If the Lord returns on Sunday, many Christians have a real problem. They have, for many years, determinately programmed themselves both physically and mentally to be out of order every Sunday.
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Like alcoholism there is much discussion as to whether this “disease” is sin, sickness, or crime and like alcoholism I would answer, in my opinion, all three. It is, indeed, frustrating to see so many people you really love and appreciate afflicted with such an apparently untreatable disease. It seems that they usually are relatively free from pain during the week with the possible exception of Wednesday evening, and during those periods of time seem to function reasonably well.
IT IS VERY INTERMITTENT
During the week they may be seen in discount stores, supermarkets, on their jobs, at the lake, in the city park, driving down the streets, working in their yards, or visiting with their kin. In general, though they may suffer some discomfort, they manage to “do their thing” at least five and one-half or six days out of the week. In fact, they are frequently pert enough for a Sunday afternoon picnic at the lake and three or four hours on a boat seat, but an hour or two on a church pew in an air-conditioned building is a simple impossibility.
IT IS HEREDITARY
This “disease” seems also to be hereditary. In fact, the parents of juvenile victims may be guilty of forcing the disease upon their children. Church leaders (who seem to be the only group doing any research on this ailment) are led to this conclusion by the strange observance of children who were too sick for church on Sunday accompanying their mothers to public places of almost every sort, every single day of the following week and then being too sick for church again the next Sunday. It is almost certain that children constantly exposed to this virus will grow up with tendencies toward Sunday-indifference, if not the real thing, Chronic Sunday Incapacitation.
The side effects of this disease are often nearly as bad as the disease itself and frequently make a cure all but impossible. Some of those effects are spiritual drowsiness, spiritual imperception, biblical malnutrition, ecclesiastical paranoia, rotting around the heart and acute hypocrisy. Perhaps worse than any of these is a spiritual blindness which makes the unfortunate victim unaware that there is anything wrong with him or her spiritually and causes constant mirages of grievous faults in others. Professing Christians have even died and gone to Hell with this disease.
DANGERS AND SAFEGUARDS
Anyone who tries to treat this disease has both some dangers he must face and some safeguards he may enjoy. On the one hand, he is in constant danger of being sued in the courts of gossip and criticism for malpractice. On the other hand, he is reasonably safe from frontal attack from a victim because if a victim says anything to him about it, he automatically identifies himself as a person with the disease, and almost none of its victims ever admit they have it. Therefore, the onlyill effect he usually suffers is just that which can be done to him by indirect or undercover attacks.
REMISSION IS RARE
Complete remission of this terrible sickness, sin or crime is very, very rare. This is not because the cure is complicated. A simple heart adjustment by the Lord Jesus Christ will fix everything right up. The reason cures are few is because each one requires genuine confession of the sin, both to self and to God, and many people’s spiritual checkbook just will not stand the strain. This is too bad, for many miserable people could once again enjoy life if they would repent and take up their cross.
LET’S BE SERIOUS
When we are serious and honest we know this is not funny, humorous, or excusable. It is Sin, just like lying, theft, adultery, or any other vile thing. The diagnosis is in the Bible. “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” (Romans 1:21)
The prognosis is also in the Bible. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1-2)