“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled” (Hebrews 12:15)
The road to apostasy is slow, subtle, and sinister. It begins with a disconnection to the grace of God which was sufficient for us. Whatever God could have and would have taught us we were unwilling to learn. Instead of continuing is His word and becoming “disciples indeed,” strong emotions and desires dictated our steps. Weakness did not lead to the power of Christ resting upon us. Wounds that the Great Physician could have healed became angry, open infected sores. Where mercy, forgiveness, and forbearance could have been there is only bitterness and self-justification.
Beginning with Christ is not enough. If we are to finish the race set before us, He must be both the Author and Finisher of our faith. A decision must be made at the most difficult junctures of our life to find in Christ the help we need to walk as He walked. To receive a crown and sit down with Him on His throne when our race is over we must suffer with Him now. There are many who have a story of suffering, but few who have a testimony of suffering with Christ. Being in the first class makes us a victim, being in the second makes us a victor.
The signature of those who cleave to Christ are the fruits of His righteousness. Those who have departed from Him can usually be found among the ranks of those who clamor for justice for all the hurt and wounded on the earth. They have ceased offering Christ as the necessary medicine for man’s deepest pains because the “Balm of Gilead” is no longer treating them. They can only now “defile” others with the bitterness that clings to them.
Never think it is impossible for you to fall away from Christ. He told His disciples to abide in Him. His grace is sufficient for you. Refusing it begins the slow detachment from the Vine.