Departing From The Living God


    Man has seldom stayed faithful to God for very long. This was true in Adam’s day. It was true in Noah’s day. It was true of mankind when Jesus walked on the earth. And it is also true of people today. It is no wonder that God warned through the writer of Hebrews. “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.” (Hebrews 3:12) Both our spiritual life and the church are exposed to change. Not all change is good however; some change is simply a “departing from the living God.”


      What causes people to depart from the living God? Often change comes so slowly it is not even detected until it is too late spiritually. Most do not “run” away from God’s truth, they simply “drift” in the wrong direction. (Hebrews 2:1) The moment we close our Bible is the moment we will begin to drift from God.


      One sign of departing from God is the development of a critical spirit. It is strange but those that become more liberal are very “critical” of others for being “unloving.”


      Departing is also marked by a lack of appreciation for Biblical truth. Many do not respect, appreciate, nor love God’s truth. (John 8:32)


      Departing from God causes people to want entertainment instead of Christianity. The Bible says, “If any man loves the world the love of the father is not in him.” (I John 2:15-17)


      Departing blinds spiritual eyes. People begin to say, “I can see anything wrong with _______” (and they fill in the blank with anything from instrument music to the lottery.”


      Departing also leads to lukewarmness. God hates the spirit of spiritual laziness that is seen among many. (Revelation 3:14-19)


      What is the cure for those that have departed from God? To reverse the departures: (1) Take heed to yourself and make sure of your salvation. (Hebrews 3:12) (2) Remember what it was like to follow the Bible whole-heartedly. Those preachers that have changed should remember the joy they had in preaching “gospel sermons.” (2 Timothy 4:1-5) (3) If any love for truth still burns in your heart fan the flame. Let us take our stand on truth. (Ephesians 4:15) (4) Get busy in the kingdom. We are saved to serve. (John 4:35) and, (5) Be Christ-like. Those that have the desire of going to heaven will walk with the Lord. (Galatians 2:20.)


            Those that do the Lord's commandments will be blessed with an entrance into heaven and with the tree of life. (Revelation 22:14)  To be­come a Christian, you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), be­lieve in Jesus (Mark 16:16), repent of sins (Acts 17:30), confess faith in Christ (Romans 10:9-10) and be bap­tized to be saved. (Acts 2:38) After baptism be careful that you do not depart from God, from the Lord, nor from the New Testament church.


By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P. O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA