by Dr. Charles Stanley
Thursday November 4, 2004
Renewal or Relapse
We all falter occasionally in our Christian walk, but some believers go back into their old lifestyle and stay there, almost as if they had never been saved. It could be a few weeks after salvation or years later that they turn away from God. What causes a person to go from pursuing Christ to following the ways of the world?
We know that when we are saved by grace, we have a new birth experience. (2 Corinthians 5:17) God creates something original within us - a brand new nature - and it is so wonderful we look forward to telling others about it. Then we return to our old environment, where people who know us have not changed. Over time, they will use enticements to get us to interact as we once did - to laugh at their jokes, to read worldly books and magazines, and even to agree with commonly held opinions. We are often frustrated at their response to our faith and our lifestyle, but because God wants us to lead others to Christ, He leaves us in our old surroundings.
What results is a fork in the road. Some Christians endure the snide comments and ignore the temptations. But other believers find themselves weakening until they make the decision to join the crowd "just this one time." One time leads to one more, and so on.
Where do you stand - with your feet firmly planted on God's path? Or are you poised at the precipice, leaning toward the other side? Beware! Danger is only one step away.
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