DEPARTING FROM THE LIVING GOD
“Take heed brethren lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God (Hebrews ).
Strangely some do not believe that
a Christian can depart from God. The
inspired writer of the book of Hebrews did not subscribe to the prevalent error
of “once saved, always saved” (otherwise known as the security of the
believer). More to the point, since the author wrote the truth by inspiration
(Greek, theopnueustos, “God-breathed,” (II
Timothy ), GOD
DOES NOT BELIEVE
1. HARD-HEARTEDNESS. When Christians begin to lightly regard sin, they are in serious trouble. The writer says that Christian hearts once receptive to the Gospel can become “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews ). They are warned, “Harden not your hearts as in the provocation” (Hebrews .) Sin allowed back Into the Christian’s soul begins to deaden his senses and make his heart resistant to the word of God. The unfaithful child of God with unrepented sin in his life experiences a waning interest in the Word. He will not study he loses; interest in hearing preaching and teaching. He does not want to hear his sin reproved. He loves his sin more than he loves the saving message of truth
2. A FAJLURE TO REMAIN STEADFAST. The writer says, “For we are made partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end” (Hebrews ). Christians who jump in head first and Immerse themselves into the Christian life, and never look back (Luke 9:62) are successful; but those who dabble in it and are more like an 8-cylinder engine hitting on about 4 cylinders are seriously at risk. They quit studying, praying, and growing. Their attendance in worship assemblies becomes “hit and miss.” They begin to enjoy the company of worldly friends over that of brothers and sisters in Christ. That’s why the Lord exhorted those who had left their “first love” to “repent and do the first works” (Revelation 2:5). He is pleading with them to be steadfast again in the words which they once loved and practiced.
3. UNBELIEF/DISOBEDIENCE. He illustrates
departure from God by showing what happened to the Israelites (God’s people) in
the wilderness. They “fell in the wilderness” because of sin
and rebellion against God (Hebrews ; Numbers 13-44).
God calls their attitude “unbelief,”
but it manifested itself in “sin” (v.17), and “disobedience” (v. 18,
ASV). To underscore the tragedy
he says, their “carcasses tell In
Wilderness “God swore in His wrath that they would not enter into His rest
(Hebrews -18); the promised
land. When a child of God begins
to disobey what he knows God’s Word says to do, he is displaying unbelief (James , 26).
That is how Christians depart from God! Dear Christian, make sure it does not happen to you.