Thursday, 24 May 2012


Here's an article that i read recently ( from 'Word For Today')
...The younger son...journeyed to a far country...' Luke 15:13 NKJV
The story of the Prodigal Son is especially applicable to backsliders. It speaks to those who have been raised in church, know God's Word, have felt His presence, understand His claims, and once served Him. But like the Prodigal, they've 'gone to the hogs'. Notice, he's not called the Prodigal Sinner but the Prodigal Son, because he still belongs in the family. Let’s look at why people leave the church. First: because the blessings of Father's house become commonplace. Notice, he didn't appreciate what he had until he lost it. Notice also, his father didn't kick him out of the house, he 'journeyed into a far country.' He left of his own free will and came back the same way. What's the point? If God's love can't hold you, His power won't force you! It's your willing obedience that God finds pleasure in, not conforming to a set of religious rules because you are afraid of going to hell. Jesus told the story of a king who planned a wedding feast and invited different guests. What a privilege. 'But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business.' (Matthew 22:5 NKJV) Are you too busy for God? Are you so used to His blessings you want something different? Be warned, the road you are on leads to one place only: the pig pen. Stop, turn around, repent and come home while you still can. No matter how badly you have failed, your Father is waiting to take you back.
'We have come to believe and know...You...' John 6:69 NKJV
Sometimes the rules of the Father's house seem too restrictive. Many people want Christ's love but not His Lordship, His blessings but not His commandments. It's not that He offers them too little, but that the cost of serving Him seems too high. Maybe you are thinking that if you'd lived in the days of Christ, walked and talked with Him and heard Him preach, you'd be a better Christian. Think again! 'His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying"...From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?" But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ..."' (John 6:60-69 NKJV) True discipleship doesn't result from attending a special service at church. No, it's progressive. It's the result of 'coming to believe and know' the Lord as you walk with Him on the mountaintop and in the valley, in the bad times as well as the good. That's why Peter wrote: 'Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe...A stone that causes men to stumble...' (1 Peter 2:7-8 NIV) Paul puts it this way: '...No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.' (1 Corinthians 12:3 KJV) The purpose of the Holy Spirit working in your life is to bring you into submission to the will of God. And that involves a relationship-with rules!
'Let us not...judge one another anymore...' Romans 14:13 KJV
Here's another reason people leave the church: because of the attitude of some church members. The older boy in Christ's parable knew how to be a son, but he didn't know how to be a brother. If the jealousy and judgmentalism he showed toward his brother is anything to go by, it's little wonder his brother left home in the first place. Paul writes: 'Let us not therefore judge one another anymore: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.' The Bible says, 'He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause of stumbling in him.' (1 John 2:10 NKJV) Do your attitudes and actions strengthen others or cause them to stumble? Have you read about Diotrephes? John talked about him: 'I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church.' (3 John 1:9-10 NKJV) Diotrephes was an opponent of authority who wanted only one thing-control! And John denounced him as 'evil', saying, '...he who does evil has not seen God.' (v11 NKJV) Only eternity will reveal how many people have been driven away from the church by critical, callous, controlling Christians. Make sure you're not one of them!

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