.”

3) In short, apathy is neglect.

2. What causes apathy?

1) Ignorance – Hosea 4:6 – “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.”

2) Preoccupation – Acts 24:25 – “Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, ‘Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.’”

3) Laziness – Proverbs 24:30-31 – “I went by the field of the lazy man, And by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; Its surface was covered with nettles; Its stone wall was broken down.”

4) Selfishness – Luke 12:19 – “And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.’”

II.  Recognize the Dangers of Apathy

1. Apathy is contagious.

1) Jeroboam incited people to apathy.

2) “Therefore the king asked advice, made two calves of gold, and said to the people, ‘It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt!’ And he set up one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. Now this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one as far as Dan” (1 Kings 12:28-30).

3) When one person is apathetic, others become apathetic as well.

4) “If he doesn’t care, then why should I?”

5) “You shall not follow a crowd to do evil….” (Exodus 23:2).

2. Apathy results in atrophy.

1) Atrophy is a condition of malnourishment that causes degeneration.

2) “Because of laziness the building decays, And through idleness of hands the house leaks” (Ecclesiastes 10:18).

3) Luke 12:45-46 – “But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.”

3. Apathy ends in death.

1) “The desire of the lazy man kills him, For his hands refuse to labor” (Proverbs 21:25).

2) “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents” (Matthew 25:26-28).

III. Address Apathy

1. We need spiritual nourishment to prevent apathy – a real relationship with Jesus.

1) “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).

2) “And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).

2. We need spiritual exercise to prevent apathy.

1) Bible Study – 2 Timothy 2:15

2) Prayer – 1 Thess.5:17

3) Attendance – Hebrews 10:25

4) Giving – 1 Corinthians 16:1-2

3. We need spiritual action to prevent apathy.

1) Nehemiah 10:39 – “For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the grain, of the new wine and the oil, to the storerooms where the articles of the sanctuary are, where the priests who minister and the gatekeepers and the singers are; and we will not neglect the house of our God.”

2) “And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has” (Luke 12:42-44).


1. We must fight apathy on a daily basis by . . .

1) Understanding What It Is

2) Recognizing Its Dangers

3) Addressing It Though Action

2. Invitation