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Friday, May 30, 2008

A Turn for the Worse

A former friend has bolted from the faith. He grew up in a devout Christian home, attended a prominent Bible college, and shared God’s Word passionately. Today, he promotes atheism.

I don’t know what changed this person’s heart and mind, because he refuses to respond to my phone calls and e-mail messages. Perhaps some Christians’ unkind remarks contributed to his retreat from the faith. Or anti-Christian philosophy may have invaded his thinking. Whatever the underlying cause of his turning away from the Truth, the results are tragic.

The Bible alerts us to the fact that “in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). Even one of Paul’s close associates succumbed to the lie that what the unregenerate world system offers is superior to what God offers. Paul wrote: “Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me” (2 Timothy 4:10). In his first letter to Timothy he identified Hymeneaus and Alexander as men who shipwrecked the faith by abandoning faith and a good conscience (1 Timothy 1:19, 20).

We must not claim to be immune to the possibility of taking a similar turn for the worse. Pride goes before a fall. The best safeguard is vigilance. We must keep our eyes on the Lord and “fight the good fight of faith, holding on to faith and a good conscience” (1 Timothy 1:18, 19).

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