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If We Do Nothing

If We Do Nothing

      Life itself is about doing something.   We are aware of this from a school or work standpoint.   If we “do nothing” while in school; put no effort into learning, or doing the assigned work, we will gain nothing.   If we, upon finding gainful employment, are one who “does nothing” on the job, we will likely be seeking other employment very soon.  

     Much has been said lately about the danger to our health in not getting the needed exercise.   Many folks are now struggling with obesity in large part due to “doing nothing” rather than walking, exercising, or participating in some activity designed to help them move about and get their blood flowing.   Sometimes when people realize the severe harm they have done themselves by “doing nothing”, it is way too late.

     In 2Kings 7:3-4 we read of four lepers, physically condemned by a dreadful disease, who realized the fallacy of doing nothing.   And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate: and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die? 4 If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.    They were going to die anyway, why not do something? What did they have to lose? Perhaps by “doing something” their fate might not be as harsh as if they did nothing.

   The New Testament, written to Christians, also shows that doing nothing is not an option available to the Christian.   In James 2:17 the brother of the Lord was directed to write: Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  Much has been written about faith and the entire eleventh chapter of Hebrews was dedicated, not only to faith, but the fact that every example of faith listed had “works” to go along with it.   This is very important, especially in the life of a Christian. If our faith is alone and has no works – it is dead and we are spiritually dead.

     As James was engaged of the Spirit to write to the brethren, he was directed to provide them an example in James 2:15-16 that has application even today. If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?    These are folks that have “put on” Christ in baptism and are our brethren. If they need our help we should help them.   We are so instructed in Galatians 6:9-10. These brethren in the churches of Galatia were expected to “do something”.   And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. 

       This “advice” applies not only to things of a physical nature. The same application can be made to one that has not heard, or has not been given the opportunity to obey the gospel. They are not yet “in Christ” and therefore are not brothers or sisters, but what if we “do nothing” toward them?   What if we fail to give them those things that are needful to their soul? What doth it profit?   

      We may even try to “justify” ourselves in “doing nothing” or even “doing little” in the claim that folks won’t listen.   We never know the reaction folks may have toward the Word of God when it is preached or taught.   In Acts 17, while at Mars Hill, Paul could have done nothing.   The whole city was “given to idolatry” per vs 16.   When this golden opportunity was presented to Paul, the Spirit gave him “Words” to preach and some even listened.   Acts 17:32 tells us: And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.  The final verse of the chapter says that “some clave unto him and believed”. Did not his efforts profit?

    The Spirit also had Paul tell Timothy some things to “do” while they were separated by miles, and until they were united. 2Timothy 4:13; 15-16 is where this instruction is found. Much of this applies to us today as well. 13  Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.  (15-16) Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. 16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.   This is sound advice in any age.  

     Does Romans 10:14-18 sound as though the Spirit had Paul teach the Christians there to “do nothing”? How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. 

     If we do nothing, we die physically, and we also will die spiritually. Don’t you think it is time to do something?   Wake up!   Get moving for the Lord.   Call the lost to salvation and the erring to repentance through the gospel. Or. . . do nothing and die!

                                 Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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