In the book I just read, "Seven Truths You Won't Hear in Church," the author talks about the spiritually dead. We were all in that state at one time until the Lord called us out, just like Lazerus. We who shadow the halls of a church every Sunday are probably fairly familiar with this analogy.
But it's more than a nice way to visualize our spirtual deadness. If you think about it (and I have), you probably know many people who are spiritually dead before you've had a single conversation with them. Only spritual deadness can explain those among us who spend their entire lives in pursuit of money, sex, and anything else that makes them feel good for the moment. Think about it. How many people do you know, probably in your own family, who can only talk about the most shallow of topics? After ten minutes at a family reunion listening to them talk about their suntan or new car, you're ready to vomit. It's hard not to vomit when speaking to the dead.
I can go on and on about this. It's sad and it's frustrating. When you try to tell these people about Jesus you get a blank stare. What we need to understand (what I need to understand) is that I can't save anyone. Only Jesus can raise the dead. When He calls, maybe I'll be there to urge that person to respond, maybe not. I know this gets into pre-destination and all that fun stuff, but I don't think I'll get many arguments when I say that a vast majority of our witnessing falls on deaf (or should I say dead) ears.
That must be why Paul wanted us to meet on a regular basis. After a week of hanging out with the dead, we need to be among the living for a few hours.