This post in response to a comment on another post. It is directed towards me as anyone, but I hope someone can get something out of it.
I am convinced that only the sin of apostasy – when we abandon and rebel against Christ – can separate us from Christ.
But what if we become wayward in our walk with God – what if we stumble and fall and begin to drift away? What if we are abandoned by the ministry, by the congregation, by others?
More than a few years ago now, I had recently been unceremoniously dumped by my fiancee. It tore me apart. Deeply. Wounded. I became angry with God, distrustful, separated from the holiness in God – by my hand – and gave up trying to serve God. I sought someone who was opposite of anyone that I had dated before. So, I found her. Well, long story short, we found ourselves pregnant – before marriage. In love, no less.
We woke up at the end of the term, heading to the hospital. My daughter was on her way to being born – fast. I believe that it took a total of 7 hours at most from the time we woke to the moment of the first cry. Anyway, the doctors came in, told us that she was dilated some, but that it most likely would be an hour or more before she would start pushing. Well, it didn’t take that long. Suddenly, full dilation was reached, and we rushed to the delivery room. She was coming, and coming fast.
Then she stopped. Her heart rate dropped. No matter what, no amount of pushing, nothing, would get her to move. Mothers, you know the fear of this? The doctors thought that the baby was having a bowel movement – which could be detrimental for the baby. Or perhaps the cord was wrapped. Or maybe she was stuck.
They called for the forceps. I have heard too many bad stories about forceps and babies to not have been worried. So there, in the hospital room, without bargaining with God – without repenting of my sins – without even so much of an ‘I’ll do better’, I began to ask God for help – I didn’t want the forceps.
Can I tell you what happened? The doctor who would do the removal with the forceps came into the room at the exact moment I said ‘amen.’ And the baby cried. (I’ve never been superstitious, but when she was born she had a red mark on her right eyelid in the shape of a finger tip. To me, then, now, it seems that perhaps Someone had gave her the little push she needed.)
Friends, I am not saying that you have the license to sin, but I am saying that God loves His children, even the wayward ones. I know this by Scripture – I know this by experience. I know this because I began to leave God’s service and go into a foreign country once before. It took me a while to come back, to beg of God to make me a servant in His house, but when I did come back, He welcomed me as a child. I never ceased to be His child – and neither have you. He still hears you. He still loves you.
If you are facing something right now in your life – something that no one else needs to know, and you have become a child of God, I want you to remember what Paul said:
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.)
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow– not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below– indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:35-1 NLT)
Perhaps you have stopped fellowshipping with other Christians because of these things – or because of them – but friend, let me tell you that no matter what is in your life, you do a great harm to yourself by ignoring God completely.
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (Heb 10:25 NLT)
Perhaps you have been cast out, or out cast, because of your life, or perhaps you have simply left the place of worship. You have even left because the place of worship no longer truly carries the name of God – but no matter what, find someone to fellowship in the name of Christ with. Be encouraged with them. Remember, our God is a merciful God, loving, compassionate. Our Gospel is one of repentance and community.
If you are in the Charleston, WV area, and you do not have a church home, please join us Sunday mornings at Coonskin park, but the skateboard ramps for a Sunday morning devotional. We are there by 9:00 – come, we’ll fed the ducks, and I’ll supply the bread.