As I write this, two prominent Christian personalities are at the top of the Christian media heap as they renounce or say that their faith is “on incredibly, shaky ground” with much fanfare. It has brought sadness and disappointment to many believers who looked up to them as mentors and fellow believers.
The first, a celebrated author and megachurch pastor, has “fallen away,” and stated that, “By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian.” He posted this right after he announced that he and his wife will be permanently separating. The second one, a popular songwriter and musician from one of the biggest names in Christian music, declared that, “I’m genuinely losing my faith, and it doesn’t bother me.” I urge everyone reading this that we refrain from pronouncing judgement and pray for these brothers. They need even though they may not admit it.
These are truly perilous times for a person of faith.
The Bible, especially in the New Testament, expressly mentioned those that will fall away from the church and the faith. Our culture, lifestyle, and technology along with the evil spirits and the “cosmic powers over this present darkness” has made it a lot easier to make wrong interpretations and conclusions and therefore, disillusioned. These are truly perilous times for a person of faith.
In Matthew 10:22, Jesus gave His disciples some fair warning and an exhortation at the same time, “…and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” (ESV) The charge to every minister of Jesus is to endure to the end. To put it more bluntly, to be faithful to the death. A sermon by C.H. Spurgeon in 1864 gives us a much clearer picture, “The charge of Paul to Timothy, is a very necessary exhortation to every young minister: ‘Be thou faithful unto death.’ It is not to be faithful for a time, but to be ‘faithful unto death,’ which will enable a man to say, ‘I have fought a good fight.’”
A cliche as it already sounds but I want to repeat it again, the Christian life is a marathon, not a sprint. It is a process for all who believe. And this process can be difficult at times. We will have roller coaster times. Highs and lows. We will be in the “valley of the shadow of death” and it will be alright. The Shepherd has promised that He will be with us.
To survive Christianity, we need to be steadfast and unwavering. By God’s grace we can all reach the end and hear Jesus say, “Welcome, good and faithful servant.”