We've all heard the sentiments before, about the person who has a "salvation experience", and then wanders in sin for years only to "return" back to Jesus later in life. I recently heard a man say that he had "accepted Jesus into his heart" when he was younger, but then left Jesus for 50 years and was now looking to "find Jesus" again. I tell you the truth, Jesus doesn't fit inside your heart, and Jesus wasn't the one who was lost.
This anti-biblical view of salvation and who we are compared to who God really is, is irksome to me to say the least. This is making God out to be some passive by-stander as you come and go as you please with some notion of eternal security locked in as your insurance policy.
Not sure what I'm talking about? Let's look at a song that I heard on my way to work this morning to set the backdrop, and then we'll see what the truth from Gods own word has to say.
The song is by Cochren & Co. and it's called Church (Take Me Back), and I've linked to a YouTube video for your convenience here as well.
This song starts out with the line "There was a time I swore I would never go back". The truth is that you left because you are not part of the Church. I know that we all have disappointments and controversies in our local church but 1st John 2:19 says "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us."
The song goes on to say "I was blind to the truth, I didn't know what I had". You were blind to the truth because you are still in spiritual darkness. 1 John 1:6 If we claim that we have fellowship with him but keep living in darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth.
The song goes on with "I was running, I was searching, but every place I turned for healing, left me more broken than the last". You have never repented of your sins and are still trying to find joy and satisfaction by indulging in a sinful lifestyle. John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Now for the catchy chorus, "Take me back, to a place that feels like home, To the people I can depend on, To the faith that's in my bones. Take me back, to a preacher and a verse, Where they've seen me at my worst, To the love I had at first, I want to go to church".
Where do I start? This guy is describing how he had an emotional experience at his local church, the preacher gave him a false assurance of a faith the he feels in his bones, and he wants to regain that feeling despite all the evidence that nothing really lasting happened. This guy isn't repenting and going back to Jesus, he's depressed and wants to get an emotional high by going back to church.
Hebrews 6:1-8 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings,a the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits. For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.
This guy isn't a follower of Jesus because he hasn't even really taken the first step in following Jesus. He has dabbled with the gospel, he has tasted that God is good but decided that it wasn't for him and he walked away. The passage says that it's impossible to restore them to repentance since they are crucifying once again the son of God to their own harm and holding him up for contempt. I don't know if that means that they can't repent, or that we'll never convince them to repent because in their mind they are deluded into some sort of self-justification. What I do know is that the fact is displayed in that their was plenty of rain or resource but he couldn't bear any fruit in his life, only worthless thorns and thistles or a continual pattern of sin, and the only thing he can look forward to is being cursed with an eternity in hell.
You may think I'm harsh in my evaluation of this anti-biblical thinking, but look at these statements made in the second part of the song...
"I tried to walk on my own, but wound up lost", no sir, you were born into sin, and you've continually practiced sin, and until you repent you will remain lost.
"Now I'm making my way to the foot of the cross", not sure if he is finally going to repent or if he is walking down the aisle of church to a futile altar call.
"It's not a trophy for the winners, but a shelter for the sinners and it's right where I belong", so you're back to worshiping your local church instead the God over the church.
If you find yourself on a continual roller coaster of trying to get an emotional high only to be let down and crash into all your favorite sins, if you can not get any satisfaction or joy out of life, if you have been wandering around in spiritual darkness, I beg you to come to the light of Jesus plan for peace between you and him, humble yourself before God and repent or forsake your life of sin and trust in Jesus as your only means of salvation. You can have a new life today and hope for a better someday by following Jesus right now.