by Richard Mansel
How does a faithful Christian leave the Lord? Is it with great noise, or with a whisper? Do we move from his arms with great gallops or stunted steps? In truth, it happens in moments, with doubts, sighs, and knowing nods. Incrementally, we steal away. Let us see how.
Apostasy is leaving God for other fields and voices. It is an omnipresent possibility amidst the ravages of the spiritual wars (Ephesians 6:10-17). As a realistic danger along our Christian walks, we never grow immune to its allure (Hebrews 2:1).
Jesus warned the Ephesians that they had “left their first love” (Revelation 2:4, NKJV). Demas left Paul’s mission for God because he “loved this present world” (2 Timothy 4:10). When we depart, we leave behind the spiritual wreckage of our lives and examples (Hebrews 6:4-6; Hebrews 10:26-31). We must remain constantly alert to its threat.
The story of the Titanic is legendary. It yields several lessons that illustrate how apostasy occurs.
The majesty of the Titanic was unparalleled in its day. The ship was 882 feet long and 175 feet tall. While it weighed in at 25,000 tons, an otherwise insignificant iceberg lurking in the north Atlantic sealed its fate on April 15, 1912. Accordingly, 1,523 people lost their lives.
The world stood in awe as some of the world’s wealthiest people purchased tickets for its maiden voyage. Yet, their perceived invincibility failed to keep them warm amidst the frozen waters.
The profile of destruction includes the following lessons.
First, pride doomed the Titanic. Hailed as the ship that not even God could sink, it nonetheless broke apart and slipped beneath the icy waters. Thinking their abilities as engineers were beyond reproach, they were forced to face their mortality.
Their effrontery resembles the construction of the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). In their pride, they deemed to build a tower to the heavens. The story takes an amusing turn when the text says that God “came down” to see what they were doing. Their efforts were so pathetic that it was as if God had to get closer to see something so small and insignificant.
When we are a Christian, we have two dangers in relation to pride. First, we can think that we are such a strong Christian that we cannot fall. We have it all together. Satan waits for such weaknesses to be manifested.
King Hezekiah’s life is endangered and he immerses himself in prayer and receives fifteen extra years of life by the hand of God. When it comes to fruition, the humble man transforms into a vain man bragging of his exploits (2 Kings 20). When Isaiah prophesies that trouble would come to his descendants, he says, “The word of the Lord is good! Will there not be peace and truth in my days?” (2 Kings 2:19). Since the punishment would not come in his day, he did not care.
Second, we can believe that sin can actively coexist in our lives and we will not be lead away from God. Yet, God warned, “Can a man take fire to his bosom, [a]nd his clothes not be burned? Can one walk on hot coals, [a]nd his feet not be burned?” (Proverbs 6:27,28).
God warns, “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18) and he “who thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). We must heed these warnings before it is too late.