Also, Col 1:22-23
Hebrews 2:1 - 4
ESV - 1 Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 2 For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution.
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To "drift away" is, in scripture, like a boat drifting from it's mooring and floating away down a river. In Acts 27:32 it is used in a literal sense, with the soldiers cutting away a lifeboat and letting it drift away on the ocean. In other places it is used metaphorically (Col 1:23, Heb 2:1, Psalm 119:10). Drifting away is not outright rebellion or defection from God, but is the accidental slipping away which occurs when someone neglects to keep Christ as their anchor. While this is not a hopeless scenario, as Christ seeks after us when we wander or drift (Matt 18:12), it is a dangerous place to be in. The longer we ignore or don't notice the drifting, the farther we are getting from our foundation in Christ. If we are drifting away, then we are ignoring the salvation promised by Christ (Heb 2:2-3) and our lives will not be bearing good fruit (II Pet 1:3-11). The final consequence of unchecked drifting is a complete shipwreck (I Tim 1:18-20), but this only occurs if someone rejects faith entirely and refuses to repent (Jer 8:3-6, II Pet 2:22). So, what are some things that cause us to drift away? #1 Ignoring, even forgetting that Christ forgave us our sins (II Pet 1:3-11): -This happens when we harden our hearts in unforgiveness towards others (Matt 6:14-15). -This can happen when we do not actively confess our sins in community with other believers and to Christ (I John 1:8-10). -This can happen when we believe grace is permission to sin (Rom 6:15-16). -This happens when we seek justification through our own works vs. The finished work of Christ (Rom 3:19-31). - This happens when we lose trust in the gospel and the assurance of God's promise of eternal life to those who believe (Heb 2:1-4) #2 Neglecting pursuing eternal things, instead chasing things of the world -This can happen when we consistently declare evil for good and good evil, such as declaring our own sin good (Rom 3:5-8, Is 5:20-21). - This can happen when we let trials overcome us, instead of enduring until the end (Rom 12:21, I John 5:3-5, James 1:12, Mark 4:16-17). Or, in short, preferring evil over affliction (Job 36:18-21) - This happens when we are charmed by what the world has to offer (Mark 4:18, I Tim 6:6-10, I Tim 6:17-19, II Pet 2:14-16) - This happens when we long for sin rather than being led by the spirit (Heb 3:13-14, Psalms 36:1-3, Rom 7:14-25) - This can happen if we ignore our own part in the body of Christ (Eph 4:17-32) #3 Listening to and embracing false teaching Jude 1:12, Jer 8:8-9, I Tim 6:20-21, John 7:18, Mark 13:22, II Pet 2:1-22 We are constantly reminded in scripture to evaluate where we are standing. Are we firmly on the rock of Christ? Are we aimlessly drifting down the river? Are we purposefully running into evil? Etc. As for specific practices and sins, it is quite simple: Do you know action X to be a sin? Are you feeling convicted by the Holy Spirit? Have you prayed about this action/consulted God? Are you ignoring God? Are you acting for God's glory our your own comfort and pleasure? Etc. Take any action or belief and run it through Christ. If it is good for bearing moral fruit, then keep it. If it bears bad fruit or none at all, reject it. We will grow in this area and in discernment over time (II Pet 1:3-11) so long as we are abiding with Christ. If we do not feel we are growing, then we should 'check our moorings' and see where we are standing and what we are tied to.
Let me start the thinking for this question. Here are a couple of ideas to consider. One can drift from the faith by: (1) accepting/believing and endorsing/supporting the “theory” of evolution and (2) accepting/believing and endorsing/supporting the state legalization of sin - abortion, same-sex marriage, alcohol, marijuana, and whatever violates God’s will. It is essential that we continue to study God's word, learn God's will and live it in order to maintain our faith. Some people have more faith or confidence in the theory of evolution or the state than they do in God's word. If one wants to maintain his or her faith, remember: faith that pleases God comes the word of God. Romans 10:17 Blessings
Becoming a Christian is very much like getting married and in fact the Bible uses this analogy. First of all it is a commitment to a person, Jesus Christ, (not to doctrines) and requires all that a marriage relationship requires, especially a constant loving communication. Our faith weakens when that communication breaks down for whatever reason, so it is imperative that we spend time with the Lord, listening to Him and speaking with Him.
The parable of the sower tells us that some hear God's word but it does not take root because we accept it on emotion, not fact. Some hear it and go through a honeymoon period but soon fall away because it is an emotional relationship, not real love. Others fall away as soon as trouble comes. Instead of running to God, they run away from him. Others hear, understand find their lives changed and devoted to God. By turning over your life to God, he will guide you, love you, and be there to help you in all your trials. It is faith. Jesus died for all who come to him. Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice and follow me; no one can snatch them away as the father has given them to me." The Christian life is the greatest journey you will ever go on. As you draw near to Christ, he will draw near to you. We are here on earth to glorify God in everything we do. "Today if you hear his voice do not harden your hearts." I am still amazed that God loves me so much that he crushed his son that we could have eternal life. The Bible says it pleases God to do this. Can you imagine how much he loves us! And what about Jesus (God's Son)? He died the most horrific death anyone could, was beaten to a point of non recognition, why? Because he loved us as the father and both were glorified. He even said, "I will get the Holy Spirit to stay with you." God's spirit lives in all who truly believe and love God. I pray you all will think about this, read the Bible and pray. God has said this "I do not know you." WOW on judgement day would you like to hear these horrible words? Or rather, "Come, I have a place prepared for you." I am doing everything possible to make sure I know my father and my father knows me. God desires to have a strong relationship with us, just like a great marriage. Love God with everything you have, you will never regret a second of it.
It has always been my observation that when some people are first born again, they are almost feverish in their desire to read His Word. But then as time passes, they slip back into old habits which cools their fever. I don't know if that means that their "born again" experience was not a true change of heart or not, but when the thirst for His Word ceases to be a thirst such as David described in Psalm 42:1, "as the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O GOD" then the "little foxes" begin to spoil the vines. Song of Solomon 2:15 "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall."—1 Corinthians 10:12 I think C. H. Spurgeon summed it up best when he wrote: "It is a curious fact, that there is such a thing as being proud of grace. A man says, "I have great faith, I shall not fall; poor little faith may, but I never shall." "I have fervent love," says another, "I can stand, there is no danger of my going astray." He who boasts of grace has little grace to boast of. Some who do this imagine that their graces can keep them, knowing not that the stream must flow constantly from the fountain head, or else the brook will soon be dry. If a continuous stream of oil comes not to the lamp, though it burn brightly to-day, it will smoke to-morrow, and noxious will be its scent. Take heed that thou gloriest not in thy graces, but let all thy glorying and confidence be in Christ and His strength, for only so canst thou be kept from falling. Be much more in prayer. Spend longer time in holy adoration. Read the Scriptures more earnestly and constantly. Watch your lives more carefully. Live nearer to God. Take the best examples for your pattern. Let your conversation be redolent of heaven. Let your hearts be perfumed with affection for men's souls. Live that men may take knowledge of you that you have been with Jesus, and have learned of Him; and when that happy day shall come, when He whom you love shall say, "Come up higher," may it be your happiness to hear Him say, "Thou hast fought a good fight, thou hast finished thy course, and henceforth there is laid up for thee a crown of righteousness which fadeth not away." On, Christian, with care and caution! On, with holy fear and trembling! On, with faith and confidence in Jesus alone, and let your constant petition be, "Uphold me according to Thy word." He is able, and He alone, "To keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy." With the passing of my husband came a clear & distinct pull to be focused on my own sorrow, feelings of loss & lonliness. My husband had a wonderful childhood friend who is an expert marksman. He has explained to me how he has to reset the scope on his rifle as the targets are moved farther away. Windage and elevation are the call words. The focus of our lives as Christians require the same sort of "resetting" from time to time. We all face trials, some great as in the passing of someone dearly loved, some not so great. But we must keep our focus on Him by & though His Word, always remembering the source of our faith. Romans 10:17 If we do that, He will shoulder all of the sadness, the feelings of loss & lonliness that clutter our lives & keep us from following Him.
Jesus teaches what causes us to drift away from the faith in Matthew ch 13 in the parable of the sower. The cares and concerns of this world are great temptations that can lead us away from Christ. Matt 13:18 "Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty."
I'm glad you asked. We read in Hebrews 2:1-3 (Life Application Bible Notes) the author call his readers to listen carefully ("give the most earnest heed")to the truth they have heard so they don't drift away into false teachings. Listening to Christ means not merely hearing, but also obeying (see James 1:22-25). We must listen carefully, and be ready to carry out his instructions.
We can drift away from Christ if we are not completely focused on him. So why focus on him? The answer is obvious and staring us in the face. 1. He created this beautiful universe for us to admire with its awesome plant and animal life, its magnificent mountains and oceanic scenery its huge and inspiring stars and galaxies. 2. He loved us so much that he died for our sinfulness so that we could spend a joyful eternity in his beautiful presence. He made us feel secure in his love for us. 3. He directs our paths so that we may have an abundant life down here. He gave us significance by directing our lives. 4. All the good things we have come from God in Christ love love, joy peace, faith, hope, justice, health etc etc. God is truly good and the font of all goodness. 5 He has built eternity into our hearts that only he can fill not money, power, sex, drugs, rampant materialism. 6. He is the way, truth and life. In a world full of lies and deception we can experience absolute truth in his word-the Bible.
This dilemma of whether a born again, saved Child of God can "drift away" from the Faith, or whether the person that drifts away was ever truly born again, seems to be unending. Question after question stated in different ways is brought up in a high percentage of all the multitudes of Scripture discussions, and it is understandable to be concerned about making it to Heaven. Hebrews 2:1, the writer uses the words "DRIFT AWAY". He then goes on to talk about Jesus, how He is the perfect Son, the perfect High Priest, and the perfect Sacrifice. Then after much explanation of The New Covenant and how it is surer and sealed by the Blood of Jesus and not the temporary blood of animals, he says in Hebrews 10:39 that "BUT we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved." I believe the writer of Hebrews is Paul and if so he states even more in 2 Timothy 1:12 his Faith in the Power of Christ to Keep what he has entrusted until that day. Let us be Sure and Confident in our Salvation, that the Holy Spirit is our Seal and Guarantee of Eternal Life if we are truly Born Again.
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