Restoring wandering believers

July 19th, 2014

In the last section of James we are looking at the heading of “Restoring wandering believers”. It comes from James 5:19-20. It says…

“My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins”.

These two verses tell us the importance of going out after people who have wandered away from the faith.

Over the years I have seen a number of people wander away from the faith. Some of the reasons I have seen are…

  • People have been hurt by the church or people in the church
  • A breakdown of an important relationship and they withdraw
  • A long term illness that they can’t make sense of God allowing
  • No solid foundation of discipleship when they came to faith
  • They don’t regularly pray and keep connected with God
  • The decision to follow Christ was a quick alter call decision
  • They feel their needs were not met by the church
  • They felt they didn’t fit in to the church culture
  • They love the world or someone in the world too much

It is not easy to approach people who we think have wandered away from God. It can be confronting and most of us would probably not do it if we are honest. But I think it is important to keep the lines of communication open.

Jesus reminds us of the importance of this in the parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15:1-7). In verse 4 He says, “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it?”

Jesus goes on to say in verse 7, “There is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away”!

As I type I wonder if there are people in my area who have wandered away from God who need a shepherd to go and bring them back into the fold? How about your area? Are there any people you know?

God Bless,
Dave