Can a Christian Fall From Grace?

Question from a Site Viewer
Can a Christian fall from grace? I have been a Christian for some time but recently I feel that God has withdrawn from me. I no longer seek Him. I no longer feel a need or love for Him. I feel like I have fallen from grace and that I am no longer a Christian or a Christ-follower. I no longer have a spiritual mind. I feel it’s done for me as the change in my life has been drastic. Sinning doesn’t make me feel guilty. God is awesome and holy; I pray he will take me back. This is clearly my fault as God is flawless and perfect. Do you think I have a chance?

Tim’s Answer
Thank you for writing. Your experiences are not unusual. Although each of us are different (we are created unique), there are common experiences shared among us. Sometimes, we think that becoming a Christian is all about saying a prayer and then we are instantly made new people who have joy, peace, and contentment with God. But Scripture teaches no such thing.

Certainly, there is abundant Scriptural support for the truth that when we call out to Christ, He saves us. This happens in a moment. At Pentecost, 3,000 souls were added to the church in one day. Such conversion, however, is only the beginning of life. We need to continue to call out to Christ and to draw near to Him for our lives. The blessedness of the Christian life comes to those who persevere after God.

And we will be tested in whether we truly desire to pursue God. The saints of Scripture were tested to see if they would follow God even though nothing seemed right. Read Lamentations 3 sometime and you will begin to understand that even great prophets like Jeremiah had times when God seemed very distant. Job experienced the same thing and describes it very well in Job 19. There will be times when God does not seem close.

The question for each of us, in those times, is how do we respond to the seeming distance of God. If we take the seeming absence of God as an excuse to do our own thing, then it shows that our hearts are more akin to the people of Jesus’ day who wanted Him because of the bread He gave, but did not seek Him for Himself. We do not want to be people who only pursue God when things seem well. Rather, we want to be like Job who said that even if God killed him, he (Job) would serve God (Job 13:15).

When our hearts seem cold and God seems distant, these are times to cry out to God until He comes to us. These are times to pursue with all of our hearts. We do not want to fail the test. These are times to hunger and thirst after God (Psalm 42:1-2). The psalmist wrote Psalm 42 when he was despondent and feeling down (see Psalm 42:3, 5, 6, 11; Psalm 43:5). But he had a deep and abiding hope in God, that the day would come when he would again praise God for His deliverance.

Thus, when our feelings are not warm towards God, my encouragement to everyone is to take the time, as long as it takes, to pursue after God. Pray, read, memorize, remember His goodness, and express hope and confidence that He will yet bring to you that close, intimate, and sweet fellowship that we have with the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.

So, can a Christian fall from grace? It depends. If you are asking if a Christian can be condemned to hell, I do not find Biblical support for such. But if you mean one who is useless to the kingdom, then I think such is possible. Paul tells us that he disciplines his own life for this very purpose, so that he may not end up useless (1 Corinthians 9:27). We can make our lives ineffective for the kingdom of God. But that is not where any believer wants to be. Rather, we want to be those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, those who seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, those who seek to love Him with all of our hearts, to serve others, and to please our God.

You also ask whether I think God will take you back. The answer is an unequivocal “yes!” Read Luke 15. God is the father who delights in the return of sinners even more than we can ever imagine. He does not delight in the death of sinners, but rather wants them to turn and come to Him (Ezekiel 18:23). In this way, God is not like us. We tend to want to wash our hands of those who have offended us. God, however, wants a restored relationship. So, please, do not think that God does not want to take you back. He is the father of the prodigal son. He eagerly welcomes home His own.

May you grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18) and understand the great love with which He loves you. And may your life be a blessing to all you meet and a true testimony to Jesus Christ in this dark and lonely world.

a fellow pilgrim,


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