BE STEADFAST IN THE LORD
A Decadent Society
The standard of
morality has declined significantly, and more people are heading towards a
disastrous end. Issues such as sexual immorality, drug abuse, and murder used
to be adult maladies but not anymore. They are now most prevalent among our
show, the prevalence and seriousness of these problems have caused much social
unrest. In this decadent generation, many of our fellow brothers and sisters
have also been intoxicated by the corruption of this world. Their lifestyles
are moving them farther and farther away from God—involving themselves in
sinful activities that will result in their spiritual death.
Let’s take a look
at the situation with our youths today: What are the underlying reasons of
backsliding? How can youths stand firm in the Lord?
In the Old
Testament period, anyone who disregarded the laws of Moses was punishable by
death on the testimony of two or three persons. For believers in the New
Testament period, the punishment will be more severe, if we contemptuously
treat the son of God, by defiling the sanctifying blood of the covenant (Heb
The Bible teaches
that God’s grace will be upon those who obey His word. Within this grace, we
can exercise freedom of choice. However, any action that exceeds His
commandments will be regarded as profaning His blood.
Also, if we
persist in willful sinning after having received the knowledge of the truth,
the grace of God will be withdrawn. Then we can only expect the fearful
judgment of God (Heb 10:27). Therefore, it is absolutely an important goal for
us to remain steadfast in the Lord.
The question is,
are we steadfast in the Lord?
Those Who Stand Firm Should Be Careful
Many of us may
contend that we do not belong to the condemned group. After all, we attend
every Sabbath service and we pray everyday. With complacency, we assume that
we will not fall under God’s judgment. However, the Bible warns those who think
that they are standing firm to be careful, lest they fall (1 Cor 10:12).
can also bear testimony to this: many past fervent workers and regular
church-goers have since left the church. Of course, such workers might have
departed because of other factors.
might have lost sight of the real purpose of serving God and gradually paid
more attention to their own personal achievements. They failed to abide by the
biblical principle: as their proficiencies, Bible knowledge and
responsibilities increase, so must their faith progress. By forgetting this,
they gave ground for the devil to work in them.
category of people, there are others who have also left the church. It is
pertinent for us to analyze the reasons for their downfall.
How to be Steadfast
Although we are
part of the regular church congregation, we may reach a point where we feel
that church services are monotonous. We may find it difficult to be motivated
by the message. We attend these services because it is expected of us. The
Bible reveals that these unpleasant feelings are generated from our impure
hearts. Examples include pride (Jas 1:21), faithlessness (Heb 4:2),
hardheartedness (Heb 3:7, 8) and being unprepared to face attacking words (Amos
Instead of letting
these feelings grow, we should ask God to transform our inner character to
absorb His words. We must prepare ourselves before attending each Sabbath
service (Jn 4:24). And church attendance is more than just for
self-edification. As members of the community of faith, we will realize the
full benefit of church attendance, our responsibilities to extend our help to
others, and to establish a good rapport with our brothers and sisters through
regular communication and mutual support.
Many of us join in
the Sabbath service because we acknowledge this commandment of God. But, as we
are living in a world where sinful enticements are generally increasing
exponentially, being a once-a-week church-goer is not
enough to safeguard our spiritual life. This, coupled with the decline in
traditional values and moral integrity, increases the risk even further.
As time goes on,
we will pick up unchristian social norms. We may start smoking, drinking,
swearing, and the list is endless. Slowly but surely, we will develop a pattern
of life that we feel comfortable with and that conforms to the surrounding
decadent environment. Unwittingly, we have allowed the deceitfulness of sin to
creep into our hearts. Therefore, it is neither possible or
biblical for us to keep loosely to being once-a-week Christians, without being
zealous in our spirituality, and not be influenced by the world (Rev 3:15).
The Bible clearly
states: “To encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called
‘today’, lest anyone of us be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Heb 3:13)
and “We should always come together to encourage one another, and all the more
as we see the day drawing near.” (Heb 10:25).
We should improve
our fellowship with our brothers and sisters and join in activities that are
centered around spiritual cultivation. Besides formal
church services, we should frequent informal Bible studies and family services
to encourage one another. In particular, we should associate with those younger
brethren and set good examples in prayer and moral integrity (2 Tim 2:22).
While we actively
participate in church functions, we should not segregate ourselves from the
world. After all, we have the duty to bring lost souls to the Lord. But, if we
are not careful, constant involvement with outside friends, especially those
who are adversely influential to our well-being, may lead us away from God by
making us a party in their social activities (1 Cor 15:33).
To avoid this, we
should build up close relationships with brothers and sisters in the Lord, so
we are able to receive spiritual support that relationships with nonbelievers
may not be able to offer us. And we should not compromise our Christian
principles or test the divine limits. Whomever we socialize with, our
curiosities must not lead us, for example, to dabble with drinking, drug use or
pornography. This is dangerous. The more we satisfy our curiosities in
experiencing with ungodly activities, the less
barriers there will be to protect our spirituality.
In short, as
youths living in today’s immoral society, we ought to not look lightly on the
importance of preparing before we attend church services. Taking this one step
further, we ought to regularly participate in other church functions such as
Bible studies and family services to be in fellowship others. In all cases, we
ought to guide and set good examples for our younger brothers and sisters.
Finally, we ought to be careful in our choice of friends.
We are often
reminded of these things, and perhaps they have become so ingrained in our
minds that we are desensitized to their importance. But nevertheless, it is in
these matters that we show our faithfulness towards the Lord, and the more
dedicated we are to building on each of these every day, the more we are able
to remain steadfast in the Lord.
After all, it’s
not the weak that stand the greater chance to fall, for they at least recognize
the state of their spirituality and know to call upon the Lord. How much more
pitiful it is for those of us who think we are standing strong in our faith,
only to lose it all in the end.