Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday Scripture Speaks

"It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace." Hebrews 6:4-6 (NIV)

Do you know people who have, to the best of your knowledge, been strong believers in Christ, lived for Him and were great people of faith - then they suddenly fell? I do. I know lots of them. I know many of these people quite intimately. They KNEW and they BELIEVED on the Lord Jesus. Then, somewhere along the way, they stopped believing and now those very same stalwarts of the faith blaspheme my Lord's name.

How did this happen? Were they "really believers" to begin with?

I'm reading Philip Yancy's book, Reaching for the Invisible God, right now. Here's something Mr. Yancey said that hits me right between the eyeballs, "Over time, I have grown more comfortable with mystery rather than certainty, God does not twist arms and never forces us into a corner with faith in himself as the only exit. We can never present the Final Proof, to ourselves or to anyone else. We will always, with Pascal, see 'too much to deny and too little to be sure...'" (pg 45)

Philip Yancy continues to talk about his faith verses his brother's faith. They were both raised in the same home, taught the same Bible, etc. Both men have experienced doubt; don't we all at some time or another? Through those times of doubt, the brother left the faith while Philip finds himself unable to stop believing. Concerning his brother's departure he says, "My brother did not lose his life; he left the school. He also left the faith, however, and has never returned--in large part, I believe, because he did not observe truth setting people free and never found a church that makes room for prodigals." (pg 46)

So I'm in a state of wondering. It's not wrong to doubt once in a while. It's when we allow that doubting to turn to unbelief and a willful denial of Christ's finished work on the cross and His divinity that we err. And I do believe firmly that we can stop believing. Others might disagree.

Hebrews chapter six goes on to say in verses seven and eight, "Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned." Hebrews 6:7-8 (NIV)

The danger in "throwing back" that free gift of salvation is that, if we do so, we might never be given that chance to "come back" because we would, in essence, be "crucifying the Son of God all over again." He only had to die once.

We need to "drink in the rain" of the Holy Spirit and God's Word. By doing so, we'll stay close to Christ, be ever mindful of His presence, and continue in the race. I don't want to be burned in the end, do you?


Pia said...

i completely agree with what you said that we need to "drink in the rain" of the Holy Spirit and God's Word. we all need to to stay in the race God has set for us.

God bless you, rita.

Anonymous said...

'too much to deny and too little to be sure...' boy, I can relate to that!! I keep finding out things I've held to be true are not necessarily so, and that maybe I don't know it all, and that maybe the "other guy" whose views I disagree with is actually right and I'm wrong. And maybe we don't need to have perfect doctrine.

I, too, have wondered about those who seem to have fallen away. . . I've seen many children who grew up in church, were taught the truth, grow up and want nothing to do with it. Why does this happen? What makes them change their minds? How could they do/say things like this? What can I do, when raising my children, to keep them wanting to follow the LORD?

For every question that is answered, five more come up.