“And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.” Matthew 21:19
God has given His ministers the message of truth to proclaim. The churches are to receive and in every possible way to communicate, catching the first rays of light and diffusing them. Here is our great sin. We are years behind. The ministers have been seeking the hidden treasure and have been opening up the casket and letting the jewels of truth shine forth, but the members of the church have not done a hundredth part of that which God requires of them. What can we expect but deterioration in religious life when the people listen to sermon after sermon and do not put the instruction into practice? The ability God has given, if not exercised, degenerates. More than this, when the churches are left to inactivity Satan sees to it that they are employed. He occupies the field and engages the members in lines of work that absorb their energies, destroy spirituality, and cause them to fall as dead weights upon the church.
There are among us those who, if they would take time to consider, would regard their do-nothing position as a sinful neglect of their God-given talents. Brethren and sisters, your Redeemer and all the holy angels are grieved at your hardness of heart. Christ gave His own life to save souls, and yet you who have known His love make so little effort to impart the blessings of His grace to those for whom He died. Such indifference and neglect of duty is an amazement to the angels. In the judgment you must meet the souls you have neglected. In that great day you will be self-convicted and self-condemned. May the Lord lead you now to repentance. May He forgive His people for neglecting the work in His vineyard which He has given them to do.