What do we do with those who seem to have walked away?
- Constant Prayer for them – Pray for God’s Holy Spirit to either bring them back to their previous commitment to Christ or convict them of their sin so they trust Christ. I have individuals in my life who seem to have walked away I am praying for them continually.
- Consistent life before them – We need to model how a spirit filled life is a victorious life. Many walk away disillusioned when they see believers living lives that are far from what the Bible teaches.
- Communicate to them with gentleness and respect – This is not the time to say things that could cut off communication. Ask questions and help the individual work through what stands in the way of a full commitment to Christ. There may be circumstances where we have to confront the person living in sin. If we do confront we must speak the truth in love. Other individuals will have questions about Christianity and we need to be prepared to answer or find the answers. The one thing we don’t want to do is tell them, “Just have faith.” This is a useless statement. We must take their questions and doubts seriously and help them seek the truth.
So what can I conclude about my two friends who turned their backs on their wives and their families and are living with other women? First I don’t believe the Bible teaches you can lose your salvation, so that’s not a possibility. My conclusion is they are either a disobedient believer or a religious person who never truly was born again. Only God knows for sure. They just may be going through an apathetic period and with God’s help and the help of friends they may be able to turn their life around. However, with these two men prayer is my only option because I have no contact with them.
Many of you have the same challenge. We need to be shinning lights who help individuals like my friends back to the outstretched arms of Jesus.
Our hope of eternal security is the work of the Triune God of the universe. Only by grace through faith can we be right with God. Once we trust Christ we are secure in Him and can enjoy God forever. We see this teaching summarized in the hymn “How Great Thou Art.” We read in verse 4 about heaven: “When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation; and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart! Then I shall bow in humble adoration, and there [in heaven] proclaim, my God, how great Thou art.”
Because of God’s great love and great power true followers of Jesus Christ are guaranteed heaven. We have the assurance of eternal life. In heaven we get the pleasure of proclaiming to God how great thou art. An yet, even before we get to heaven we can proclaim the very same thing on earth as we bow in humble adoration…“my God, how great thou art.” This is our blessed hope.
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