If you’ve been a Christian for a while, you’ve known people who professed faith in Christ, who seemed to follow Him for some time, but then they fell away. In some cases, they have even served in the ministry. I’ve known pastors who have left the ministry, turned away from the Lord, and lived as unbelievers. Often the defection may be due to unresolved doubts or unanswered hard questions about the Bible, such as:
- How do you resolve the seeming contradictions in the Bible?
- How can you reconcile the creation account with modern science?
- How can a loving and powerful God permit all the evil that occurs in the world?
- If God loves everyone, why doesn’t He let them all hear the gospel?
- If God is sovereign, then aren’t we all just a bunch of robots with no free will?
We could go on and on with the difficult issues that cause some to defect from the faith. But let’s bring it a little close to home – if you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, you have faced difficult issues that have challenged your faith. Maybe it was some of the hard questions that I just mentioned. Or…
- Maybe you prayed for something that seemed to be in God’s will and for His glory, but He did not answer favorably.
- You trusted some promise in the Bible, but it didn’t work out the way you had expected.
- You suffer from an illness that has greatly hindered your ability to serve the Lord.
- You have a spouse or Christian friend who has betrayed you.
- Your children, whom you love sacrificially and have taught God’s ways, have rejected both God and you.
How do you handle these kinds of hard trials and disappointments? What do you do when those you love turn away from Christ? In short, how do you persevere in your faith when you encounter things in the Bible or in your own experience that do not make sense?
This Sunday I want to look at John 6:30-71. I will particularly delve into verses 60-71 to explore what we can learn from those who “stayed” and those who “left.” Perhaps we can discover the “antidote” to spiritual defection.
P.S. Just a reminder that this Sunday we will start our services promptly with an Armed Forces tribute in recognition of those who have given their lives for our freedom and safety. We will close the auditorium doors at 9:00 and 10:45 and not open them again until the ceremony is complete.
“Lord, if you want to use me in any way today, I am available.”
Love God – Love Neighbor – Lead Others