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Religious Indifference

Catherine Booth

Indifference is often a state of mind of people who intellectually believe in God and in divine revelation. How amazing it is that any being with a mind, a conscience, and a soul can remain indifferent after he has once heard, or once professed to believe that there is a God, an eternity, a heaven, and a hell, and that he is a candidate for one or the other! Nothing can explain this mystery, except that “the god of this world hath blinded” his mind.

The great effort of the devil is to keep people indifferent, and nothing does he dread so much as awakening and arousing preaching, or other instrumentalities calculated to awaken and alarm them. Oh, that Christians understood it! It seems to me sometimes, instead of understanding it they appear to be partners with the devil in trying to keep people asleep. They shrink away from any direct, personal, earnest, thorough dealing with souls that would be likely to awaken them to a sense of their danger.

They do not recognize the fact as they ought that Satan has got men fast asleep in sin, and that it is his great device to keep them so. He does not care what we do, if he can do that. We may sing songs about “the sweet by-and-by,” preach sermons, and say prayers, and go the jog-trot round and round till Doomsday, and he will never concern himself about us if we don’t wake anybody up. But, if we wake anybody, he will gnash on us with his teeth. This is our work–to wake people up. That is your responsibility, you Christians. Wake them! Wake them! Remember, sinners are indifferent.

They are like a man walking asleep by the side of a precipice–they do not see their danger. They do not apprehend the dire, devilish, damning character of sin! What we want to do is to enlighten them and make them face the great problems of existence– life, death, judgment, eternity, heaven, and hell. Enlighten them, they are in ignorance.

Ah! how many are in wilful ignorance! “For this they willingly are ignorant of.” Sinner, you can shut your eyes now against the glorious Sun of righteousness Himself. You can turn your head away and refuse to see, but you will never go to sleep anymore when once you are awakened for the last time. May God wake you now! “Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead.” It is your work to arise. The Lord help you to wake up!

My friend, will you give your soul a chance? Will you make a bit of time to think about your death bed and the Judgment Bar? Will you stop in your chase after riches, position, learning, pleasure? Will you pull yourself up, as a rational being ought, and look God and eternity in the face? Stop and think! If you will not think now, remember that you will have to spend eternity thinking.

This indifference is the height of folly and the extreme of wickedness. HAVE YOU A SOUL? Will you stand there and tell me you have and, at the same time, that you have never taken any time to consider what is to become of it; that you have never faced the great problems of this Book, nor asked yourself what you are going to do in case of death; that you have no plan for salvation and yet you believe you have a soul! Surely the time past shall suffice for such folly.

You will act like a rational being; you will face the fact of your soul’s destiny and settle the question whether you will be saved or lost forever. Will you? I call on you in the name of reason, of God, of Christ, of eternity to settle it, whether you will have your soul saved or not. And if you will, come, and let it be done tonight.

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