Four12 article image for 'What If Some Were Unfaithful?' about leaders falling away from Christianity

What If Some Were Unfaithful?

‘What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar’ (Romans 3:3-4)

Defectors

I have friends from my years in church who still call themselves Christians but who have moved away from the true Gospel. Some have embraced mysticism, a pagan storefront for relativism. They’ll say that we can never really know about God. Don’t force your views on me, I won’t force mine on you. Others now view ‘healthy religion’ as a wisdom tradition, passed down through the ages, that helps you care for your soul! No dying to self, no ‘I have been crucified with Christ’ (Galatians 2:20).

These friends.. have reduced the message of Christ to ‘Love thy neighbour’, forgetting that.. we must first love the Lord our God

Offence

Others have become offended by orthodox, Christian faith. Talk of sin is ‘oppressive’. Just live a life of love and peace. No salvation through Jesus, no lost eternity for sinners who refuse to repent. The battle cry of such is, ‘If God is a God of love, would He really condemn [fill-in-the-blank]?’ These friends, if they keep their Christian label at all, have reduced the message of Christ to ‘Love thy neighbour’, forgetting that to do this, we must first love the Lord our God, which is done when we obey His commands. (Matthew 22:37-39; John 14:15,21,23)

Disagreements

But just because Christians disagree, it doesn’t mean one of them has fallen away. In Scripture we how see Paul and Barnabas fell out over whether or not to take Mark on a ministry trip (Acts 15:39-40). Though they parted ways, both continued to serve Jesus. Later, Paul would write about Mark, ‘..he is very useful to me for ministry’ (2 Timothy 4:11). And Paul and Barnabas clearly continued to value each other and minister in a similar fashion. Seven years later, Paul writes in a friendly tone, ‘..are Barnabas and I the only apostles who must work for a living?’ (1 Corinthians 9:6). But Paul and Barnabas’ disagreement did not centre on doctrine. Their disagreement came over aspects of ministry. What about when a brother or sister begins to doubt Scripture or turn away from the fundamentals of the faith?

Faulty Theology

Recently, celebrity Christians have once again taken the spotlight, talking about losing their faith. They are not the first, they will not be the last. There was a moment when Peter the apostle lost his faith. He was the first of the disciples to declare Jesus as the Christ. But when Jesus was arrested, He fell away from faith. Then Peter, who had walked on water, couldn’t stand by a fire and admit to knowing the Lord. Why? Because Jesus-in-chains was not the Jesus Peter believed in. When Jesus had spoken of His coming arrest and death, Peter rebuked Him. Peter had seen Him as Christ, but not as the spotless Lamb. Peter’s crisis of faith was born of faulty theology. If he had known Jesus as the sacrificial Lamb, the cross would not have been an offence to him.

Are we made in God’s image or have we made Him up in ours?

Tozer wrote,What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.’ If we shape our theology and doctrine around what we want God to be like, or what we think He should be like, we will fail. But if we hold fast to the Scriptures, meditating on them day and night, whatever we do prospers (Psalm 1:1-3).

Can we stomach the God of the Bible?

Do we approach the Word of God with humility? Are we made in God’s image or have we made Him up in ours? Peter’s faith was restored when he encountered the risen Jesus. When he accepted that a once-dead, risen Jesus was better than the Jesus of his own manufacture. In that moment, Jesus did not faux-comfort him by talking about God’s love for Peter, but rather challenged Peter on his love for God.

God’s goodness and faithfulness are never in doubt.

Ours often is.

What Will Keep Us From Being Unfaithful?

Have we the intestinal fortitude for the Jesus revealed in Scripture? Can we stomach the God of the Bible? During Jesus’ ministry on earth, many left Him. Some because they couldn’t bear the cost of the call (Matthew 19:21-22), others because they were offended by Jesus’ teaching (John 6:53,61,67). Undoubtedly, Christians we know, even church leaders, may fall away. But if our own following of Jesus stands or falls on the faithfulness of other men, then we will certainly stumble too. God has given us leaders, He has called us to be one with His body, but our walk must come from personal conviction, founded on Scripture.

It should not be a surprise when someone who has walked with God walks away. Just don’t let it be you!

It’s a cliché, but when a child does something silly, influenced by friends, the parent often asks, ‘If they jumped off a cliff would you too?’ But it’s the same in the church. We know all men are broken. We know all men sin.  It should not be a surprise when someone who has walked with God walks away. Just don’t let it be you!

John writes, ‘They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us’ (1 John 2:19). Even after we have reasoned, after we have prayed and begged and pleaded, some will walk away. Perhaps, like Peter, it was their picture of God that was broken; unable to make sense of the experiences they encountered. Perhaps they were offended. Perhaps they couldn’t bear the cost. Endurance, faithfulness until the end, is a hallmark of God that He wants to see in us. And it comes with the promise of reward. John continues, ‘Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made to us — eternal life’. (1 John 2:24-25)

Adam serves as an elder in Joshua Generation Church, South Africa. He is married to Vanessa, and they have two sons. Adam’s particular passions are worship and apologetics. Follow him on Facebook or Instagram for more.

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Desires
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Grace
Ministry
Sin
Worship
Confusion
Trials
Husbands
Offence
Humility
Idols
Pride
Evangelising
Obedient
Christian Leadership
Singles
Healing
Direction
Revelation
Conviction
Complacency
Recalibration
Guidance
Transformation
Volunteering
Taiwan Churches
Providence
New Testament Church
Pastor
Church Structure
Feminism
Apostolic Partnership
Vocations
Distractions
Christian Books
Christian Movies
Covenantal Love
Storms of Life
resilience
steadfastness
uncompromising
Accountability
Doctrine
Healing and Miracles
Money
Social Justice
Youth
Death
Tribulations
Partner
Overcoming
Humbleness
Immorality
Prophets
Fornication
Planting A Church
Christian Leaders
Debt
The Word
Discipline
Condemnation
Bear Fruit
Complacent
Recalibrating
Teaching Kids
Partners Relief Fund
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Marriage Training
Church
Apostolic Field
Administration
Racism
Church Partnering
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Purgatory
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The Word of God
Modesty
Judgement
Bearing Fruit
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Divorce
Teaching Children
Four12 Partners Relief Fund
Pastors Training
The Poor
Letting Go
Values
Partnering
Heart of God
Justice
Church Partnership
Great Commission
Existence of God
Christian Literature
Old Testament
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Stewardship
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Hell
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Ordained
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Apostolic
Faith
Holy Spirit
Pastoring
Suffering
Brotherly Love
Eternity
Community
Wives
Bishops
Shepherd
New Believer
Greed
Immaturity
Raising Kids
Parenting
Poor
Bible
Ordinance
Unforgiveness
Refreshing
Defending The Gospel
Matrimony
Teenage Years
Four12 Church
Youth Leaders
Ireland
Redemption
Godly Leadership
Disciple
Church Discipline
Church Health
False Teachers
Fatherly Love
Tongues
Goats
Fear God
Godly Love
Body of Christ
Authority
Faithfulness
Holy Spirit Baptism
Patience
Teaching
Character of a Deacon
Grief
Compromise
Blueprint
Character
Addiction
Pornography
Signs
Christening
Starting A Church
Parents
Poverty
Study the Word
Stewarding
Punishment
Being Hospitable
Sharing The Gospel
Restoration
Training Kids
Malawi
Leading Youth
Surrender
Testimonies
Christ
Delegating
Servant
Social Gospel
Character of God
Worth
Gift of Tongues
Godly Elders
Big Churches
Salvations
Sacrificial Love
Baptism
Fear of God
Hospitality
Peace
The Bible
Church Leaders
Hardship
Fellowship
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Character of an Elder
Adultery
Rebelling
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Baptise
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Study the Bible
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books
Raising Leaders
Shepherds
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God's Character
Affirmation
Judaism
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Building Deep
Prostitution
Godly Team
Breaking Bread
Festivals
Idolatry
Prayer and Fasting
Theology
Foundations
Heaven
Fellowship of Believers
Leading Church
Diversity
Church Accountability
Rebellion
Witchcraft
Baby Christian
Kassie du Plessis
Protector
Tithing
Envy
Quiet Times
Retaliation
Lessons
Spreading The Word
Cheating
Training Teenagers
Cancer
Youth Ministry
Following the Call
Four12 Equip
Eldership Training
Community Leading
Pastors
Rest
Sacrificial Serving
Sonship
Jewish
Reason
Selling Out
Prostitutes
honour
favour
Children
Forgiveness
Income
Prophetic
Tithes
Helper
Illness
Principles
Living for Christ
Government
Discipling
Sancti
Words of Knowledge
Babies
Prayer
Sexual Purity
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Meditation
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Team
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Self-Righteousness
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Halloween
Honesty
Testing
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Guilt
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Equipping
Saints
Leadership Team
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Messiah
Mind Idolatry
Megachurch
Biblical Paradox
Honouring God
Church Leadership
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Kindness
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Water Baptism
Servant Heart
Living for Jesus
Covenantal Relationships
Division
Accusation
Flesh
Sexual Sin
Scripture
Customs
Provider
Living for God
Mothers
Female Leaders
Calling
Christian Fellowship
Backsliding
Easter
Witnessing
Infidelity
Biblical Culture
Merging Churches
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Gift of Prophecy
Apostle
Priesthood of All Believers
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Biblical Church
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Leaders
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Decisions
Eldership
Fleshly Desires
Shame
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Morality
Wisdom
Women Leaders
Ordaining Elders
Christian Community
Backslidden
Resurrection
Testimony
Masturbation
Communal Culture
Partnering Churches
Prophesy
New Churches
Five Fold Gift
Trinity
Tithe
Relationship
Employment
Thanksgiving
Atheists
Old Testament Prophet
Ambassadors
Truth in Tension
contradictions
Treasure Hunting
treasure
Deacons
Culture
Good News
Maturity
Self-Control
Word of Knowledge
Bitterness
Self-Pity
Courting
Forgiving
Anger
Freedom
Submission
Gifts of the Spirit
Get Baptised
Works and Faith
Morals
Gift of Wisdom
Females in Leadership
Ordaining
Defence
Commitment
Hearing God
Consequences
Receive Forgiveness
Leadership Training
Living Hope
Zimbabwe
Start a Church
Prophet
New Believers
Being Generous
Study Scripture
Jobs
Entitlement
Misotheists
New Testament Prophet
Work Values
Family
Devotion
Goodness
Men
Serving
Word of Wisdom
Brokenness
Sickness
Courtship
Friendship
Church Plant
Hope
Trusting
Gifts
Baptized
Fasting
Overcomer
Words of Wisdom
Leadership
Encounter
Repenting
Challenges
Listening
Caring for Children
Four12 Partners
Training Leaders
St Johns
Relief Fund
Building Church
Evangelist
Dreams
Communion
Being Accountable
Occupation
Rejection
Misotheism
The Case for Christ
Kingdom Priorities
Biblical Contradictions
Love
Discernment
Gospel
Mercy
Shepherding
Work
Caring
Suicide
Desires
Lies
Fathering
Vulnerability
Accountable
The Apostolic
Kids
Intercession
Singleness
Fear
lead
Life
Repent
Anxiety
Obey
Child Care
Four12 Partner
Volunteer
Taiwan Church
Israel
Healthy Church
Teacher
Multi-site Church
Perseverance
Loving Others
Profession
Social Media
Hopelessness
Lee Strobel
Kingdom Living
Refining Fire
Marriage
Discipleship
Grace
Ministry
Sin
Worship
Confusion
Trials
Husbands
Offence
Humility
Idols
Pride
Evangelising
Obedient
Christian Leadership
Singles
Healing
Direction
Revelation
Conviction
Complacency
Recalibration
Guidance
Transformation
Volunteering
Taiwan Churches
Providence
New Testament Church
Pastor
Church Structure
Feminism
Apostolic Partnership
Vocations
Distractions
Christian Books
Christian Movies
Covenantal Love
Storms of Life
resilience
steadfastness
uncompromising
Accountability
Doctrine
Healing and Miracles
Money
Social Justice
Youth
Death
Tribulations
Partner
Overcoming
Humbleness
Immorality
Prophets
Fornication
Planting A Church
Christian Leaders
Debt
The Word
Discipline
Condemnation
Bear Fruit
Complacent
Recalibrating
Teaching Kids
Partners Relief Fund
Apostolic Partnering
Netherlands
Marriage Training
Church
Apostolic Field
Administration
Racism
Church Partnering
Christian Values
Cosmological Argument
Christian Authors
Review
Husband
Apologetics
Elders
Heaven and Hell
Obedience
Spiritual Gifts
Caring for Others
Depression
Online Church
Spouse
Conflict
Meekness
Lust
Prophecy
The Gospel
Purgatory
Control
Finances
The Word of God
Modesty
Judgement
Bearing Fruit
Comfort
Divorce
Teaching Children
Four12 Partners Relief Fund
Pastors Training
The Poor
Letting Go
Values
Partnering
Heart of God
Justice
Church Partnership
Great Commission
Existence of God
Christian Literature
Old Testament
Romance
Apostles
Evangelism
Holiness
Partnership
Stewardship
Caring for People
Doubt
Church Involvement
Wife
Reconciliation
Overseers
Lying
Deception
Hell
Raising Children
Godliness
Miracles
Word of God
Ordained
Equality
Breakthrough
Defending My Faith
Covenant
Teenagers
Four12 Churches
Training Pastors
Needy
Rastafarian
Translations of the Bible
Preaching
Authentic Community
Relationship with God
Faith and Works
New Christian
Creation
Reading
Worldviews
God's Love
Apostolic
Faith
Holy Spirit
Pastoring
Suffering
Brotherly Love
Eternity
Community
Wives
Bishops
Shepherd
New Believer
Greed
Immaturity
Raising Kids
Parenting
Poor
Bible
Ordinance
Unforgiveness
Refreshing
Defending The Gospel
Matrimony
Teenage Years
Four12 Church
Youth Leaders
Ireland
Redemption
Godly Leadership
Disciple
Church Discipline
Church Health
False Teachers
Fatherly Love
Tongues
Goats
Fear God
Godly Love
Body of Christ
Authority
Faithfulness
Holy Spirit Baptism
Patience
Teaching
Character of a Deacon
Grief
Compromise
Blueprint
Character
Addiction
Pornography
Signs
Christening
Starting A Church
Parents
Poverty
Study the Word
Stewarding
Punishment
Being Hospitable
Sharing The Gospel
Restoration
Training Kids
Malawi
Leading Youth
Surrender
Testimonies
Christ
Delegating
Servant
Social Gospel
Character of God
Worth
Gift of Tongues
Godly Elders
Big Churches
Salvations
Sacrificial Love
Baptism
Fear of God
Hospitality
Peace
The Bible
Church Leaders
Hardship
Fellowship
Holy Living
Character of an Elder
Adultery
Rebelling
Signs and Wonders
Baptise
Infant Baptism
Power
Possessions
Study the Bible
Steward
Hatred
Hospitable
Spreading The Gospel
Relationships
Training Children
Health
Youth Training
Counting the Cost
Healing Equip
books
Raising Leaders
Shepherds
Contentment
God's Character
Affirmation
Judaism
Enlightenment
Building Deep
Prostitution
Godly Team
Breaking Bread
Festivals
Idolatry
Prayer and Fasting
Theology
Foundations
Heaven
Fellowship of Believers
Leading Church
Diversity
Church Accountability
Rebellion
Witchcraft
Baby Christian
Kassie du Plessis
Protector
Tithing
Envy
Quiet Times
Retaliation
Lessons
Spreading The Word
Cheating
Training Teenagers
Cancer
Youth Ministry
Following the Call
Four12 Equip
Eldership Training
Community Leading
Pastors
Rest
Sacrificial Serving
Sonship
Jewish
Reason
Selling Out
Prostitutes
honour
favour
Children
Forgiveness
Income
Prophetic
Tithes
Helper
Illness
Principles
Living for Christ
Government
Discipling
Sancti
Words of Knowledge
Babies
Prayer
Sexual Purity
Christmas
Jealousy
Meditation
Promises
Loss
The Cross
Persecution
Unfaithfulness
Sacrifice
Brazil
Prophetic Training
Healing Conference
Identity
Small Group
Biblical Pattern
Systematic Theology
False Gospel
Testimony Apostolic
Jews
Reasoning
Watering Down
Reaching Out

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