Jesus Never Said, “You Must Be Bored Again!”

Rev. Tony Cooke

If you are shocked at the title and answered back, “Oh yes he did,” please read it again. Jesus certainly said “you must be born again,” but he never said “you must be bored again.” The Lord never envisioned a church filled with disinterested, apathetic, and complacent people. He did not give his life so that people could be enthusiastic for a season, only later to be lulled into a long, spiritual slumber, where the things of God are regarded flippantly, as though they are of little or no value.

A warning expressed repeatedly in the New Testament concerns the danger of believers becoming cold and disinterested toward spiritual things. Perhaps you’ve had Christian friends who were once on fire for God, but no longer are. Perhaps you even went through a period when you became less fervent in your love for God. The times in which we live require a church that is aflame with passion for God and for people. I remember a Keith Green song that impacted me when I first began walking with the Lord. He wrote that “The world is sleeping in the dark that the church just can’t fight ‘cause it’s asleep in the light.”

It is remarkable that Peter, James, and John literally slept through two of the most remarkable events of his entire ministry. What were they doing during the first half of the Transfiguration, while Jesus interacted with Moses and Elijah? “Peter and the others had fallen asleep” (Luke 9:32 NLT). Later, while Jesus was agonizing in the Garden of Gethsemane, he went back, three separate times, to his top disciples, asking them to watch and pray with him. Each time he found them sleeping (Matthew 26:40-45) even though he yearned for their partnership and companionship during his distress.

We can all understand physical fatigue and the need for sleep, but we need to ensure that we are not spiritually dozing and missing what God desires to do in and through us. I think my friend, Gerald Brooks, hit the nail on the head when he said, “Most churches don’t have a theology problem; they have a passion problem.”

Consider these few Scriptures, and then take the self-evaluation that follows.

“…wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest” (John 4:35 NLT).

“Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically… you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed” (Romans 12:11; 13:11 NLT).

“Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light” Ephesians 5:14 (NLT).

“…stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you…” (2 Timothy 1:6 AMP).

“…do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:12 NKJV).

Spiritual Boredom and Apathy Self-Evaluation

Concerning the Things of God, Am I… Yes No
Apathetic, bored, or indifferent?
Lackadaisical, lazy, lethargic, listless, or lukewarm? 
Mechanically or ritualistically going through the motions?
Sluggish, dragging, or plodding along?
Lacking in zest or zeal?
Nonchalant or complacent in my spiritual walk?
Detached, disinterested, or distracted?
Cold, half-hearted, or numb?
Less involved in prayer and Bible study than before?
Less interested in attending and serving in church than before? 
Less concerned about evangelism and missions than before?
Less generous than before?

How did you do? Are you pleased with your answers? This wasn’t written to put anyone under condemnation — of course, we can all do better. But is the Father wanting you to wake up to some things — to revitalize you in the things of God? This might be a great time to do some serious praying and to rekindle the flame that once burned brightly inside of you.

Great Quotes About Overcoming Spiritual Apathy and Boredom

“Preach [and live] as if Jesus was crucified yesterday, rose from the dead today, and is returning tomorrow.”
– Martin Luther (1483-1536)

“When sinners are careless and stupid, and sinking into hell unconcerned, it is time the church should bestir themselves. It is as much the duty of the church to awake, as it is for the firemen to awake when a fire breaks out in the night in a great city.”
– Charles Finney (1792-1875)

“Everywhere there is apathy. Nobody cares whether that which is preached is true or false. A sermon is a sermon whatever the subject; only, the shorter it is, the better.”
– Charles Spurgeon (1831-1892)

“What makes the Dead Sea dead? Because it is all the time receiving, never giving out anything. Why is it that many Christians are cold? Because they are all the time receiving, never giving out anything.”
– Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899)

“May God so fill us today with the heart of Christ that we may glow with the divine fire of holy desire.”
– A. B. Simpson (1843-1919)

“A different world cannot be built by indifferent people.”
– Peter Marshall (1902-1949)

“God is saying, ‘I stand ready to pour a little liquid fire into your heart, into your spiritual being.’”
– A. W. Tozer (1897-1963)

“Can we be casual in the work of God—casual when the house is on fire, and people in danger of being burned?”
– Duncan Campbell (1898-1972)

“The world has lost the power to blush over its vice; the Church has lost her power to weep over it.”
– Leonard Ravenhill (1907-1994)

“We should not ask, ‘What is wrong with the world?’ for that diagnosis has already been given. Rather, we should ask, ‘What has happened to the salt and light?’”
– John Stott (1921-2011)

“I know when apostolic passion has died in my heart. It happens when I don’t spend my quiet time dreaming of the time when Jesus will be worshiped in languages that aren’t yet heard in heaven. I know it’s missing from my life when I sing about heaven, but live as if earth is my home. Apostolic passion is dead in my heart when I dream more about sports, toys, places to go and people to see, than I do about the nations worshiping Jesus.”
– Floyd McClung (1945-2021)