We probably all know a person who has fallen away. Someone who consciously rejected the spiritual enlightenment they had once received…who had tasted of God’s goodness, but chose instead to abandon their faith. And when we intentionally reject Jesus Christ, we’re essentially saying that His sacrifice on the Cross meant nothing. For when anyone falls away, they have turned their back on God’s truth and can only then look forward to His final judgment.
Peter is trying to compare the actions of these two animals with how easy it is to backslide as a new Christian. Old habits are very hard to break…especially when we keep the same old friends and hang out at the same places that got us into trouble in the first place. When we’re stressed or pressured, we tend to automatically seek out what is comfortable and familiar…whether it’s the best thing for us or not. And falling back on old ways is always a dangerous and tricky thing…for we can so easily get sucked back in and entangled. For it tells us in Galatians 4:9, ” But now that you know God – or rather are known by God – how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?” As a new Christian, it must be then a conscious decision and determination to walk away and break off old ties…no matter how hard it may seem.
A Holy Spirit empowered ministry continues despite persecution. Now for most of us, the persecution we endure isn’t fear for our lives, but rather petty or cruel remarks made by anonymous people on social media that are just plain God haters. But when you’re bullied or intimidated for your faith it can still be frightening. The flesh wants to retreat, but the Holy Spirit within spurs us on, giving us the boldness to respond with grace and truth. Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:6, “Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of Me.” The Lord is telling us…”Don’t give up! And don’t allow others to dictate your destiny in Me.”