Faith is so precious to the Christian. We need faith to function in our lives, how important is faith in the lives of all who live in the world. One example is sufficient to prove what I am saying – if I did not have faith in my fellow human beings on a basic level, then I could not be sure that they will drive on the right side of the road, or do many of the things that we expect decent humans to do.
If we have some level of faith in human beings, how important is it that we have faith in God. A Christian’s life is dependent on his/her faith in God. Consider some of the things that may cause us to lose our faith in God.
WATCHING UNGODLY MEDIA – In Psalms 101:3 the Psalmist wrote, “I will set no ungodly thing before my eyes.” The media attacks and vilifies Christianity all of the time. It belittles the belief of Christians; it is a full frontal attack on Christian values. When we watch shows that belittle Christians; when we watch shows that advocate blatant and open sin, then we become desensitized to sin, and may even advocate what is being propagated. We have to be careful what we watch and listen to, lest we are pulled away from God and his standards.
FRIENDS THAT ARE UNRIGHTEOUS – We cannot divorce ourselves from the world, but we do need to ask if our friends are leading us closer to God or further away. As Paul discussed the resurrection and the implications of denying that the resurrection of Jesus happened, he talked about those who would lead us away in 1 Corinthians 15:33-34, “Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.”
FAILURE TO STUDY SCRIPTURE – If we drink un-purified water from a pond we could get deadly bacteria that may kill us. The pure word of God will build faith; a perverted view of God’s word will not! At the same time, we must understand that if we won’t take the time to read God’s word, then we are no better off than reading falsehoods. When it comes to faith Romans 10:17 tells us that, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
FORSAKING CHURCH – Let’s be honest, church is messed up. It is made up of people who sin, and transgress God’s word! And many people use this as an excuse to stay away. We should expect Christians to act better than the world, but often we don’t! So many people don’t come – even Christians. They don’t want to be around the hypocrites. But God gave the church for a reason – to encourage and build one another up. . . to worship God together . . . and to encourage one another to better, godly living. Hence Hebrews 10:23-25 commands, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” God is faithful; we must consider one another, and exhort one another as the Day approaches when we will meet Jesus!
UNTEACHABLE – When we will not be taught, then our faith will be weakened. Proverbs 12:1 states “Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid.” When we believe we have all of the answers and refuse to be taught; when we think no one can teach us anything, then we are closing the door to growth in faith.
ERRING ON THE SIDE OF GRACE – Sometimes when we do this, the sinner
will not repent and change his/her life. They take advantage of God’s grace and mercy to continue in sin! However, we need to understand that we cannot know a person’s heart, and we have to give a brother or sister the benefit of the doubt. We have to examine their lives and see if they have repented, and that will take time. And mistakes will be made – but on the other hand . . .
ERRING ON THE SIDE OF LAWKEEPING! The Pharisees and Sadducees were groups of people that Jesus condemned the most. Why? Because they had no grace and love for sinners – instead they pointed out the sin and the sinners. They wanted to cross the “T”s and dotting the “I”s to make sure they were right with God. They had God’s law, and they tried to justify themselves (Luke 16:14-15) by keeping God‘s law, or their interpretation of it. They really didn’t need God as long as they had their interpretation of his law. “When we don’t need God we become a law of our own,” hence their faith is in themselves and their ability to keep God’s word.
How sad. Yet so many today try to do the same things.
Jesus asked in Luke 18, “when he comes will he find faith on earth?” The answer to that depends on us.