Q. I have been a Christian for years. I prayed to accept God and jumped into ministry right after. I heard God through whispers, countless blessings, and saw Him at work. I even brought a coworker to Christ. Then I fell on hard times, and over a period of years fell away from Him. I stopped reading and praying and turned my back on Him. I cursed at Him and questioned if I ever knew him. My heart feels empty and cold and lonely now. My soul is in anguish for what I have done. God brought me to Hebrews 6, 10, and several other passages that spoke of the dangers in falling away. I don’t know what I am now. I know God is there, but I know that I denied Him. I question if I ever knew Him. It seems to be either that, or I was a believer who didn’t maintain fellowship and let sin overtake me to the point that I disgraced God, and He left me. What do I do now? What does this all mean in terms of scripture?
A. You left out the third hypothesis and that’s the most likely one. While you’ve experienced a period of falling away, God has never left you. This is the point of the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). In John 10:27-30 Jesus said no one can take us out of His or His father’s hands. That means not even we ourselves can do that. And in Romans 8:38-39 Paul said no power in Heaven or on earth can separate us from the love of God. In 2 Cor. 1:21-22 he said it’s God who makes you stand firm in Christ. He has anointed you, put His mark of ownership on you and put His spirit in your heart as a deposit guaranteeing what is to come. He said the same thing in Ephesians 1:13-14.
If you had never been saved in the first place you would not be grieving for fear of losing your salvation. Whoever brought you to places in the Bible that appear to place conditions on your salvation has misled you. Therefore it wasn’t God. He’s the one who gave his life to save you.
What you do now is just what the prodigal son did. The Lord said, “Return to Me and I will return to you.” Get down on your knees and seek His forgiveness (1 John 1:9). Begin doing the things you did at first, like reading your Bible and praying. Soon you’ll discover that He’s been with you all along, just waiting for you to turn back to Him.