Posted in Jude, Luke

Falling Away

“Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.” Luke 8:13

Few things are as distressing to me as those who fall away from faith after once walking with Jesus. How can we help people get a firm root down, so that they don’t fall away when things get difficult? Instead of giving my opinion, I want to quote a man who led over a half million people to Christ in the 19th century. The notable thing about Charles Finney was that a survey taken at the time showed that 85% of those who responded to Christ in his meetings were still walking with the Lord ten years later. Compare these results to surveys of Moody’s converts that showed only 30% remained, and one survey of Billy Graham’s converts that showed only 3% were still faithful to the Lord a year after coming to the altar. Here’s how Finney preached the gospel:

“We should present to their minds the character of God, his government, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the plan of salvation, any such thing that is calculated to charm the sinner away from his sins, and from pursuing his own interests, and that is calculated to excite him to exercise unselfish and universal love. On the other hand, his own deformity, selfishness, self-will, pride, ambition, enmity, lusts, guilt, loathsomeness, hatefulness, spiritual death; all these things should be brought to bear in a burning focus on his mind.  Man’s depravity should then be held up against the great love, the infinite compassion, the meekness, condescension, purity, holiness, truthfulness, and justice, of the blessed God. These should be held before him like a mirror until they press on him with such mountain weight as to break his heart.” (Reflections on Revival Pg 40-41)

I will close with precious words from Jude 24: “Now to Him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy – to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.”


Pastor at City Church in Madison, Wisconsin