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They Went Out From Us

One of the most concerning scenarios we face in the Christian life is when we have a person around us, around our church, in our life, who seems to be a follower of Jesus. They made a profession of faith. They were baptized. They attended church faithfully. Maybe they even served in some capacity.

But then, sometimes slowly or sometimes suddenly, they move away from the church and gravitate away from Christian people and eventually depart from the Christian faith. They no longer have a heart for God and the things of God. They no longer have a taste for spiritual things. They no longer have a mind that appreciates the truths of God.

It’s heartbreaking when this happens, but what are we to make of this situation? What are we to say about their spiritual condition? Some would say that if they prayed that prayer and “got saved,” then we shouldn’t be concerned at all. Others would say, oh, this person was really saved and now they are really lost. Still others would say, that person only outwardly appeared to be saved but has always been lost.

The Holy Spirit through Apostle John helps us to decide which is the correct way to understand this situation. Speaking about people who were in the faith but later departed from the faith, we read in 1 John 2:19, “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.”

Did you catch what the Holy Spirit says here? They left the faith because they were not really of the faith. If they had been really of the faith, they would have remained in the faith. And their going out of the faith makes it clear to us they were never really of the faith.

Beloved, it’s not the one who starts out in the faith who is saved. It’s the one who abides and remains until the end. May that be true of you and me. Change begins in you!


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