“On Being Steadfast To The LORD!”(Heb.6:4-8).
Today our focus is on Apostasy, which in simple terms is “the abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political beliefs or principle.” In the political arena of some countries on the African continent political parties abound like sand in a stream. In such circumstances it is commonplace to hear that someone or some people have crossed the carpet.
In the context of Christianity we commonly term it “to backslide;” but we erroneously limit the meaning of backslide to mean those who leave the Christian fellowship; not wanting to be part of it again.
Truth be told, within regular Christians, the percentage of backsliders can be fifty/fifty with those who claim to remain loyal to the gospel.
Each time anyone reneges on the least of the commandments of the gospel and shows no remorse, the one becomes an apostate.
God’s grace and mercy are stressed as the sole means of salvation because dependence on works may block the door for the majority who call on the name of Christ.
As we approach Ash Wednesday, we are subtly being reminded and admonished that Professing Christ with our lips but denying him with our actions is a grevious apostacy than outrightly leaving the fold.
Fatal apostacy is when one begins to doubt the efficacy of Christ and the power of his gospel. That moment when even as Christians we begin to rely on alternative sources of power, claiming as one statesman once put it that his Christian faith has been strengthened through his becoming a member of an esoteric fraternity. You cannot serve both God and the devil at the same time and give them equal attention. It is either one or the other, and being consistent about it. God cannot be mocked!
The writer of the letter to the Hebrews puts it so clear and simple for us concerning the dangers of relapsing. “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted of the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace…”
The Christian race like any long race can easily lead to discouragement. That is why like any race we need encouragers along the way to cheer up the runners and revive their courage and determination.
Now that we are all in the race, let us continue to cheer and encourage each other so that those who are weak can have the strength to trudge along with the strong till we get to the finish line.
Weekend prayer: Holy Spirit help us not to fall away and crucify the Son of God all over again. Amen!
Have a blessed weekend! Peace be with you!
Rev Babila Fochang.