When the one who led you to Christ walks away, it can be devastating.
“The information that was left out of our announcement is that I have undergone a massive shift in regard to my faith in Jesus. The popular phrase for this is ‘deconstruction,’ the biblical phrase is ‘falling away.’ By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian. Many people tell me that there is a different way to practice faith and I want to remain open to this, but I’m not there now.” – Joshua Harris
When anyone walks away from the Lord Jesus Christ, it is a devastating thing.
When a respected leader who wrote books, pastored a large church, and who led many people to Christ does it, it can be all the more devastating.
But when it is a respected leader whom God used, not only to help someone grow spiritually, but who led them to Christ, it can prove to be earth-shattering.
One of my closest friends in the world was in a bathroom in Seoul, South Korea, crying his eyes out as he was reading Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris. Right then and there he asked the Lord to save him and to give him a new heart. He was saved a few years ago and now this week, Joshua Harris, the man God used to save my friend said the above-mentioned quote at the top of this blog post.
Joshua Harris is a guy who wrote several top-selling books, preached countless sermons, and pastored a large conservative gospel-preaching church in Maryland and has now told the world that he no longer considers himself a Christian.
There are countless stories like this. I know many people who were led to the Lord by someone who now has walked away, and one of the main questions that they wrestle with is: what now?
There are so many questions that can swirl up when people face this difficulty, so I’d like to give you five reminders for when the one who led you to Christ walks away.
When the one who led you to Christ walks away, remember that God is the one who saves you.
“He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time” (2 Timothy 1:9).
God is the one who saves, not because of our works, and not because of the works of others, but simply of His own purpose and grace. And it is important to remember that He planned this before the beginning of time.
When the tool God used in our lives turns out to fall away, we must remember that God had saved us not through our works, but also not through the works of others. God has saved us entirely by His own purpose. If we trust in the works of others, we are still trusting in works. No man can convince us to leave our sin and follow Christ. It takes a miracle of God, and that’s why when the one who lead us to Christ walks away, our faith stays strong, because it wasn’t a man who convinced us, it was God himself.
When the one who led you to Christ walks away, remember that God can use a donkey.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile” (Romans 1:16).
The power of God is in the Gospel, not the person! We love to exalt people and call them a powerful preacher, an anointed servant of God! A clearly gifted individual. But while God has gifted certain men and women in a special way, we must remember that they have no power. All the power is in the message that they preach. That’s why God can use a donkey to accomplish His mission, or as Jesus said, the rocks could cry out in the place of men. The reason is clear, God doesn’t need humans, and God doesn’t need “saved humans” to accomplish this task. I’ve heard of God using Mormon tracts (the Scripture in it), Joyce Meyer, and other unorthodox means to bring people to true repentance. Your salvation is not based on any human, but rather on the God who made every human and who only holds the power to save.
When the one who led you to Christ walks away, remember that no one can snatch you out of His hand.
“…and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29).
Because salvation did not depend on you, or on anyone else, it cannot be taken away. The one who holds you in His hand will not allow anyone or anything to snatch you out of His hand. It is impossible. He not only chose to draw you to Himself, but He chose the means, which means that He ordained that as well before the foundations of time. No one can separate you from the love of God and no one can undo your salvation, including when the one whom God used to draw you to Himself walks away.
When the one who led you to Christ walks away, remember that we don’t believe based on reason or persuasion.
On what basis do you believe the Gospel? None of us is smart enough to reason ourselves to God. None of us is a Christian based on the evidence, or based on the persuasion of any one man or woman. If that is so, then we are not Christians.
If we are Christians based on reason, then something might occur in our lives that makes Christianity no longer so reasonable to us. Whether it is personal tragedy, sickness, or any host of trials we might incur, if we have reasoned ourselves to God then we can very easily reason ourselves out of it. But our salvation is not based on reason, it is entirely based on repentance and faith. And both of those things are miracles that God does on our hearts and minds. We must remember that there is nothing that could cause us to give up our sin we so desperately loved holding on to except for a miracle that the Lord did to us through the Gospel.
There is a weird blessing that comes when the one who led us to Christ has fallen away, and that is that our confidence in God’s salvation should grow because we realize that the miracle that occurred in us did not come through the messenger but through the one who sent him or her to us.
When the one who led you to Christ walks away, remember that we love Jesus more than anything or anyone.
The final question we must ask ourselves is whom do we love more? Of course, our heart is crushed when our loved ones walk away. But we must ask ourselves a simple question, do we truly love Jesus? If we do, then we realize our salvation does not depend on whether others love Him, too. There must be a simple conviction in our hearts that says that, though the whole world rejects Christ, I will not, because He died in my place! I love Him because He first loved me!
How gracious of God to save you through the lips of one who would later deny Him! Though you are saddened that the one who led you to Christ has walked away, you can be thankful that God used them to draw you to Himself and cause you to love Him above all things and people, including the one who led you to Him.
A final reminder is that all it takes is a simple step to come back to the Lord. Life is long in this respect. You can take thousands of steps away from the Lord, and all it takes is one step to come back to Christ.
Though the words they say now and the actions they take might make restoration seem impossible to you, I think it is your duty to pray to God for their repentance. In your eyes, their feet should still be beautiful (Isaiah 52:7) since they brought you the good news, and so, pray in faith that God will work in their life and that they come back to the One they used to profess!
Pray for the one who led you to Christ. Who knows, God might use your prayers to lead them back to Himself.
This article about when the one who led you to Christ walks away originally appeared here.