What happens if we drift away from God?
Many individuals see the need to respond to the precious gift of God and they readily obey the Gospel of Christ. Sometime thereafter, some people, for various reasons become spiritually cold and unfaithful. These should know that God’s Word includes both admonitions to Christians to remain steadfast in the faith and warnings about drifting away from God’s word. As we consider God’s instructions we will find that in both cases individuals are to set their minds on things above and prepare their hearts to be faithful to God.
The Greek word translated “stedfast” in the KJV of the New Testament means to be firm and immovable or to be in a fixed and secure position. In 1 Corinthians 15:58, Paul commanded the Corinthians to “be ye steadfast,” he added the word “unmovable.” In his statement the words he used portray exactly what was expected of Christians.
Christians, those who have accepted the principles set forth in the scriptures, have accepted and committed themselves to Jesus and His kingdom, the Church. Because of their actions they have shown a desire to focus on spiritual things rather than worldly things. They understand that their treasures are in heaven and had a desire to seek those things above (Matt. 6:33; Col. 3:1-2).
Those committed to the cause of Christ learn they are to assemble on the first day of the week to remember Jesus, His love, and His death for them (Acts 20:7; Heb 10:24-25). They also see the need to study, to pray, and to consider the needs of others above their own. They recognize the need to live a pure life filled with moral excellence (2 Timothy 2:15-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Matt 25:34-40). In doing so those dedicated to the Christ reject the desires of the flesh and the ways of the world (Gal 5:19-21).
The totality of these things can be expressed as “steadfastness.” The steadfast person will never want to vary from these principles but they will grow in them day by day. All of this can be stated as having a desire to live a life of devotion to God as their Father and Jesus as their King. The commitments that these make are important and can make a change in the lives of all men.
The writer of Hebrews wrote, “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip” (Hebrews 2:1 KJV). His admonition was against drifting away from God and Godly principles as stated in the American Standard Version of the New Testament. According to Hebrews 10:26-29 many Jewish Christians were trampling Jesus underfoot. They were leaving their first love; they were becoming unfaithful to God and Jesus and ignoring the Holy Spirit given Word. When we fail to totally cling to the Word of God there is a clear and present danger of drifting away from God. This should remind us of a ship loosed from its moorings and drifting minute by minute out to sea. This uncontrolled ship places itself and any others on the sea in danger; it is the same with drifting Christians. The way we prevent drifting and the dangers associated with drifting is to be solidly grounded in the faith (Heb 10:26-29). This makes the point that Disciples of Christ who do not cling to God’s Word and their faith in it will in time “drift” from its divine principles. Christians who are not anchored firmly will slowly and surely quit assembling with the saints, compromise their moral and ethical principles, and only in tough times think of God and feel a need to pray and turn to the Bible for comfort and encouragement.
The lack of any spiritual nourishment from the scriptures; the lack of spiritual growth leaves the unfaithful Christian in a dangerous situation as they aimlessly drift further and further from God. Never allow yourself to drift from God placing yourself in spiritual danger. Those who do so begin to give in to human wisdom as they rationalize their indifference to God and justify all manner of evil.
(Questions/Answers is provided by Tony Hoss, minister of Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton)