I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine where he told me about someone who we both know who says that he is…”not a Christian anymore.” What? How does this happen? How does a person go from being excited about Jesus and the work that He is doing in their life to saying, ‘You know, I don’t think this Jesus stuff is right. I quit.’ I know, some of you might be saying that he probably wasn’t a “real” Christian to begin with. You’re probably right, but you are also probably wrong. The guy who I am speaking of is someone who had confessed Jesus as his Saviour, he had joined with God in the work of His kingdom, he loved the things of God. I am writing this not because I want to drag this guy through the mud or make him seem unhuman in any way. I am writing this because I love my brothers and sisters in Christ and because my heart hurts to have someone walk away from such an awesome God as mine. How does this happen and no one knows about it? How do we protect ourselves and our Christian family from apostatizing as well? Let’s talk about.
In Matthew’s gospel Jesus tells the apostles that they are to “make disciples” of the nations and that they are to teach them to “observe all the things that [He] commanded” (Matt. 28:18-20, NKJV). There it is! Jesus’ command was for the apostles to make disciples not converts. The danger in only making converts is that these babes in Christ will starve to death. Does it make sense to bring a new born baby into this world and then leave that baby to feed itself? Absolutely not! If we leave the baby to provide for and feed itself that poor child will die! This is what happens when we make converts and not disciples as Jesus told us to. As Christian, those of us who are strong in the faith should come along side those who are weak in the faith and teach them how to walk, how to talk, how to sit up and how to hold their own sippy cups and feed themselves (Rom. 14:1; Gal. 6:1-6, NKJV). If you take a good look at Galatians chapter six you will see that the individual is also responsible for their own spiritual growth; it’s not just about being spoon fed by the pastor, we each have to work out our own salvation with a great reverence for God and His word (Phil. 2:12-13, NKJV).
The Bible is full of examples about the dangers of apostacy. One such example is in the parable of the sower. The Word of God is planted within the hearts of many people and we see from Mark’s gospel that some, maybe like this guy that I know, receive the Word and it takes root within their hearts as long as things are going well, but when their faith is challenged, when they are faced with questions or hard times they buckle under the pressure and the Word which was planted in their hearts becomes ineffective (Mark 4:13-17, NKJV). If you notice, the reason that the Word is ineffective has nothing to do with the ability of the Word, but it has everything to do with the heart of the person. This is why the Apostle Peter told Believers to “sanctify the Lord God in their hearts” (1 Pt. 3:15, NKJV). This is not a one time event. The world is full of competing voices which are trying to “pervert the gospel of Christ” (Gal. 1:7, NKJV), but if God is set apart within our hearts day by day or moment by moment then our hearts will be fertile ground for the Truth of God to be planted and productive!
Again, my concern is for Christians to be on guard against the attacks of Satan. This enemy of ours is at work trying to steal us away from the Truth of God so that he can kill and annihilate us, but Christ is at work trying to save us from this enemy, by giving us His abundant life (John 10:7-11, NKJV). If you are reading this and Jesus means nothing to you, I pray that you would take a few minutes to think about that fact that a God whom you could not care less about cares for you. That when you wanted nothing to do with Him He chose to die for you. Sin is an eternal crime with eternal consequences, but Jesus paid for your crime and He did your time so that you could see and know that He loves you and wants to have a relationship with you. Will you allow Him to complete the good work that He started for you? If you are a Christian and you are on the fringes of walking away from Jesus, consider that there is no other name by which men MUST be saved (Acts 4:12, NKV), that there is no other gospel (Gal. 1:6-7, NKJV) which has the power of God to save (Rom. 1:16). Sanctify Jesus in your hearts today. Over the next 21 days ask God to show Himself, His truth and His love for you and trust Him with your life by obeying what he tells you to do! God bless you. Amen.