Posts Tagged ‘father in heaven’

prodigalGod’s word gives many warnings against that which would cause us to fall away from Him. Ultimately people fall away from God when they stop loving Him more than anything. There are going to be billions of people in Hell, but there is one group of people who will not be there – those that loved the Lord with every ounce of their being. These are the ones who saw Jesus Christ and their Father in Heaven as everything to them – more than any trial, temptation or pleasure – the Lord is everything. Never stop seeking to make Jesus Christ everything to you.

Below are some passages which give us warnings not to fall away from our Lord, and reasons why some people do. (The question of whether those who fall away were ever the Lord’s to begin with is a different issue).

THEY LOSE THEIR JOY IN THE LORD

Mark 4:16 – “In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; 4:17 and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.”

THEY CANNOT ENDURE PERSECUTION

Matthew 24:9 – “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. 24:10 “At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.”

THEY CANNOT ENDURE TEMPTATION

Luke 8:13 – “Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.”

THEY FALL IN LOVE WITH THE WORLD

Mark 4:18 “And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, 4:19   but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”

THEY BELIEVE FALSE PROPHETS AND BAD DOCTRINE

1 Timothy 4:1 “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons”

Matthew 24:11  “Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.

24:12   “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.

24:13   “But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.”

THEY STOPPED LOVING THE LORD MORE THAN ANYTHING

Revelation 3:16 “So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.”

Revelation 2:4 “ ‘But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

2:5   ‘Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place–unless you repent.”

sheep“In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.”—Matthew 18:14

A good place to start our labor of loving our neighbor is with our little neighbors: children— abused, bullied, orphaned, trampled-in-war-zones, failing-in-school children. There are many places where we can help—schools, libraries, hospitals, social agencies, churches, and more. We can also help as we do our daily work.

One day there was a family at the library counter as the librarian told them their outstanding fine was past the limit where they could take out more books. The father didn’t have enough money; the kids looked disappointed that they couldn’t take out books. Then the librarian found a solution: “Pay what you can now to get below the fine limit, and you may borrow the books.” Joy returned and learning continued because of a loving use of the rules.

Our idea of loving our neighbors grows when we remember that “these little ones” are all who follow Jesus like a child. Jesus explains the reverse math of his kingdom with his story of the lost sheep. We could rationalize that one percent loss on a hundred sheep is not bad, but the Good Shepherd risks all to go after one lonely, lost sheep. That logic could get us into some hard, hopeless situations, but today’s verse provides hope, for our “Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.”