by Pastor Daniel Machado from Cuba

Biblical Passage: 1 Kings 11:1-10 (King James Version)

Introduction:

Currently, a gloomy trend looms over the Christian community: the neglect of spiritual life. This phenomenon threatens not only the integrity of faith but also the eternal salvation of the believer. Through the lens of “Spiritual Neglect,” this sermon delves into the causes and consequences of this phenomenon, using the life of Solomon, one of the most emblematic biblical characters, as an example.

I. Causes of Spiritual Neglect

Engaging with what God disapproves of: Solomon succumbed to the charm of his lovers, forgetting his devotion to God. Let us remember that God loves the sinner, but hates sin.

Tozer, A. W. (1961) argues that God desires His followers to distance themselves from everything that is contrary to His nature and teachings, which includes sinful relationships (Tozer, A. W. The Knowledge of the Holy. New York: Harper & Row, 1961).

Walking outside of God’s will: Solomon deviated from divine will, plunging himself into a path of perdition. Many believers knowingly continue on this erroneous path, even though they are far from God’s will.

Swindoll, C. R. (2001) explains that straying from God’s will can lead to confusion, suffering, and loss of communion with God (Swindoll, C. R. The Mystery of God’s Will. Nashville, TN: W Publishing Group, 2001).

Loving what God does not love: Solomon’s love leaned towards what God did not love, forgetting the first and greatest commandment: to love God above all things.

Wilkinson, B., & Kopp, D. (2000) emphasize the importance of seeking and loving the things that God loves, and avoiding setting our hearts on what God disapproves of (Wilkinson, B., & Kopp, D. Secrets of the Vine: Breaking Through to Abundance. Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2000).

Spending time on what God does not value: Solomon invested his time in activities that displeased God, bringing dire consequences. As believers, we must use our time wisely and in activities that honor God.

Blackaby, H. T., & Blackaby, R. (2001) stress that spiritual leaders should focus their efforts on activities that honor God and promote His kingdom (Blackaby, H. T., & Blackaby, R. Spiritual Leadership: Moving People on to God’s Agenda. Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2001).

II. Consequences of Spiritual Neglect

Spiritual weakening: Neglect of spiritual life exposes us to the enemy’s schemes, which seek to devour those weakened in their faith.

Sande, K. (2004) points out that spiritual neglect can weaken our faith, making us more vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks (Sande, K. The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2004).

Slavery to sin: By neglecting our spiritual life, we end up becoming slaves to sin and drifting away from God’s will.

Piper, J. (2003) warns that when we neglect ourselves spiritually, we may fall into sin’s slavery and drift away from God (Piper, J. Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist. Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2003).

Hardening of the heart: A hardened heart is unable to hear and obey God’s voice, hindering spiritual

restoration.

McDowell, J., & Belew, B. (1997) explain that a hardened heart cannot hear or obey God’s voice, making spiritual restoration difficult (McDowell, J., & Belew, B. More Than a Carpenter. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1997).

Loss of the anointing of the Holy Spirit:

When we neglect our spiritual life, the Holy Spirit withdraws, and we are left without His guidance and protection.

Chan, F. (2008) contends that by neglecting our spiritual life, we can lose the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives (Chan, F. Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2008).

Lack of passion for the things of God:

Spiritual neglect leads us to lose enthusiasm and passion for the things of God, acting out of obligation rather than love.

Keller, T. (2008) emphasizes that spiritual neglect can lead to a lack of passion and enthusiasm for the things of God, causing us to act out of obligation rather than love (Keller, T. The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith. New York: Dutton, 2008).

Wrath of God:

Neglecting our spiritual life provokes God’s wrath, which can bring catastrophic consequences to our lives.

MacArthur, J. (2008) cautions that neglect of our spiritual life can provoke God’s wrath and bring catastrophic consequences to our lives (MacArthur, J. The Gospel According to Jesus: What Is Authentic Faith? Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008).

Spiritual death:

Ultimately, spiritual neglect leads to spiritual death, meaning the loss of our connection with God and the possibility of salvation.

Stott, J. R. W. (2001) asserts that spiritual neglect can ultimately lead us to spiritual death, signifying the loss of our connection with God and the possibility of salvation (Stott, J. R. W. The Cross of Christ. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2001).

Conclusion:

Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, our lives hold immeasurable value in God’s eyes, who fervently longs for our salvation and well-being. However, it is imperative to remember that only those who fight with courage and determination can reach the Kingdom of Heaven. We need to strengthen ourselves, remain vigilant, and pray to resist temptations. A believer must not neglect their spiritual life, as the risk is extremely high and could cost them eternal salvation.

Spiritual neglect manifests when we engage with what God disapproves of, move away from His will, love what He does not love, and dedicate our time to what He does not value. Do not allow the severe consequences of spiritual neglect to affect our lives. Let us be among those who not only hear the Word of God but also keep and apply it in their daily lives. By doing so, we draw closer to God and secure our relationship with Him, avoiding the dangers and consequences of spiritual neglect.

Therefore, it is time to awaken and pay attention to our spiritual lives. Immerse yourself in the Word of God, strengthen your fellowship with Him through prayer, and seek His will in everything you do. Do not let spiritual neglect draw you away from God’s presence and the eternal life He offers through Jesus Christ, our Savior. Let us face temptations and trials with courage and determination, securing our place in the Kingdom of Heaven and enjoying the peace and joy that only God can provide.

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