Mood: not sure
Topic: Falling Away
THE GREAT FALLING AWAY
Every since the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden man has been falling away from God and the truth of God’s word. Satan assaulted our first parents, to draw them into sin, and so separate between them and God. Observe the steps of the transgression: They are not steps upward, but downward away from God.
1- Eve saw. A great deal of sin comes in at the eyes. I John 2: 16, “For all that is in the world, the lust the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.” We should look on that which we are in danger of lusting after. “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart,” St. Matthew 5:28.
2- She took. It was her own act and deed. Satan may tempt, but he cannot force; may persuade us to cast ourselves down, but he cannot cast us down. “If you be the Son of God, cast yourself down......” St Matthew 4: 6
3- She did eat. When Eve looked perhaps she did not intend to take; or when she took, not to eat: but that’s not the way it ended. It is wise to stop the first motions of sin, and to leave off before it be meddled with.
4- She gave it also to Adam with her. Those that have done wrong, are willing to draw in others to do the same.
5- He did eat. By eating of the fruit of the tree that God had forbidden, Adam, by his disobedience, caused a separation between God and man. Romans 5: 19, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”
When it was too late, Adam and Eve saw the folly of their disobedience. Those who sin go astray from God, they separate themselves from God. Samson, the strongest man in the world, let a woman turn him away from God. Solomon, the wisest man in the world, yet his great wisdom did not teach him self-control. He taught well but failed to practice his own teaching. He let women turn his head away from God and worship strange gods. Solomon became a public worshipper of abominable idols. If sinful passions are not crucified and mortified by the grace of God, they never will die of themselves, but will last even when opportunities to gratify them are taken away.
“Let him that thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall.” We see how weak we are of ourselves, without the grace of God; let us watch and be sober. Ours is a dangerous warfare, and in an enemy’s country, while our worst foes are the traitors in our own hearts. There has always been a falling away, but more in these last days. But, like Joshua said, “as for me and my house I will serve the Lord.”
Paul and Peter warned us of apostasy, a falling away from the truth of God’ word in their day over two thousand years ago, and it is still going on. Those that have been in the faith, in the church for years, are now falling back. For you have to have something, before you can fall away from it.
The word of God tells us, don’t even look back into the world, he that looks back is not fit for the kingdom of heaven. Remember Lot’s wife, she looked back, for her heart was still in the world, she was not ready to turn loose of the things of this world. She was turned into a pillar of salt, because of her disobedience to God.
Jesus is asking that same question of people today as he did his disciples, “will ye also go away?” Go away to where, to what?
Peter said, “to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” There have been many that has forsaken Christ, and have walked no more with Him; but what reason have you to make a change? Has not Jesus proved Himself all-sufficient? When your soul has simply trusted Jesus, have you ever been confused? Can you so much as dream of a better friend than Jesus has been to you? What friend would lay down their life willingly, that you may have life? Can you so much as dream of a better friend than He has been to you? Then change not the tried and true for something new and false.
Is there anything going on in this world today that can compel you to leave Christ? Paul said in Romans 8: 39, “Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Can we think of anything that should turn us aside or do away with that love? Troubles neither causes nor shows any decline of Jesus’ love. Poor sinners, though you abound with the possessions of this world, what vain things are they. Can you say of any of them, who shall separate us? You may be removed from your pleasant dwellings, and friends, and estates. You may even live to see your own parting. Then farewell, all the things in this world that you hold most dear are nothing, what then do you have left, poor soul, who does not have Christ. You have nothing, but that which you would gladly part with, and cannot; the condemning guilt of all your sins. The man or woman who would fall away from Jesus Christ don’t realize the depth of God’s love toward us.
When we are overwhelmed with this world, or with the demanding trials within the church, we find a blessing, like John, to lay our heads upon the bosom of our Saviour. This is one of the joys that we have today that we are saved in Him; and if our joy is satisfying, why should we think of changing? Who would want to exchange gold for dross? Why would you want to leave the Lord, unless you could find a more surer way to eternal life, and, since this can never be, let us hold on to Him with all our might.
Can you suggest anything that could arise to cause you to mutiny, or forsake the love of Jesus Christ to serve under another Captain? I don‘t think so. “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon,” St. Matthew 6: 24.
Worldly-mindedness is a common and fatal symptom of insincerity, for by no sin can Satan have a surer and faster hold of the soul, under the cloak of a profession of religion. God requires the whole heart, and will not share it with the world. When two masters oppose each other, no man can serve both. He who holds to the world and loves it, must despise God; he who loves God, must give up the friendship of the world. He cannot follow two callings successfully. Mammon means, “Money” or riches.” If God is not the object of supreme trust, something else will be, and it is most likely to be money. If life be long, Jesus changes not, if we be poor, what better than to have Jesus Christ in our lives to make us rich? And if we are sick, what better than to have Jesus as our doctor in the sick room? I can’t speak for you, but as for me, I’m with Peter, “lord, to whom shall we go?”