WHEN A CHRISTIAN REJECTS THE FAITH
(Mark 16:14) Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table . . .
This is one of the saddest verses in the Bible. It says Jesus appeared to the eleven. That means one was missing. And we know who that was . . . Judas. In our churches we have empty seats that used to hold people of faith who no longer walk with the Lord. They have rejected the Christian faith and have walked out into the night from the light they once knew. How does it all begin, and what should we do when someone turns away from the Lord?
The first thing we notice is a progression. Demas in the Bible is a good example. He is only mentioned three times in the New Testament, but notice how he advances in the wrong direction: (Phile 1:24) as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow laborers . . . (Col 4:14) Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you . . . (2 Tim 4:10) for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed . . . First Demas is a fellow laborer. Then he only sends greetings. Finally, he has forsaken Paul and has gone back into the world and has departed. Does this describe someone in your life?
My best friend and best man in my wedding did the same thing. He taught a home Bible I attended when I was in college. He then graduated from Bible college and seminary and had a wonderful calling to the ministry. But soon he had an affair and left his wife. I then lost all contact with him, and for many years now he has never surfaced to reclaim his faith.
The big question is, do these know Christ and then reject the faith? Or do they never know the Lord to begin with? Well, only God knows! (2 Tim 2:19) . . . The Lord knows those who are His . . . So, since we don’t know, what should we do?
-PRAY: The best thing we can do is keep praying for them. If they are truly the Lord’s, they will come back. (Luke 15:20) “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.
-BELIEVE: Since they don’t have faith anymore, we must have faith for them. God can change the hardest of hearts! (Eze 36:26) I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
-AVOID GUILT: Many of us harbor guilt because we think we could have done something to prevent them from slipping away from the Lord. Christian parents are especially susceptible to this. But remember, they made a choice out of their own free will. (Rom 8:1) There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus . . .