Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "A Shelter In The Time Of Storm"1 (Lyrics)
Just recently, I was made aware of a few people that we know who have quit believing and no longer attend church. They were raised in Christian homes, went to church on a regular basis, and at some point were involved in church work and youth programs. Then, the seeds of doubt entered their minds, and gradually, they came to the conclusion that they no longer believed the words of the Bible. They actually question whether there is a heaven and a God in whom so many of us believe, and they have left the community of faith.
While I was thinking about this, I remembered that I had written a message about this many years ago. I went into my "Old Sermons" file box, and found it. It, too, was called "Dropouts", and I used it in September, 1991. In it, I quoted a then-recent newspaper article. The article mentioned that less than twenty-five percent of Canadians attended church on a regular basis. It also said that the shopping mall and the golf course had become more important than church. Since then, it seems that the problem has only grown worse. Recent figures show that only about ten percent of the people attend church on a regular basis.
Today, many people just don't believe, but in Bible times, some did not either. In the sixth chapter of John, Jesus gives a great sermon about Who He is and what He came to do, and He made some really hard-to-understand statements.
John 6:54-56 – Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. (NKJV)
Many people who listened to Him just did not understand this or believe it, and then:
John 6:66 – From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. (NKJV)
These were people who had literally followed Jesus and His teachings. These were people who had believed in Him for the things that He had said and done during His time on earth. And now, with one sermon, He had driven them away. Similarly, at the present time, there are so many who have left the faith, so many who claim that they don't need the fellowship of the Christian community anymore, so many who are happy with their lifestyle without God.
John 6:67-69 – Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?" But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (NKJV)
Let us pray that those who have left the faith might hear these words of truth and believe them.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, there are so many people who have wandered away from the truth of the Bible, so many who are happy with their lives as they are. We pray that You will give us the ability, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to convince them that our faith is not in vain. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.