Summary: Are you surprised when you hear that a once faithful Christ follower has turned away from the faith and now doubts whether scripture is true or not? If you are like me, you wonder how this happens but then you remember this is nothing new. Apostasy appears throughout the bible.
In Hebrews 6:4-5 the writer notes some will turn away from the gospel although they once tasted the good Word and received the Holy Spirit.
Jesus knew we would be tempted to turn away from the truth but He reminds us to remain faithful to the end (end of our lives) if we want to receive the crown of life.
It appears many leave the faith because they fail to discipline themselves to remember God in their daily lives.
In order to avoid committing apostasy we must remember what God has previously done for us. We can't forget that He delivered us from the power of sin and its resulting bondage.
Failure to remember God delivered us from sin and destructive attitudes or habits, may lead to a fatal state of deception and self-righteousness. Self-righteousness leads to prideful arrogance that lacks love for God and others.
The Pharisees had a form of righteousness that was of themselves and not of God. They had righteous rituals and attitudes but no love. Self-righteousness makes us judge others harshly, while holding ourselves in high esteem.
Some fall away because they fail to remember God's powerful acts detailed in scripture. Remembering Jesus fed 5,000 people with two fish and five loaves of bread is vital when we need His ability to multiply and increase the little we may have.
Remembering He healed the sick will give us hope and faith that He can heal us too.
Remembering He did not judge or condemn a woman caught in the act of adultery, will cause us to trust in His unfailing love when we are caught in the snares of sin.
Sometimes the cares of this life will cause us to forget about God. We are so busy taking care of our families, earning money and entertaining ourselves, we forget about Him. It's not a deliberate act, we simply forget about Him and drift away into unbelief.
Others purposely forget about Him because His values do not line up with their values or lifestyles. There are certain behaviors God refuses to accept as right behavior. So some choose to purposely forget about Him. They live as if He does not exist. Totally rejecting Him, they do what they want, when they want. This appears to be more dangerous than the other forms of "unbelief." The previous forms appear to stem from inadvertent neglect or ignorance. God can work with those types of "unbelief."
Deliberately forgetting about God, indicates the heart has become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin and has been taken captive by Satan to do his will. Jesus said Satan is the father of those who refuse to hear what He has to say. They prove Satan is their father because they do what Satan does (fulfill lustful desires). Since he is their father, they will join him in his place of torment when their time on earth has expired.
The writer of Hebrews says, " Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called "TODAY," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, Hebrews 3:12-14
If you have failed to remember God via neglect or pride, repent now before your heart is hardened, beyond repair, for the writer of Hebrews says, "It is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned. Hebrews 6:4-8
Listed below are scriptural examples of how once believing men and women were led to turn away from the faith. If we do the opposite, we will rejoice in the God of our Salvation and inherit eternal life.
Scriptural Reasons Why People Turned Away from God:
They forgot to be thankful for what He had done for them, so they grumbled and complained about their circumstances. They failed to lean on God's promises for provision and deliverance. (Psalm 106:25)