Three Reasons People Stop Following Christ

Jesus told a parable, a story, about a person who went out and sowed seed. He used it to explain four types of people.

I’m going to talk about three of the types of people he spoke about, and what he said about people who stop following God.

They Don’t Understand the Bible

The first type of person who stops following God is a person who doesn’t understand what is taught in the Bible. Jesus said this is like seed (the Word of God) that is sewn (spread) on the path.

There may be people who hear the Word of God preached. They may read the Bible, but they don’t understand what is being said.

Jesus said that seed is carried away by Satan.

Trouble Comes, and They Go

The second type of person hears the Word of God. They accept the word joyfully. They get excited about their faith.

But, then, they get stress or abuse because of their faith. So, they leave. They didn’t have a deep enough faith to withstand the difficulties.

These people, Jesus says, are like seed that is sewn on rocky ground. They don’t have roots. So, when the sun rises and it gets “hot,” they wither and die.

Worries & Wealth Lead Them Astray

The third type of person gets sidetracked by worries of life. Worries gets them down, and they give up. Or perhaps they want to get wealthy. They leave their first love for God and chase wealth. They may not plan to leave God, but Jesus said:

No one can be a slave of two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot be slaves of God and of money.  –Matthew 6:24 (HCEB)

She started out well, but like the seed sewn among thorns, worries and wealth choke out the good results she could have had.

There are solutions to each of the above things that lead a person astray.

  • If you don’t understand the Word of God, there are people who can help you grow deeper in your understanding. I’d suggest World English Institute or World Bible School. The first teaches English grammar, reading and writing as well as the Bible. The second one focuses just on the Bible.
  • Grow your faith. Be prepared for the trouble. A great way to do this is to get immersed in learning God’s Word by memory. For that I would suggest Scripture Typer. It’s a great place to work on your memory verses and you can practice your typing as well. It gives you the speed of your typing.
  • If you are having a lot of worries, learning verses about giving your cares to God will be helpful, and this will help with the pursuit of wealth as well. God will help you have the things you need if you seek first his kingdom. Don’t let money get in the way of your faith, and be careful. Moving away can creep up slowly.

Note: None of the above links are affiliate links, but I am a volunteer teacher for World English Institute, and I have taught with World Bible School in the past. I use Scripture Typer and it has helped a lot with learning more Bible verses.

 

Why Did Cain Kill Abel?

Abel brought the best of his flocks as a sacrifice to God. Cain brought some of his crops to offer to God.

It wasn’t that Abel offered an animal and Cain offered some of his crops. After all, Moses later gave commands for grain offerings as well as animal sacrifices.

Abel’s sacrifice was acceptable to God. He, however, brought the best.

Cain’s wasn’t. He brought some of his crops. Not the best perhaps.

Maybe it was because of the attitude of their hearts when they brought the sacrifices.

Cain became angry because of God’s reaction. And God warned Cain about his anger and that what was in his heart was going to cause Cain problems.

Cain didn’t listen.

Instead he deceived Abel into going into the field with him, and he killed him.

Cain was angry that God did not accept his sacrifice. But he could have changed his heart and offered what was right.

But he didn’t.

He took out his anger with God on Abel.

Cain was perhaps jealous and felt that God loved Abel more than he loved him.

The very first murder was in one way over religion.

Jesus said:

But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, Fool!’ will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But whoever says, You moron!’ will be subject to hellfire. (Matthew 5:22 HCSB)

Murder begins with anger. Anger is very dangerous. Cain killed Abel, because he was angry.

He was angry that God did not accept his sacrifice.

He was angry that God accepted Abel’s sacrifice.

This led to jealousy.

Genesis 4:7 tells how God tried to warn Cain that his behavior was going to led to sin, and that is was waiting to attack him. The person who attacked was first attacked by sin.

Cain could have made a different decision. He could have changed his life and repented before it was too late. But he didn’t.

If you are angry with someone, be very careful. It may take you somewhere you do not want to go, and leave you with regret.

It might not be murder, but it could be assassination of character, or words that you can never take back once said.

We can learn from Cain’s mistake and choose to repent.

What Can You Learn from Eve’s Decision?

The very first woman, Eve, was approached by a smooth salesman: Satan.

Satan promises Eve a lot of things that were really enticing:

  • Secret Knowledge
  • No Consequences to her behavior
  • Being a god

Secret Knowledge

Some ads use the word “secret” in them. We have this knowledge that is secret that is going to solve your problem. You can’t find it anywhere else. Only we have it.

The thing is, knowledge that is wonderful often it isn’t hidden at all. It just takes work. Losing weight is eating less calories and moving more. No secret to that. But it’s hard. So, instead, people sell you a pill, or a new diet plan that is going to work when the last one didn’t, or some easy exercise equipment that looks like it just helps you melt pounds off just by looking at it – ha!

Some religious groups do the same thing. They claim to have hidden knowledge of God, or will tell you the Bible has hidden codes in it.

However, God didn’t reveal himself in the Bible to make himself hidden.

The Gnostics who were around during the time John wrote his short letters in the Bible claimed to have knowledge about God that you could only get through them.

No Consequences

Many things that are bad for your body are “sold” to people without telling you there are severe consequences.

We are seeing this with the drug epidemic. “This drug will make you feel better.” What it really does is numb you to the reality that you aren’t facing. It doesn’t make you feel better in the long run. It hooks you, and many of the ones out there on the streets are killing people or hooking you severely – sometimes on the very first use.

The same thing is seen in drinking, smoking, etc. It is made to look cool, fit in with others, enjoying life, but often it leads down a very sad path with lots of bad consequences.

Make no mistake, God is not mocked. A person will harvest what they plant. Those who plant only for their own benefit will harvest devastation from their selfishness, but those who plant for the benefit of the Spirit will harvest eternal life from the Spirit. (Galatians 6:7-8 CEB) Galatians 6: 7-8 (Bible Gateway)

There are consequences to behavior. Sometimes, the consequences are deadly as in the case with Eve. Her decision led to death. Not immediately, but eventually. This is the same way that consequences often work. Sometimes the results are not immediate, but they do come.

Being a god

This promise was very subtle. Eve was told that God was holding back on her, keeping her from enjoying life.

Being responsible is not “fun” sometimes. It may look like changing diapers, going to work every day, studying for an exam instead of going to a party. In other words, being an adult.

It seems that it would be more enjoyable to do what’s fun and use that as a criteria to making decisions. This is what being a god is really offering: Make your own decisions, live life the way you want to, and everything will work out anyway.

The consequences to that type of life may make it enjoyable for you, maybe even a lifetime, but it leaves behind scarred children, broken hearts, and a difficult world to live in and, eventually, eternal consequences.

This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. But all fun needs to have boundaries. So, the next day, you wake up with good memories and not a lousy-feeling body, or consequences that follow you or someone you love for the rest of your life.

God puts boundaries in place and tells us not to “eat from that tree,” because he made us, and he knows what’s good for us.

If you are looking for wisdom to live life, a great book of the Bible to read is the book of Proverbs. It has 31 chapters. So, you can read one chapter a day. It has advice for life in many categories.

I hope that the next time someone comes to you promising you one of the above things, you’ll take a closer look at their promises. Perhaps, they are offering you a piece of fruit that looks great, tastes great, but will leave a sour taste in your mouth in the long run.

Prayer for the Persecuted

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

You are blessed when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of me.

Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

–Jesus (Matthew 5: 10-12 HCSB)

Father in Heaven,

This beatitude is difficult to understand,

but Jesus never asked anything of his followers that he didn’t do first.

Thank you for His example to get through the difficult times of life, even times that seem impossible.

Help those who are suffering to feel your peace, your comfort, and to radiate your joy in the darkest of places.

Through Jesus,

who knows what suffering is like, forgave those who persecuted him, and welcomed many of those very ones into his kingdom in the years after his death and resurrection.

 

Atlas of the World Coloring Book by Amber Books, Ltd. 2017

Sometimes the way a book is marketed isn’t necessarily the only way you can use the book.

I visited Barnes & Noble in Greensboro, NC recently. They place books in the entrance foyer to grab your attention. One of the stacks of books was an Atlas of the World Coloring Book. On the inside front cover it says:

Atlas of the World Coloring Book is both an excellent reference guide and a relaxing learning tool.

However, when I saw the book, I saw it could fulfill needs I had that weren’t mentioned.

I had been praying through the countries of the world, but then I stopped praying for them.

Honestly, prayer sometimes can get mundane, repetitious, even boring when trying to pray through lists of countries, people, etc. So, if you want to keep up your prayer life, I’ve found you have to look for new ways to continue praying through these lists.

This book answered my prayer in two ways.

One, I was looking for updated maps of the world. The world is constantly changing. Countries that were one, split into two such as Sudan. Sometimes they change names. This book was published in 2017. So, it is current.

Two, it gave me an interesting way to continue my goal of praying through the countries of the world.

The atlas shows the topographical layout of countries on some maps. It shows the divisions of countries on other maps. It gives tidbits of information about countries on the pages. In other words, lots of things to add to my prayer as I go through the countries.

This is a fascinating book that could be used for children to learn more about the world. It could be used in home schools or public schools for extra outside work.

Look for ways to enhance your prayer life. Maybe a coloring book can help you. Besides, it’s fun to be a kid again at times!