Burdenless Christians

By Dr. Ken Matto

Galatians 6:5 (KJV) For every man shall bear his own burden.

2 Timothy 4:16 (KJV) At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Paul made his first defense at Rome but the problem was that he had no one as a character witness nor even those who came with him appeared to help him because they had feared for their own lives and as a result, Paul stood alone in defending himself against the charges. 2 Timothy 4:17 (KJV) Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. In the next verse, Paul states that he was really not alone because the Lord had stood with him, even in the absence of any other brethren to stand with him.

There seems to be a similar situation in today’s Christianity and it comes about because the church has allowed itself to be turned into an entertainment center thus reducing the serious truth about true Christianity. If one goes into any of the majority of churches in America today, they will be subjected to a time of entertainment akin to that of a night club. Most churches think that by prostituting the music ministry with the charismatic style, they are reaching the youth. Nothing could be more stupid than that kind of thinking. Youth have the same needs as anyone else and are saved the same way today that people have been saved for hundreds of years and that is through the hearing of the word of God and the expounding of its message. Guess what? If you remove the word of God and do away with expounding the message, you have removed the conduit whereby a person can become saved. Romans 10:17 (KJV) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. This is why the church has become nothing more than entertainment centers, because the word of God has been removed and the result of that idiotic move by the clergy and their toady elders is that we have now produced a generation of burdenless Christians.

Let me first define a “burdenless” Christian. It is a Christian who does not even know what is happening to their brothers and sisters in other parts of the world and if they do know, they become apathetic only concerning themselves with themselves. Now I am not speaking of just the youth in this matter but adults too, especially those who refuse to leave their comfort zone or who refuse to give financial help to organizations who are helping these brothers and sisters. As a result of the incessant American serial wars for Israel in the Middle East, millions of Christians are suffering by giving their own lives, through having to move, having no permanent homes and lacking any comforts they had before America moved in with its false flag democracy. Then there are millions of Christians suffering in communist countries like North Korea and Red China. The American Christian does not even know what is going on in these areas. When was the last time your self-absorbed pastor preached on the plight of believers in hostile countries, other than the one token Sunday a year which emphasizes missions?

If you think I am making this up, then the next time you go to church, wait till the service is over and then listen to the individual conversations people have while they are milling around in small groups. See what you hear. Missions? No, sports, vacations, health, jobs, Social Security, and subjects like that is what you will hear. I remember some time ago I was having a conversation with some friends after a church service and we were discussing some Scripture verses. While the discussion was going on, someone interrupted us and asked us if we wanted to buy tickets to a soccer game. I couldn’t care less if every soccer field fell into a sink hole but that is the type of thing which is on the mind of American Christians. In this article, I will be speaking about the apathy of American Christians and not those who are giving their all in different countries to send forth the Gospel.

Our text verse is Galatians 6:5: Galatians 6:5 (KJV) For every man shall bear his own burden.

Shall bear - Pick up, lift up, or sustain
Burden - Heavy burden, obligation or duty

Paul here uses a word for “burden” which can mean “the cargo of a ship.” (Acts 27:10 KJV) And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives. The word “lading” is a cognate of “burden” in Galatians 6:5 and carries with it the meaning of “cargo, load, or freight.” So the Bible is teaching us here that every Christian has a responsibility in this world and we are to bear that responsibility and not allow it to be borne by another. The burdens of the Christian life may become heavy in our life but God is there to sustain us. I believe this is what the Lord had in mind when He spoke about going the extra mile. (Mat 5:41 KJV) And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Sometimes the burden of the Christian walk compels us to go that extra mile and it is when we go that extra mile is when we see the great blessings God has in store for us. There is an old saying that 10% of the Christians do 90% of the work. Do you know anyone in that first 10%? How about in the last 90%? Which group are you in?

So we read plainly in Scripture that every Christian is to have a burden in this life. Those who have no burden are in violation of Scripture. To have no burden means that you have no involvement and are living a useless existence. You need to ask the question, “what is taking up your time?” Every Christian is given 24 hours, some are involved in ministry and many are not which means the time is being wasted in some worldly way. Galatians 6:5 does not state that every man might bear his own burden, it states they “shall.” The words “shall bear” is one word in the Greek and it is in the Future Tense, Active Voice, and Indicative Mood. This means that a Christians shall bear their burden at some future time, and it will be a real burden which they will be intimately involved with and the Indicative Mood states a fact from the writers point of view. It will be an action on the part of the writer. So the Bible is stating that every Christian will face that burden and if you have no burden, then check to see if you are truly saved.

I wish to bring to light some of the principles found in the book of Nehemiah which can be used to bring about an understanding of a person who has a burden and why they act or see things the way they do, and also why they seem to be so committed.

Principles from Nehemiah

1:3 - Nehemiah Was Informed
Nehemiah 1:3 (KJV) And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.

Did you ever wonder why out of all the Jews who went into captivity that it was Nehemiah whom God made sure received the information concerning the situation that was occurring in Jerusalem? Was it just to give him information or was there another reason? The reason that God gave Nehemiah the information was because he was to become strategically involved in rebuilding the walls. God does not give His children information just to keep them informed. He is not running an information service. As you know Nehemiah headed up the work group that rebuilt the walls. So God gave him the information concerning Jerusalem knowing that it was he who was going to go there and rebuild the walls. When was the last time you received a missions report telling you that a people group somewhere in the world needed to build a church or a missions station? Did you receive information from some legitimate ministry stating that they needed funds to reach out to more people? What did you do with the information? Now it is true that you cannot give to every organization. I must receive between 5 and 10 requests for funds each week and it would be impossible to give to all of them. However, did you receive information from a missions organization which had a legitimate need somewhere in the world? What did you do with it? Did you just toss it aside and go spend the money on yourself or a hobby which has no lasting eternal legacy? Did God send you that request just to keep you informed? Or did He send it to you because He wanted you to get involved? There always seems to be one or two needs which really hit home and you are desirous to help out. Did you or did you just put it aside? When was the last time you heard of a local opportunity to serve and you just let it go by? Perhaps you are a burdenless Christian who chooses to be tied more to this world than the calling which every Christian has from the Lord. If you choose not to get involved with Christian endeavors, then what is your reason of existence?

1:4 - Nehemiah was Concerned
Nehemiah 1:4 (KJV) And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,

When Nehemiah heard what condition the city of Jerusalem was in, he literally mourned and wept before the God of heaven. He did not just listen to the information and then say a quick prayer and then go about his business. When He heard the news, he was immediately burdened but at this time he did not know what role he would play. In the pecking order, the burden always come first and then comes a plan of action. If God wants you to get involved, then He is going to open your door of opportunity. If you receive information concerning some type of mission or church endeavor to help reach others for Christ and then you show no concern, then your door of opportunity may go to someone else and you will continue to live a dead Christian life. Nehemiah’s concern was coupled with action. Real concern is always connected with action. You may only be required to help fund something but that is also involvement. Nehemiah’s actions were before the God of heaven and not in front of people just to be seen. Don’t show concern in front of people just to look “holy” because God knows what the true intent of your heart is.

1:7 - Nehemiah confessed the Sin
Nehemiah 1:7 (KJV) We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

Here Nehemiah confessed the sin of his people, the cause of why they went into captivity in the first place. Have you ever prayed a prayer confessing your apathy toward the needs of fellow Christians or missions? Do you have a history of just allowing Christian opportunities to go by and not even feel a slight concern? Nehemiah identified himself with the national sin of Judah as Ezekiel did. They did not consider themselves above everyone else. They were also removed to Babylon as part of the nation of Judah. Maybe it is time that you really pray and ask God to show you if you have any spiritual deficiencies in the area of involvement and ask Him to show you why you are simply not concerned about others who may go to hell or are suffering on this earth. A good mea culpa is always vital to Christian growth.

2:1 - Nehemiah concern was real because it affected him
Nehemiah 2:1 (KJV) And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.

We read that Nehemiah received the initial report in the month of Chisleu which would be mid-November to mid-December. Here in 2:1 we are told that this scenario took place in the month of Nisan which would be mid-March to mid-April. This is important because Nehemiah was still deeply affected by the report of the desolation of Jerusalem four months later. He had a real burden for Jerusalem, one that did not die out in two days. It may be that God was testing him to see if his burden was real and it was because he still showed concern after four months and the fact that he was deeply concerned was shown on his face. In ancient times, you dare not appear before the king with a long face but Nehemiah’s burden was so great, that it affected him totally and even risked death by the king for appearing before him with a somber face. Have you ever had a burden which lasted as long as Nehemiah’s? Have you ever had a burden which you pondered for more than one day? Nehemiah had genuine concern for Jerusalem which did not fade over time. Christian burdens should also never fade because we have the marching orders to go into every nation in the world with the gospel and that will not end until the last day.

2:3 - Nehemiah explains his burden
Nehemiah 2:3 (KJV) And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?

Nehemiah is now asked by the king as to why his face was so sad before him. Nehemiah then goes on to explain his burden to the king. It never hurts to explain to others the burden you have. Each Christian is given some type of burden in this world tied to a certain type of ministry. Some have the burden of missions. Some have burden of pro-life and the saving of babies. Some have the burden of discipleship ministry. Some have the burden of prison ministry. What burden for ministry do you have or you do not have a burden for ministry? When a person explains their burden for some type of ministry, normally when they explain they may recruit other Christians who have the same desires and may join them in their pursuits. If you have never had a burden for some type of ministry, then you are just wasting the hours of life in trivial, worldly based pursuits which produce no spiritual fruit. John 15:8 (KJV) Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As Christians, we are to reproduce other Christians.

2:5 - Nehemiah desired to go himself, not send another
Nehemiah 2:5 (KJV) And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it.

Here is the essence and zenith of the Christian who has a burden. They will desire to go themselves and not send another in their place. One who has a burden will desire to get personally involved in the actual work and will not settle for someone to go in their place. This is the true divine desire that sent the five missionaries to their deaths in 1953 when they chose to reach the Auca Indians in Ecuador. It is the same divine desire that sent William Carey to India without official missionary society backing. It is the same divine desire that sent Lottie Moon to China for over forty years. It is the same divine desire which caused Amy Carmichael to serve in India for fifty five years. Gladys Aylward was a woman who was a domestic worker (like Nehemiah) in her early age but had a strong desire to go to China., She was turned down by China Inland Mission but she saved her money and in 1932 she went to China using all her life savings. In 1948 she had to leave the country and 10 years later in 1958 wanted to return to China but was refused permission so instead she settled in Taiwan in 1958 and worked with orphans. She died in 1970 and is buried in Taiwan.

These few examples show that these Christians had a divinely driven desire to get personally involved in ministry to different people groups. They were not satisfied in going to work and just sending money to support ongoing ministry but desired to go themselves and each one made a major mark upon the people they had served. Have you ever head a burden so strong that you desired to go personally? If not, then something is definitely wrong. It may be you are not a committed Christian or are tied to this world so closely that you no longer can feel a burden for others. If you are lacking a personal ministry, then you need to reassess where you are in this life because it is going by so fast and the more time you waste with the world, the less time you have making an impact for Christ.

6:3 - Uninterrupted Dedication
Nehemiah 6:3 (KJV) And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?

Nehemiah was working diligently so Sanballat and Geshem wanted to meet with Nehemiah but Nehemiah knew that this was a diversion to get him to stop working and come and waste time with them. What was Nehemiah’s response? He refused to stop working because he knew that this was another satanic diversion. Nehemiah was dedicated to the work and wanted to see it completed and because he dedicated himself and the people to work, the wall was rebuilt in 52 days. Has this happened to you? You get a burden to work on some type of ministry project and then all of a sudden you are interrupted by friends or family who want you to stop what you are doing and do something with them. If you have no ministry, then do not hinder those who do. For example, you may have a friend who might volunteer at a Christian radio station or their church and they tell you when they will be there. So you come along and call them up the night before and tell them the whole group is going to the beach or park and they want you to join them. That is throwing a stumbling block before your brethren and is a serious offense. Romans 14:13 (KJV) Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. Just because you live for this world, does not mean all Christians do and instead of trying to hinder your friend, you should be learning from him.

I believe by now you get the gist of what I am trying to convey. If you are a Christian but you are burdenless, then your testimony is flawed or you may not truly be saved. In James 2:17-26, the Bible speaks about faith without works is dead. This simply means that if you are truly a believer, then you will act on that faith to propagate the truth to others. If you are lacking any works after salvation, then the good chance is that you were never saved. The same principle applies to the Christian life. A person who claims salvation but has no type of burden for souls is leading a dead Christian life and you may not be saved, just religious. 2 Corinthians 13:5 (KJV) Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? This is why we are to examine ourselves to see if we are truly in the faith. A Christian without a burden is like a well without water, it’s there but it does no good!