Mat 19:21-22 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (22) When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
I have seen a phenomenon over and over and over again in these 40 years I have been a pastor. It is a phenomenon of remarkable suddenness. Literally one day a person is walking with you, seemingly walking that narrow way and following Christ, and overnight, or even more suddenly, they are done with you, with that path, and (though they won’t admit it), with Christ. It leaves you aghast. What in the world happened? Their whole demeanor changed, it seems. They want nothing to do with you.
Well, I think I have it sorted out, and here is my explanation.
When someone claims to follow Christ, many times they are in reality this kind of seed:
Mat 13:20-21 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.
The key there is “when tribulation or persecution arises.” That is, when the person who so convincingly appeared to have been saved, is in an environment which sooner or later requires him to pay a price for following Christ, when he is brought to a point of decision in other words, he decides. And unless he or she truly is born again so that they are rooted in Christ truly, they will inevitably (like the rich young ruler above) choose to go back to the world. And if you truly belong to Christ and are continuing on the narrow way, they are going to leave off from you as well.
The thing comes suddenly as if “out of the blue.” Unexpected. Many times they will name you as the cause. But that is only to shift the blame from themselves. And then they will go right on, insisting that they really are still following Christ, and plug into a “church” where being a Christian isn’t going to force them to that decision point.
That blame-shifting and the facade will be exposed and found out on the Day when Christ comes back.
6 thoughts on “That Point of Decision at Which we Must Decide”
Yes. I recently had this happen. It broke my heart to see that what I believed to be true was not. When the workers sow and work the soil, they always hope for a harvest – a very good harvest. And when it all dies, it is heartbreaking. You want to ask yourself, what did I do wrong? What could I have done differently? Why did the seed not spring up and become established? This is a hard part of scripture. The father must draw the person, and then the person must be obedient. But if grace is irresistible, why does this happen? I am wrestling with all this in my heart.
Grace is irresistible only when it’s being applied to our hearts by the Holy Spirit. The reprobate/ unrepentant will want to have nothing to do with it.
Helpful to understand situations we have all probably had. Thank you.
I’ve seen something similar in abuse circles and I am careful to not jump to any conclusions, but it has baffled me. I see a lot of abuse survivors leave sound doctrine and move to the ‘love wins’ camp. The camp that follows teachers like Rob Bell, believes there is no hell and that everyone is won over by Gods love in the end… that all will be saved. I don’t understand this, as personally knowing my abuser and all wicked people will one day face Gods judgement gives me comfort, as it is good and right. To take away the truth of God’s justice is frightening and damaging. I’ve just noticed it is a trend among a lot of abuse survivors that say they have ‘deconstructed’, and I would have thought they would want their abusers to have to face God for what they have done, not be let off scott free with no repentance? Maybe it is a knee jerk reaction to having the word of God used against them by some christians in the past? These women do have valid complaints about how pastors and certain churches oppressed them, but the answer isn’t to throw the baby out with the bathwater. It concerns me as it can mislead women just coming out of abuse. I hope these women come back to the truth of Gods word and that it is not a permanent position.
I noticed this too … they get very New Age like mixed with Christianity. It’s very sad because they are running away from their solution. But such is the damage of abuse, it distorts a person’s view of God. God Himself will restore His own elect and bring them back to the right path in His own time.