Living in a World that Has Forgotten God
January 27, 2022
-Dr. J. Vernon McGee, from "Living for God in a World That Has Forgotten Him"
When the Lord taught the parable of the sower, He said the seed that fell on the rock had “fallen away.” Literally, the seed grew without a root. He likened it to the person who believes for a little while and then falls when temptation strikes. (See Luke 8:13.)
People who “fall away” are called “apostates” in Scripture. They professed to believe, but then they move away from it. They no longer believe; they have departed from the faith. Apostasy would be impossible among unevangelized tribes who have never heard the gospel. An apostate is one who has not only heard the gospel, but who has professed to believe it, and then departs from it.
The book of Hebrews describes it like this:
Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. -Hebrews 3:12
Those who once said they believed, no longer believe. That’s who we’re talking about. This should make us bow our heads in humility before God and ask for His help. These are days when God’s people need to examine ourselves to make sure we’re in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).
In my own lifetime I have known man after man who once preached the faith, then later on repudiated it entirely. They are apostates. The Word of God warns that this will happen: “In latter times some will depart from the faith.”
All the New Testament writers speak of the approaching apostasy. To them it was just a little cloud on the horizon the size of a man’s hand. But that cloud has now darkened and covered the sky. Today we are in the storm. We are seeing one of the greatest departures from the faith in the history of the church. At the present moment and for some time now the church has been engaged in a great brainwashing program to absolutely get rid of the Word of God.
Believers, now is the time to wake up to the reality of our world—one that has forgotten God. Actually, it’s a wonderful hour in which to live! We can still be intelligent and believe the Word of God, that Jesus Christ nearly 2000 years ago intruded into history and died on a cross, that He arose again the third day bodily, ascended back to heaven, and that He is alive today. He has sent the Holy Spirit into the world, and the Holy Spirit has made Him real to multitudes in every walk of life. This is our message, and it is still pertinent for this hour to meet the needs of the human heart.
I feel sorry for the men and women who have departed from the faith. My heart goes out to apostates, because they are lost in the dark without a compass, not knowing where they’re going.
Maybe you are lost. Well, I am delighted to tell you that this book, the Bible, is a compass and a map. It clearly reveals the way to God. In it the Lord Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Multitudes who have been lost in this world have come to Him and found it to be true, and you can find it to be true even in these days of apostasy.
Dr. McGee asks: Have you ever been lost?
"I used to hunt up in the Tehachapi mountains of California. Once, a friend and I went up to the Kelso Valley to hunt quail. We parked the car and walked a couple miles before coming to a covey of quail. I’d never seen such a large covey—there must have been 200 birds in it. My companion needed to return to the car, but I stayed on and followed that covey as they scattered in every direction. As I followed them, I lost sense of time and direction. It suddenly occurred to me that I was lost. I didn’t know which direction to go. The foothills of the Tehachapis are rugged country. I climbed to the top of one of the hills and looked around for a familiar scene. I give you my word, I couldn’t see a hill, a tree, or anything that I recognized.
"Without a compass, without knowing where I was, I became absolutely frightened. Believe me, I prayed to the Lord to get me out of that situation. As I stood there, I thought how tragic it is to be lost in this world and not know where you are going—to have no compass, no map, nothing. Just lost.
"My friend, today multitudes in this world are lost. And the tragedy of it is they have wrecked their compass, they have mutilated their map, and they don’t know which way to go."
Consider someone you know who doesn’t yet know the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray for them right now. They may or may not recognize they are lost; ask the Lord to make that reality tangible to them, and ask Him to help you be ready to share with them the confidence you have in Jesus Christ that your sins are forgiven and you have eternal life. Then wait expectantly for an opportunity to share how Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life—and the only way to salvation.