Summary: Descriptions of reasons people fall out of love with Jesus, with helps to restoring that love.
FALLING OUT OF LOVE WITH JESUS
> Hosea 11:7 My people are bent on turning from Me. Though they call to Him on high, He will not exalt them at all.
If you will think back a few months to when we studied the book of Revelation, you will remember that this book, this revelation was written by the apostle John when he was on the Isle of Patmos. It was written when he was in prison for preaching the gospel.
While John was in his cell, there on the island, the Holy Spirit came on him and he had a vision that he recorded in this book. In his vision, he saw the doors of heaven opened and he saw Jesus as no one else on earth has ever seen Him, as the enthroned Lamb of God.
But in his vision, you may remember that the Lord had him write letters to 7 cities. Those cities were the capitals or centers of the ancient faith. It is in those cities that the Christian faith took root, and it is from those cities that Christianity was spread through much of the world.
But, at the time of his vision, some of those cities, some of those churches, some of those early Christians had begun to fall away from the Lord. Even though Jesus had probably been gone from earth for less than 60 years, even though those churches had enjoyed the great preaching of Paul, John, Peter & others, and even though they had eye-witnesses to the ministry of Jesus, there within their churches for many years, some of the Churches’ passion for the lost and the Lord had begun to cool; so the Lord had John write to them to warn them of their faults.
Now John warned the cities of Pergamos and Thyatira about fornication that invaded their churches. He warned the church in Sardis that even though they were still doing many works, that their works had become dead. He told the church at Ephesus to resist temptation. But, Jesus knew that those specific warnings wouldn’t cover every sin those churches and future Christians would find themselves facing, He knew that many Christians would avoid those specific failings, so He had John write a letter to the church in Ephesus to deal not only with the specific sin of that church, but the sins of many Christians in the centuries to follow as well.
When a person accepts Christ, they usually start the journey excited, going and growing. Most want to make the most of the Christian life and strive to grow and become all they can in Christ.
But while they scramble, trying to move upward and grow in their faith, they often feel that they are slipping backward. The genuine joy which we feel ought to be part of the Christian life, easily slips from us; what with the Devil shooting his slings and arrows at us. Some believers, look around and see other Christians who have fallen out of love and they worry that they too may fall, and that fear begins to crush their excitement about being a Christian and serving Jesus. Some people continue to go through the motions of service, and try to worship, but for some reason it doesn’t seem real any more.
It’s easy to understand how you can feel over-whelmed when you see the condition our society is in. Every time you turn on the TV, you’re faced with increasing amounts of immorality. When you read the paper or magazines, you’re faced with increasing attacks on Christianity. It’s easy to get discouraged, but Jesus said “You will find trouble in the world – but never lose heart, I have conquered the world.” Some of us claim that, cling to it, and understand that this is a battle, and we keep going.
But, sadly, some Christians do lose heart. Some slip and slide, and some give up on Christianity all together. The New Testament mentions many people who apparently began well in the faith, but who wandered away. The Old Testament writers also knew that coldness could creep into believers’ hearts and lead them to give up on God. They called it Back-sliding, or as Hosea said, “My people bent on turning from Me.”
There are indications of back-sliding. When you begin to neglect worship, prayer, stewardship, or service, that is a sign that you are backsliding. When a person begins to backslide he often becomes very critical. He might become self-centered or preoccupied with material possessions and worldly goals.
Some people will always leave the church and there is probably no church that has not felt sorrow over brothers who leave, or who become embarrassments to the gospel they once claimed and the church they once attended.