Why do some people believe in Jesus Christ, repent and some even are baptized, but then renounce their faith and return back to live in sin? What does the Bible say about it? What are the motives and what can we do for these people?
Yes, it is a reality of the last days and God has warned us about it. I think there are many motives and here I will address only some of the most common reasons, that are presented on the pages of the Scripture.
1. They do not understand the Word of God
In the famous parable of the sower, Lord Jesus said:
The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately hefalls away. (Matthew 13:20-21)(NASB)
There are such people who believe and receive the Gospel as soon as they hear it, but they have no firm root in themselves, i.e, do not have a sufficient understanding of God’s Word, so that they can stay firm when persecution or affliction arises. And when man repents, sometimes much affliction and persecution come upon him, especially from his family members and those who are close to him. It is sad that these people come to have such a fear for their future life, that they do not seek to understand the Word of God in depth and how to stand firm when facing this persecution.
2. The worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth
This is another reason given by Jesus in the same parable of the sower, when He said:
And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. (Matthew 13:22)(NASB)
When it says the worry of this world, it relates to those for whom the fulfillment of material needs is more important than the need for spiritual growth. They want to earn money, to make a career, to be educated at an University, and other achievements and direct their efforts and their time in these areas and spiritual growth and the knowledge of divine things is not a priority for them. It is very sad to be in such a state and the Lord Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount compared these people with the pagans because their way of thinking and living is like that of the pagans.
In the first Epistle to Timothy it is written:
But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it havewandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:9-10)(NASB)
Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and as soon as someone is caught in it many foolish and harmful desires begin to work in him and plunge him into ruin and destruction. The love of money is the root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it, sooner or later will wander away from the faith and will pierce themselves with many griefs. These people make their own life miserable. And it is sad that some of them, when they repent withstand persecution they have endured from loved ones and family members, but are not wise enough to stay away from the love of money.
3. Love for the present world
When he described his situation before being executed, the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy the following:
For Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone toGalatia,Titus to Dalmatia. (2 Timothy 4:10)(NASB)
Demas was a collaborator of Paul and, apparently, he had had a nice Christian experience and living by the time he let his heart to fall in love for the present world. The present world constantly tries to seduce us with its promising pleasures and some Christians, who do not watch, are seduced by it little by little. And I saw that some return to the pleasures of the present world in which they have lived before, but they do it under the pretext that they return to their primary confession, especially if that religion is tolerated with those sinful pleasures.
4. The lack of sound doctrine
When he wrote about the importance of sound doctrine to the Christians in Ephesus, the Apostle Paul explained the consequences of the lack of this teaching. He wrote as follows:
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whomthe whole body, being fitted and held togetherby what every joint supplies, according to theproper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itselfin love. (Ephesians 4:11-16)(NASB)
So, if sound doctrine is given in the Church and if the leaders do their job well, then Christians are equipped for the work of service and grow up continuously to become mature men, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. But if they do not have this teaching, they remain spiritual children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men and by craftiness in deceitful scheming.
5. They become victims of false prophets and teachers
In the first epistle to Timothy Paul wrote this:
But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron. (1 Timothy 4:1-2)(NASB)
The same truth was said by the Apostle John:
Beloved, do not believe everyspirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, becausemany false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)(NASB)
I think there are other reasons that make people fall from their faith, but these are the most frequent. I invite readers to expose themselves on this issue and those who have renounced their faith to analyze their lives and come back to God to be true disciples of Jesus Christ.
Translated by Felicia Rotaru