Although there is a common belief that men cannot fall from God’s grace, the Bible teaches otherwise. Why else would the Holy Spirit include such things as the pig returning to the mud hole (2 Pet. 2:22) or the warning to the Galatians that if they chose to follow the Old Law, they would fall from grace (Gal. 5:3-4)? There is little that we know of Hymenaeus and Alexander other than the fact that Paul had turned them over to Satan so they would learn not to blaspheme (1 Tim. 1:19-20). It is possible that Hymenaeus joined with another man by the name of Philetus to continue to overthrow the faith of others, which shows his resolve not to return to the Lord (2 Tim. 2:17). Prayers are sometimes lifted up for such wayward brethren in hopes that they will repent and return to the true path of righteousness. However, our prayers often go unanswered, not because of God, but because the heart of the individual no longer loves the truth. While many excuses are offered as to why men and women will not repent, the following are the real reasons they refuse to return to the Lord.
Love of Sin
Rejection of the Gospel is the number one reason why people never become Christians in the first place or refuse to return to the Lord. The devil is very good at packaging sin as something pleasurable without after‐effects. Sin always appears to be something other than what it is, a cruel taskmaster. Paul reminds us that we should never allow sin to rule our lives to the point that we obey its every lust (Rom. 6:12). Christians who have turned away from the Lord have forgotten that they once were made free from sin and had become servants of righteousness (6:18-20). Peter warned of those who had gone astray by forsaking the right way because they became enticed by sin, particularly the lusts of the flesh (2 Pet. 2:15-20). How sad that those who once had known the way of righteousness now love the ugliness of sin.
Love of Ease
Jesus spoke of two paths; one is narrow and requires dedication, while the other is wide and is easy to go through (Mat. 7:13-14). Many have turned their back on the Lord due to pure laziness. Taking the easy way is the path of those who commit suicide, which back sliding Christians commit spiritually speaking. Jesus never said that being a Christian would be easy. He said it would be just the opposite (5:10-11). While unrepentant brethren have believed the lie that unfaithfulness is easier, God said, “the way of the unfaithful is hard” (Pro. 13:15).
Love of Lies
The prophet Jeremiah described the shame of Israel’s unfaithfulness to their God when he wrote, “Because you have forgotten MeAnd trusted in falsehood. Therefore I will uncover your skirts over your face, That your shame may appear” (Jer. 13:25-26). God had hoped that shaming them would open their eyes to their fallen condition, but like so many unrepentant Christians today, they hardened their hearts. Some brethren do not realize they have fallen away from the Lord while attending congregations that have long taught contrary to the Word. Paul warned the Galatians about the lies they had accepted when he said, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel” (Gal. 1:6-9). Children of God who have fallen away often opine that they see the Scriptures differently than they once did. In other words, they have swallowed the lie that one doctrine is as good as another. Whether the lies of different interpretations or that God is responsible for one’s situation, the love of lies has reaped multitudes for the cause of Satan.
Love of Man’s Approval
Possibly one of the primary causes of Christians falling away from the truth has to do with the approval of others. They care more about what others think than what our Lord thinks. Paul reminds us that as Christians, we are to transform our minds or thinking (Rom. 12:2). John warned that caring more about the world proves a lack of love for God (1 John 2:15), and James says it makes us God’s enemies (Jam. 4:4). Many continue to please others because they are no longer servants of Christ (Gal. 1:10).
There are many reasons why some Christians have chosen to fall away and refuse to return to the Lord, and these examples are just a few. How truly sad, despite the encouragement and prayers of the faithful to get the unfaithful to return to their Lord, they continue to “crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame” (Heb. 6:6).