Falling From Steadfastness

by Darwin Hunter

 

I hear it from preachers everywhere.  I often hear it from elders in congregations where I hold meetings.  My local shepherds lament the same thing.  I am talking about brethren who will not remain steadfast in their service to Christ.  So many Christians have once put their hand to the plow, but have either quit doing the Lord’s work, or simply go through the motions to keep up appearances (Luke 9:62). The problem is epidemic brotherhood-wide.

In 2 Peter 3:17, an apostle of the Lord was concerned about the problem and addressed it: Ye therefore, beloved, seeing you know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.”  Falling from steadfastness has been a recurring cancer in the hearts of God’s people.  Ancient Israel was wayward and unreliable.  During the wilderness wanderings, the vacillation and distrust in their devotion to God is legendary.  The period of the Judges was characterized by roller coaster-like ups and downs.  They were sometimes faithful and blessed by God, sometimes forgetful and compromising with evil.  And, the beat goes on...into our current day crisis in spiritual Israel, the Lord’s church, today.

Dear Christian brother or sister, are you falling from your own steadfastness?  Many used to attend more than they do now.  Some who never missed a Sunday night or a Midweek service now routinely do so.  What happened to your desire to be faithful in worshiping God with the saints (Hebrews 10:25)?  Some who in times past never would have thought of disappearing during a Gospel Meeting at the local church now have no conscience about doing so.  What happened to your desire to put the Lord’s kingdom first (Matthew 6:33)?  Many used to teach home Bible studies to their neighbors and friends, but now are comfortable with letting someone else do it, or just letting it go undone.  What happened to your zealous interest in the souls of the lost (Mark 16:15-16)?  Some who used to oppose gambling, dancing, and social drinking now “see no problem with it” and participate in such worldly entertainment.  What happened to your desire to live a godly life “unspotted from the world” (James 1:27)?  Did the word of God change, or have you changed your attitude toward the word of God?

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58). Are you steadfast or being led away?