Marry in haste, repent in leisure.
How many people do you know, perhaps it is yourself, that attend church on a regular basis because if they stop people might talk? They said the words, repeated the “I accept Jesus” phrases, started showing up regularly, but after a period of time found no joy in it, began to see it as unprofitable, or perhaps even a burden, but they will not leave because of what others may think of them if they do. They go through the motions, but there is no love there.
I propose, along with many God-fearing men that have come before me that the majority of people who go to church on a regular basis are thus, yet those who stand behind the pulpit would never admit it, for, at least in the back of their mind, two things would become a visible truth, they would lose much revenue, and they would see themselves as losers, unprofitable to the work. “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Gal. 6:9)
The problem is, when is that season? There are few today that lead congregations that will have a face-to-face meeting with those that attend their assemblies, the possibility that the truth may offend that person is too much for them to bear, they may leave and not come back, thereby giving that person who has sat in that pew for so long a reason, an excuse, to finally do what they have been wanting to do for so long, stop showing up on Sunday morning. It is a viscous circle, the one sitting wants to leave, the one preaching will not address that person with the difficult, but necessary questions.
Accept Christ in haste, repent in leisure.
So, the game continues, you pretend to be in love, but your heart is far from the object that you say you love. “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” (1 John 2:19) And all because of what people might say or think.
“So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” (Rev. 3:16) I can think of no better reference at this time than this analogy, the man and woman fall in love, marry in haste, and then, as time goes on, the newness wears off, the thrill is gone, as it is said, and life becomes a repetitive, monotonous burden that they will not walk away from. And not because of what damage it may cause upon the other party involved, but because of their own selfish, self-centered concerns.
Do you not believe that the Almighty can see through this charade, do you think that you can fool Him by living a life outside of those church walls that does not reflect your supposed feigned attitude and actions within them? A cold callousness replaces what was once seen as a heartfelt emotion, words become nothing more than that, just words, the traditions are adhered to, the obligations are performed, and everything becomes nothing more than a rote, repetition of the day before, or the previous Sunday. “Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?” (Malachi 3:7)
This is nothing new, I offer no great revelation here, any pastor worth his salt can see the truth of what is written here, as well as any husband or wife. Things changed, slowly, progressively in such a manner as to be almost imperceptible. Why do you think the divorce rate is so extremely high, why do you think that church attendance is at an all time low, why do you believe that the hearts of many have grown cold?
Repetition without some form of initiative, without purposeful intent will bring callousness every time.
Your marriage will fail, but you will remain in it, building your home inside your head. You will leave the path that Christ has set before you, while still believing that you are a profitable servant, when the greatest truth is that you were never on the path in the first place. “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” (2 Tim. 3:13)
Only a few of us can see what is happening, I pray that you are one of them.