October 09, 2022 Forest Antemesaris

How to Fall Away From the Living God

How to Fall Away From the Living God

The New Testament has many warnings about the possibility of a Christian losing his or her salvation, leaving the church, or deciding to no longer follow Christ. The book of Hebrews—written to Christians tempted to return to Judaism—is filled with such warnings (Heb. 2:1-4; 3:6, 12-14; 6:4-6; 10:26-30, 39). The good news is that whether we fall away is up to us. 


So, Christians are encouraged: “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God” (Heb. 3:12 ESV). God has done so much to save us and keep us saved (Jn. 3:16; 10:28-29; Rom. 8:31-39). He has designed the Christian life to help us keep the faith and remain saved. Yet, there are things we can do to jeopardize our salvation. To be mindful of pitfalls to avoid, let’s consider some things we can do that would help us fall away.



Make Assembling with Christians Optional


The divine solution for not falling away from the living God is for Christians to “exhort one another daily” (Heb. 3:13). The more time we can spend with fellow-Christians the better. The best way for Christians to “hold fast” to the confession of their hope without wavering is to stir one another up to love and good works by not neglecting to meet together (Heb. 10:23-25). We need to gather as much as possible not only for the mutual encouragement, but also for the opportunities to worship God together on the first day of the week, singing to one another, praying for one another, and reminding one another of our Lord’s death while we commune together. If we can assemble, we should (this exhortation is not for those who wish to assemble but are physically unable). We need our brethren and they need us! 

 

Don’t Read Your Bible 


God’s Word is powerful and active and makes for a powerful and active faith (Heb. 4:12). As Christians, we avoid the Word of God only at our own peril. Our faith often grows in proportion to our intake of God’s Word (Rom. 10:17). The less we read our Bibles, the less we hear from God, and the more likely we are to fall away.   


Stop Praying


All relationships are dependent on good communication. We hear from God in Bible reading and we speak to God in prayer. Both channels of communication are vital for our spiritual health! The less we pray, the less real God seems. Few things strengthen our faith like answered prayer. How can God answer our prayers if we don’t make any? Spiritual health involves praying constantly, casting our burdens on God, and using prayer as a solution to worry (1 Thess. 5:17; 1 Pet. 5:7; Phil. 4:6-7). 


Get Comfortable with Sin


Sin deceives us and hardens our heart (Heb. 3:13). When we grow comfortable with sin and stop putting to death what is earthly in us (Col. 3:5), we will drift further and further from God. If we don’t actively confess our sins and repent of them, it is possible to get to the point where our consciences become seared (1 Tim. 4:2), sin no longer bothers us, and we lose our holiness, “without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14). It is true that sin is pleasurable only for a season, so we must refuse to love the world and the things in it (Heb. 11:25 1 Jn. 2:15-17).  


Value Man’s Opinion Over God’s


How many Christians fall away because they begin to value the opinion of people in the world rather than the opinion of God? We must remember that “friendship with the world is enmity with God” (Jas. 4:4). As Paul put it, “If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Gal. 1:10). We must get used to people looking at us funny, or ridiculing us, or thinking that we are foolish. After all, the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are lost (1 Cor. 1:18). We might sometimes be on “the wrong side of history” from the world’s perspective. People thought Jesus was crazy and demon possessed (Mark 3:21-22). Being on God’s side is always worth it, no matter what the worldly “majority” might say.  


Believe That You Could Never Fall Away


To avoid falling away, we must be on our toes. The first step to fighting against falling away from the living God is to “take care” (Heb. 3:12). We should listen to the words of Jesus to His disciples in the garden of Gethsemane: “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation, The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38). Explaining how Israel’s apostasy serves as an example for Christians, the apostle Paul commands us, “let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). If we think that we are too faithful to fall, it may very well be our pride that does us in (Prov. 16:18). 


We don’t have to fall away. We can stay the course. Let’s avoid the pitfalls above and “strive to enter that rest” (Heb. 4:11). By God’s grace and with His help, we can finish what we’ve started. Heaven will surely be worth it all!