Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure in him. – Hebrews 10:38
The departures from the faith of those whom we highly esteem are, at least while we are young, very severe trials to us. We keenly suspect whether that religion can be true which was feigned so cunningly and betrayed so wantonly, by one who seemed to be a model, but proved to be a hypocrite. It staggers us: we cannot make it out. Opportunities to return you have now; but ah! may grace be given you so that, if others play the Judas, instead of leading you to do the same, it may only bind you more fast to your Lord, and make you walk more carefully, lest you also prove a son of perdition.
And ah, my brethren and sisters, if some of us were to return, we should have this opportunity-a cordial welcome from our former comrades. None of our old friends would refuse to receive us. There is many a Christian who, if he were to go back to the gaiety of the world, would find the world await him with open arms. He was the favourite of the ballroom once; he was the wit “that set the table in a roar;” he was the man who above all was courted when he moved in the circles of the vain and frivolous: glad enough would they be to see him come back. What a shout of triumph would they raise, and how would they fraternize with him! Oh, may the day never come to you, you young people especially, who have lately put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and professed His name, when you shall be welcomed by the world, but may you for ever forget your kindred and your father’s house, so shall the King greatly desire your beauty, for He is the Lord, and worship you Him. Separation from the world will endear you to the Savior and bring you into conscious enjoyment of His presence; but, of opportunities to return (to the world) there is no lack. ~ C.H. Spurgeon