In the 80s we started hearing a new word. That word was AIDS: acquired immune deficiency syndrome. This disease of diseases destroys the body’s immune system, leaving the infected person vulnerable to all kinds of sickness. Without the natural defenses God placed in our bodies, we cannot fight off infections.
A lot of Christians have contracted AIDS. Their immune system has been weakened or destroyed, and they are suspect to devastating diseases. As the name says, they acquired this disease. They were not born with it. They do not have the strength to fight off even the slightest bug that healthy Christians resist.
I am talking about spiritual acquired immune deficiency syndrome. The Christian has an immune system that fights off infections. That system is the armor of God (Eph. 6:10-17). The Word of God is especially necessary for a healthy immune system: “Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11). If you want to keep spiritual diseases out of your soul, then fill your heart with the Bible.
Christians that fail to study the Bible, pray, and assemble regularly with the saints acquire this condition. They lose their spiritual immune system. Their spiritual defenses break down and leave them open to diseases that rot the soul.
Christians with spiritual AIDS are suspect to worldly temptations. The Word of God is not in them to ward off temptation, and “the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word” (Mark 4:19). Demas contracted this virus. He forsook Paul, “having loved this present world” (II Tim. 4:10). This condition leaves one weak and gullible. A Christian who comes down with spiritual AIDS can be talked into anything because he doesn’t have strength to resist.
Christians who become infected are suspect to the disease of bitterness. They let the sun go down on their wrath and get up the next morning with resentment. Their hate and bitterness are contagious. This is why the Bible says to beware “lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled” (Heb. 12:15). People with spiritual AIDS do not control their anger, and this anger grows into resentment, contempt, and hate.
This disease also leaves people open to infections of false doctrine. Paul said the false doctrine of Hymenaeus and Philetus “will eat as doth a canker” or gangrene (II Tim. 2:17). Church members who do not study the Word of God do not have the knowledge to defend themselves against error. Their soul does not contend for the faith because the faith is not in them.
Why do Christians contract spiritual AIDS? They acquire this condition when they watch more television than they read the Bible. They are infected when they spend more time with worldly friends than they spend with fellow members of the church. They come down with spiritual AIDS when they think evil thoughts about others instead of good thoughts.
Keep yourself healthy spiritually. A disease that attacks the body is bad, but a spiritual disease is far worse.
-Kerry Duke, VP of Academics & Academic Affairs