“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

The Plight of the Christian Dropout

(Please read 2 Peter 2:20-22)

September 26

When loved ones in Christ drop out of the community of believers, they leave a void that is never quite filled, and we mourn for the plight in which they have placed themselves.

No longer do the dropouts live by the Spirit, or bear the fruit of the Spirit — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and so on. And one of the most distressing aspects of their situation is revealed in Peter’s second epistle: “For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil” (3:12, NIV). Fatherly care and protection, even the efficacy of prayer, seem to be withheld from His unfaithful children.

Yet the Father longs for those who have strayed to return to him, where blessings aplenty await them as they resume their rightful place among God’s people. To a whole congregation who had fallen away, having left their first love, the divine message was: “Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first” (Revelation 3:5). For easy remembering, we might summarize the road back for a Christian with three R’s: repent of having left, return to the church, and resume a life in Christ.

This is the road back. No doubt the first step is the hardest. But God’s arms are open wide, ready to welcome in love the erring child who returns home! May we all be careful and diligent in trying to get this message across to those dear ones who have lost their way.

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