"The dangers of drifting”
A reporter once wrote of a tragic event that resulted from
"Two young men
were fishing above a low dam on a river near their hometown. As they were
concentrating on catching fish, they were unaware that they had drifted until
they were not far from the water flowing over the dam. When they realized their situation, the
current near the dam had become too powerful for them to keep their boat from
going over. Below the dam the water was
dashing with strong force over great boulders and through crevices in the
rocks. Caught by the swirling waters under the rocks, they never came to the
surface. After days of relentless
searching, the divers finally found one body, and then, two or three days
later, the other."
While there is a great danger in drifting in the physical
realm there is even a greater danger in drifting away in the spiritual realm...
Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest
we drift away.
Unfortunately it isn’t uncommon for Christians to drift
toward spiritual destruction!
[So I ask you this morning, "Are You Drifting?"
Would you know it if you were? With this
lesson I hope to get you examine your own lives regarding the danger of
drifting away from the Lord. First lets
take a look at things we should know about drifting.
I. THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT DRIFTING
REQUIRES ABOSOLUTLY NO EFFORT...
1. Just stop
oaring and a boater will begin to drift
2. The same is
true for the Christian, which is why we are told:
give the more earnest heed..." - He 2:1
B. IT IS AN
1. It is
possible to drift unaware
a. In a boat, the undercurrents are often unnoticeable from
the surface and you may begin to drift and not realize it.
b. In a plane, the wind or gravitational forces move the
plane without you realizing it. You’re not really aware of the speed that you
2. The same is true
in the spiritual realm
a. Many individual Christians have slowly drifted away. They
start filling their lives with worldly things and slowly and surely they start
drifting away from God.
b. Many churches have gradually drifted into error. They
allow false doctrine to sneak in and they don’t nip it in the bud. Instead they
just ignore the problem and hope it will go away then one day they find
themselves far removed from the Scriptures.
C. WE NEVER DRIFT
UPSTREAM OR AGAINST THE TIDE...
1. Faithfulness to the Lord is like oaring
2. You must constantly be "adding to your faith..."
2 Peter 1:5 But
also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to
virtue knowledge, 6 to
knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance
godliness, 7 to godliness
brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
3. You must continue to grow -2 Peter
D. THE SPEED
The dangers increase
with the speed of the drift
a. When we can hear the noise of the waterfall, it is already too late
b. When we lose sight of land, it is more difficult to
discern that we are drifting
2. As we move farther and farther from the Lord, we care
less and less about what we do
IT IS DANGEROUS TO
1. A ship, just drifting, is a hazard to all other vessels
When we allow ourselves to drift away from God we become a vessel for satin and can lead people to drift right along with us. A great example of this is the apostle Peter. Look at
Galatians 2:11 Now
when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to
be blamed; 12 for before
certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they
came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the
circumcision. 13 And the rest
of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was
carried away with their hypocrisy.
Here we see at this moment that Peter was drifting away from
the truth and from God and because of his negative influence he brought
Barnabas along for the ride.
Parents who are just drifting, will soon loose golden
opportunities to teach their children - Ep 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not
your children to wrath: but bring them
up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
F. IT ENDS IN
1. A boat adrift
will crash on the rocks or go over the falls
2. For those who
drift spiritually through their own neglect, there shall be no escape from a
just punishment - He 2:1 Therefore we
must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift
away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every
transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if
we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the
Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,
[The danger of drifting is real, or there would be no need
to warn against it. So again I ask,
"Are You Drifting?" To help
answer the question, here are some...]
II. COMMON SIGNS OF DRIFTING
DESIRE TO STUDY GOD'S WORD AND PRAY...
1. The Bible is
a unique book - a source of information not found anywhere else
God's revelation, how could we truly know our origin, purpose, destiny?
b. It tells
us of sin's dreadful consequences, and how God saves us from sin
c. It provides direction for living happy, useful lives –
Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man Who walks not in
the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the
seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His
law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers
of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not
wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.
When one loses their desire to study God's word, they are drifting!
Prayer is a wonderful blessing - an avenue to communicate
Jesus, who loved His Father, prayed often - Mk
He expressed concern that His disciples not grow weary to pray –
Lk 18:1Then He spoke a parable to them, that
men always ought to pray and not lose heart,
-- When the Christian prays less and less, he is drifting
more and more!
DESIRE TO BE WITH GOD'S PEOPLE
1. This includes
attending services to worship God
Everyone should have
the same attitude of the Psalmist –
Psa 122:1 I was glad when they said to me,
"Let us go into the house of the LORD."
If we no longer
rejoice in the worship of God in the presence of brethren, we are drifting!
Fellowship with God's people extends beyond the services of the church because we are to be concerned with edifying one another. Paul states this in
This type of edification should occur daily
It is important for us to have good Christians friends that will be there for us in our time of need. You see the right kind of friendship strengthens us, while the wrong kind leads us to sin -.
Ecc 4:9 Two are
better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if
they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he
falls, For he has no one to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie down together,
they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? 12 Though one may be
overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not
This is what a good Christian friend will do for you but, if you allow yourself to get caught up with the wrong kind of friends they will do nothing but harm you in the long run. Paul says,
When a Christian prefers the companionship of people of the world,
rather than fellow Christians, he is drifting toward the rocks of spiritual
DESIRE TO SHARE THE GOSPEL...
When a person first becomes a Christian and they realize
what a wonderful blessing they have received through Jesus Christ they are
usually on fire for the Lord and they can’t wait to tell people what God has
done for them and how much better they feel about there life now. When a person
is excited about something especially when it’s a life changing event is
natural for you to want to share this good news with everyone. However when a Christian no longer has the desire to tell
people about God and how they were saved then they are drifting!
DESIRE OVER THINGS OF THE WORLD...
When we start desiring things of the world more than we
desire godly things we are setting
ourselves up drift away from the Lord.
The apostle John warns us against the love of the world and the things in the world
Paul warned Timothy
in 2 Ti 3:4 that their would be some
who would be "lovers of pleasure
more than lovers of God" - If
we reach the point when we find more pleasure in some worldly activity than
meeting with others to worship God, we definitely are spiritually adrift!
We have examined several signs of drifting away from
God. Now lets take a look at some….
III. REMEDIES AGAINST DRIFTING
If you don’t want to drift in a boat you keep oaring. The
same thing is true spiritually We need to strive with all diligence to grow in
our faith. Yes we need to abound or increase our faith daily.
2Peter 1:5 But also
for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue
knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to
perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness
love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren
nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks
these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was
cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to
make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never
There is no place for "retirement" in living the
life of a Christian! – Just look at Paul for an example. He lived a faithful
life unto death. 2Tim 4: 7 I have fought
a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
B. WATCH OUT FOR
We must always be on
the lookout for undercurrent of temptation. Peter tells us,
1Peter 5: 8 Be sober,
be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion,
seeking whom he may devour.
Peter goes on and tells exactly how we watch out for this.
9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing
that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
C. EXPECT TO GO AGAINST THE TIDE...
There are many tides
to sweep us away
Popularity, peer pressure, the praise of others
Denominationalism - false doctrines of all kinds
and worldliness in the church - probably the greatest enemies of the church in
2. If one drifts along with the majority, he certainty will be lost
Mt 7:13- " Enter
by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to
destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 "Because narrow is the
gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find
D. WE MUST HAVE
1. Rooted and grounded in Christ
Colossians 2:6 As you
have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and
established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with
2. Minds must be anchored to the truth
Ephesians 4:14 we should no longer be children, tossed to and
fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in
the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things
into Him who is the head
The reason why we should be motivated to have a strong anchor in Christ is found in,
Hebrews 6:18 that by
two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might
have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set
before us. 19 This hope
we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters
the Presence behind the veil.
The verses teach us that
if we will remain anchored in Jesus we can know that we posses the unshakable
hope of having heaven as our home.
1. Brethren, are we drifting?
a. The danger is
real, we would be foolish to say otherwise
b. Many strong
Christians have drifted away from the Lord and we would be arrogant to say it
could not happen to us!
2. Are there signs of drifting in your life? Honestly ask yourself:
a. Is my desire to
study God's word and pray diminishing?
b. Is my desire to
be with God's people not what it has been in the past?
c. Have I lost my
desire to save those who are lost?
d. Am I desiring
the things of the world to much?
If we see that we are drifting from the Lord in any one of these then lets us encourage one another to give earnest heed as warned by the writer to the Hebrews:
"Therefore we must give the more
earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved
steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how
shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to
be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him..."
Brethren, our salvation in Christ is simply too great for us