KEEPING YOUR FAITH STRONG (Apostasy 2019 – 4)
It’s not uncommon to hear of those who leave the faith because they no longer believe. That can be upsetting, even shake our own faith. How are we to respond?
- Don’t be surprised. Falling away from the faith, “apostasy” in the Greek, is something we know will be happening more and more as Jesus’ return gets closer (2 Thessalonians 2:3; 1 Timothy 1-4). So don’t be surprised. Unfortunately, there will be causalities in our battle with Satan and his forces. Jesus knew it would happen.
- Focus on the Word. Absolute truth is contained in God’s Word, the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17). It never changes and will be true forever (Isaiah 40:8). All things must be evaluated by God’s Word, not by how we feel. Read the Bible daily, study and memorize it.
- Persevere in faith. C. S. Lewis said, “Faith is the art of holding onto things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.” Faith focuses on the truth of God’s promises in His Word (Hebrews 11:1-3), not in how we feel. God never said believing would be easy, that’s why He commands us to persevere (Hebrews 10:35-36; 12:1)
- Keep your eyes on Jesus. When we read what Josh Harris and Marty Sampson say about their reasons for leaving the faith, neither of them talk about Jesus. Yet He is central to our faith. If He is God come to earth to pay for our sins then we must follow Him. That has nothing to do with how we feel about life or what Christianity does for us. Life is not about what Jesus can do for us, but about what we can do for Him (Jeremiah 29:13). So keep your eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2). When you have doubts or your faith wavers, think about Jesus. If you believe He is God then look to Him, no matter what else is going on.
It’s sad to hear of those who deny the faith, but it shouldn’t surprise us. It should remind us to focus on the Word of God and His promises. Following Jesus takes perseverance and that only happens when we keep our eyes on Jesus and not on our feelings. Unfortunately there will be more who fall away from the truth – just make sure you aren’t one of them!
Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers and the flowers fade away, but the word of our God stands forever.”
What circumstances are most apt to take your eyes off Jesus? When does this usually happen? What should you do at the start of each day to make sure you keep Jesus first?