Something non-believers tell me all the time is that they were once, some even very devout, Christians who, often with a significant amount of heartache and personal turmoil, walked away from the faith and will never go back.
I hate to argue with people over this or even tell them they might be wrong because, truth is, no one but them and God will actually ever know for sure.
But, then again, I hate to sugarcoat biblical truths too so…
I was studying Revelation 3:16 in Matthews Henry’s Concise Commentary this morning and this line jumped out at me.
“There are many in Hell, who once thought themselves far in the way to Heaven. Let us beg of God that we may not be left to flatter and deceive ourselves.”
Not only do I agree with that completely, I think its central meaning can be rightly applied to another verse I have also been studying lately, 1 John 2:19.
“They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.”
If there are people who proclaim to be actual confessing Christians that will find themselves in Hell, certainly there are deconverts who were never truly saved despite how adamantly they may declare they were.
Causes of the indifference and inconsistency in religion Revelation 3:16 speaks of, the commentary explains are, self-conceit and self-delusion. If one thinks about these key terms, along with “flatter and deceive” in the above quote, they explain quite a bit.