Reasons for leaving the faith
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.
There are several reasons why some have departed from the faith -- whether it be the body of truth, the trust in God or a life devoted to Christ and His teachings. Our text tells us that there will be, and already have been, those who have departed from the faith because they have given heed (to turn the mind to) seducing spirits and doctrines of demon. Paul lists only two in the passage – they forbid them to marry and also forbid them to eat meat (simply a term for food in general). These false groups, under the guise of Christian, demand of their followers that they remain celibate and also to fast all food – perhaps to the point of emaciation.
There are groups proclaiming to be based upon the Bible who demand this of their followers. One such was called the Shakers who demanded that anyone entering their body or group live celibate lives. If they entered as a married couple they were to separate and live apart.
There are some who demand of their followers they fast totally as an entrance into their group and also that they consistently fast to the point that some have been hospitalized or even died from malnutrition.
These two seductions have drawn people away from true faith since the time of the Apostle Paul and are still drawing them away. But the question comes to mind, what caused these people drawn away to fall to the seductions in the first place?
Some have become disappointed with the Christian faith because they lack understanding or they have been deluded into a false belief about the Christian life. Some are disappointed because they have been told that Christians should never experience poverty or sickness – the health and wealth gospel. The Psalmist said, “Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches. 13 Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency” And again , “But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. 3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm . 5 They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.”
Many a young Christian has felt this way as the Psalmist declared. He beheld how well the wicked seemed to prosper and he struggled and he was envious. Perhaps they had a love one die young and they had prayed long and hard, and still they died. Perhaps they are in the midst of a divorce or custody case and they are losing and their prayers are not being answered. They became disappointed with God.
So often people have unscriptural beliefs and when things don’t go well they blame God and too often they depart from the faith giving heed to some seducing spirit or doctrine of the devil.
Sometimes people become disappointed with another Christian or maybe even a minister, so they depart from their faith in God because someone else failed them. If you have watched the news you have seen far too often (one is too many) ministers or priests who are being accused of misconduct. They took advantage of their position and influence and failed or disappointed someone or group of people. How many a minister has committed adultery and had to be removed or perhaps even divorced their spouse to marry another in the church they were having an affair with to the disappointment of an entire church.
Our faith is in God and not man – man will fail us – God will never fail us. If we think God has failed there is probably some flaw in our theology or understanding. Perhaps we are reaping the seeds we have sown and do not like the crop. Or perhaps we are reaping our disobedience and rebellion and do not like the results. We must understand, God is not a great big grandfather that just dotes over His people even when they sin, disobey and walk away from Him. He is a Holy, Righteous and Sovereign Lord of the universe and He has established the laws of sowing and reaping, and the resulting evil that accompanies our wrong living. The Bible is a wonderful book recording God’s love for us but it also is replete with examples of those who sinned and disobeyed and rebelled and experienced the result of their ways. God does not desire us to depart from the faith, but the ultimate choice is ours.