Regular Christians Who Fell Away

Regular Christians Who Fell AwayText: 1 Corinthians 10:12

Paul used the example of the Israelites to warn the brethren in Corinth. God chose them and led them out of Egypt, yet they disobeyed God and were punished. They were examples for us. It is possible for us to begin serving the Lord, then fall away. We will notice some examples in this lesson.

Demas (2 Timothy 4:10)

  • Demas was one who fell away because he loved the world – he was previously faithful (Colossians 4:14), yet he decided he preferred the things of the world over the things of God
  • In the previous lesson, Jesus warned of persecution because Christians are not of the world (John 15:18-19) – the world is under the power of Satan (1 John 5:19); therefore, friendship with the world is hostility toward God (James 4:4)
  • We are not to love the world or the things in the world (1 John 2:15-16) – they are passing away (1 John 2:17); Satan tempts us with the passing pleasures of sin (Hebrews 11:25); but nothing we might gain in this world is worth the loss of our soul (Matthew 16:26)

Diotrephes (3 John 9-10)

  • Diotrephes was one who fell away because he wanted the preeminence – to be in the place of Christ; this is what the “man of lawlessness” would do (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4); rooted in arrogance
  • Jesus warned of “false Christs and false prophets” who would try to lead away the elect (Matthew 24:24) – similarly, Paul warned of some among the Ephesian eldership who would draw away disciples after themselves (Acts 20:30)
  • Pride goes before destruction (Proverbs 16:18) – opposite of the humility we must have (1 Peter 5:5-6); we are to submit to God (James 4:7) and to one another (Ephesians 5:21), so there is no room for self-centeredness; when our will trumps God’s will, we cannot faithfully serve the Lord (Luke 9:23)

John Mark (Acts 13:13)

  • John Mark was one who departed, but returned – we’re not told the reason, but he failed those who were depending on him; he deserted Paul and Barnabas; later, he had proven himself to be faithful (2 Timothy 4:11)
  • Similar to the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-24) – not necessarily the reason John Mark left, but the point is the same; those who humble themselves and return can be welcomed back
  • As we have seen, it is possible for Christians to fall away (1 Corinthians 10:12) – do not think that it cannot happen; if it does happen, do not think that you cannot return; God is faithful to forgive us (1 John 1:9), but we must be willing to make things right with Him (Acts 8:22); do not become so hardened by sin that you cannot return (cf. Hebrews 3:12-13; 1 Timothy 4:2)


  • In the previous lessons, we have seen that any one of us can do good in the Lord’s service
  • In this lesson, we saw that any one of us can fall away – we must strive to remain faithful
  • If we do fall away, we must not stay away from the Lord – return to Him and be forgiven

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