1 John 2:18-27
He was a good friend of mine through high school and into University. We talked about many things including our faith in Christ. We had a lot of fun and some good discussions. Dan (I’ll call him) was a missionary kid. He shared some of his field experiences with us. We played hockey together and wondered what life would bring as we entered university. Then he slowly began to change. He didn’t mention his faith much. He still met us for lunch but his talk changed too. Finally, he announced one day that he no longer believed in Christ. I remember talking with him about how this decision went down at home. His parents struggled and his family. But he was so sure in his unbelief. To my knowledge, he’s never reversed that decision.
I was on a mission’s trip. Our team shared lots of experiences together including presenting the gospel through the Jesus film. Troy enthusiastically participated. He connected with many especially when people wanted to talk about Jesus. He got married and did more schooling. One day he told his wife that he didn’t believe in God anymore. This struck hard in their marriage eventually ending it. As far as I know, he continues to not believe in Jesus.
You might know someone with a similar story. Maybe it’s a spouse, child, other family member or a friend from this church or another church. They once proclaimed faith in Christ. They did a lot that indicated they loved Christ. But then slowly or quickly they drifted away. Today, if you asked them if they believe in Christ as revealed in the Bible, they would likely say no.
Or maybe this describes you. Maybe deep inside are doubts about your faith. Maybe you’re on a path like Dan, Troy and others away from the faith. Some people who at one point claimed to be Christians don’t end up there.
Yet others keep the faith despite tremendous obstacles in their lives. My Dad lived this out. As long as I knew him, he battled pain. He had a spinal fusion before I was born. In those days, they thought fusing the vertebrae together was one way to deal with back pain. It created more. He endured decades of pain that often brought him down. On top of that, he suffered rheumatism and arthritis. Added to this in his last years was leukemia. Yet, I don’t remember ever hearing Dad say “I don’t believe in Christ anymore.” There were a couple of rare moments when he was down and concluded there was no hope for relief. But he didn’t give up the faith.