5 Reasons Believers Should Yield to Jesus’ Off-Ramp

by | Aug 5, 2019 | Evangelism & Missions

Christians sometimes stop loving Jesus Christ, and stop walking in the Spirit. They can abandon their faith in the authority of the Bible; they explain away God’s clear commands. How can this be?

The list includes our own children. Three ministers last night discussed six children who’ve turned away from the Lord—children raised in His nurture and admonition. Widely recognized leaders are on the list also. This week’s list included a prominent Christian author. Why does this happen?

To defend our faith, we can look for causes. To support our conviction, we even blame flaws in the other person’s faith, which Job’s three friends did. And we can doubt our own understanding of the Bible when a respected person waters down its authority. These reactions are not the best.

Jesus built the off-ramp. His effort to reduce the number of His followers was well-documented in the Gospels. Our best reaction is to permit Him to continue doing so.

We want everyone saved. He does also. He wants everyone saved from damnation, but that’s not the standard.

He wants people saved for following Him wholeheartedly (Luke 9:57-62). It’s His to judge who is, and who isn’t, so we defer to Him. To everyone who confesses His name, we are generous with the benefit of the doubt. But all of us recognize varying degrees of love for Jesus in the people around us—not to mention, in our own hearts.

He spits out the lukewarm, He said in Revelation 3. He announced in John 6 that eating His flesh and drinking His blood was necessary for life—a really weird thing to say.

Why did He do this? He was showing people the off-ramp, and the 5,000-plus He had miraculously fed the day before walked away from Him. Only 12 were left.

These thousands had just traversed the shore of Sea of Galilee to find Him on the other side. They clamored to make Him king. You or I would have started the church right then and there, and it would have been mega. He showed them the off-ramp, and they took it.

What about when a respected Christian leader calls people to follow him or her down the off-ramp? This hurts even worse. The brief letters of 2 & 3 John give guidance as well as Paul’s 2 Corinthians responses to the “super-apostles.” The fact remains: Jesus made that off-ramp.

When someone at any level elects the off-ramp, Jesus permits it. So, what do you do?

  1. Don’t be like Job’s three “friends,” blaming him. Instead, be like Elihu, defending God’s prerogatives.
  2. Don’t be threatened. Job saw they viewed his experience as a threat to themselves (Job 6:21). Your safety in Jesus is unaffected by what any other person may do.
  3. “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” Keep praying and declaring restoration of the person. Put your faith to work, overcoming doubt and declaring the Scriptural and prophetic promises that apply.
  4. Exercise amplified personal vigilance that your own heart doesn’t stray. Identify other Christians who want to relate to each other in mutual support for faithfulness (Heb. 3:12-13).
  5. Yield to Jesus. He didn’t say you would build His church—He said He would do it (Matt. 16:18). So, let Him do it ,and stay in your assigned lane.

Paul Renfroe is an ordained minister of Christian International and an entrepreneur as well as author of Christian, What Are You? Removing the Blindfolds and other books available at ChristianWhatAreYou.com.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

How to Operate in the Power Gifts of the Holy Spirit

How to Operate in the Power Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He told the apostles in Acts 1:8 (NLT), “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” Jesus promises a gift that would give them comfort, power, strength and encouragement. That gift is the Holy Spirit, and that...

Messianic Rabbi: Make the Choice to Be an Outsider

Messianic Rabbi: Make the Choice to Be an Outsider

One of the wonderful things about reading through the Bible is that the more you read it, the more things you find within its pages. No matter how many times you read a verse or a series of verses, because the Bible is a living document, there will always be more to...

Kingdom Economics: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Kingdom Economics: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress unanimously voted to pass a declaration of independence from Britain. Each signatory was facing death by hanging if the bold experiment failed. The Declaration of Independence declared that all men were created equal and that...

Consider This Unsung Hero of the Bible

Consider This Unsung Hero of the Bible

Sometimes, I think Martha in the Bible gets a bad rap! I am not saying that Jesus labeled Martha at all. Please hear me out. But I think we would be wise to avoid picking up and holding onto some of the dynamics in this potential sibling rivalry between Martha and...

Prophetic Word: We Are Entering the Books of Acts

Prophetic Word: We Are Entering the Books of Acts

On the morning of June 5, 2022, I was praying in preparation for the Arise Women’s Summit I was hosting near Knoxville, Tennessee, when the Lord took me into an encounter. I found myself in the library of heaven standing before a giant staircase made of extremely...

The Church Revived: 3 Keys to the Emerging Move of God

The Church Revived: 3 Keys to the Emerging Move of God

During the past two years, I believe the church at large has been in a season of returning to God. Repentance is crucial when it comes to revival. Scripture shows a clear pattern that repentance precedes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (see Joel 2:12-28 and Acts...

RECENT ARTICLES

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

All of us at some point will hit a place of getting the wind knocked out of us. We all experience unexpected detours and times when there seems to be no way out. But there is One who lives in us,...
Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Whether it is the Spirit leading or forbidding in the book of Acts, or the Spirit leading throughout Christian history, it’s clear that the leading of the Spirit is important. In the Old Testament, it appears that the Spirit of God could be withdrawn completely from...

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Everyone has a race to run. That just means we all have a life to live. The apostle Paul says in Hebrews 12:1 (NIV), “Therefore...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for...

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

In 1971, I was invited to spend one month in Singapore at a new institute that had been started by John Haggai. It was still in the formative stages then—a place where Asian church leaders would be trained and challenged to witness for Christ. Today, more than 40...

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

It was a Pentecost bloodbath and most Christians never heard about it. More than 50 Christians were killed in one of the deadliest terror attacks on Nigerians this year. Scores of gunmen rushed in to kill Christians in the midst of worship. All told, over 360 million...

Pin It on Pinterest