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A friend of mine tries to be a Christian but doesn't feel God near him. He is losing faith.
Thank you for sharing this personal situation. It is good to hear that you care about your friend and want to see him restored. This is a good thing. It says in the Bible:
If anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted (Galatians 6:1)
Remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire (Jude 1:17-22)
God warns us that people will turn away from him. This should comfort us to know that it is God who is in control. We are told to love these people and warn and encourage them back to God.
I want to encourage you to do a few things for your friend:
1. Pray for them. It is God who saves us and we cannot ultimately save them. We are to pray that God will open their eyes again to see his wonder and love to us through Jesus Christ. Pray that the Holy Spirit will convict this person of their sin and of their misunderstandings of God.
2. Speak and listen to your friend's problems. Do not suggest you can answer all of their issues, but where you know they are believing a lie, challenge them in love. God does not ever promise to give his followers a comfy or easy life. Infact it says in the Bible that we will suffer in this life as we live in a fallen world. Instead of blaming God for this we need to cling to Him for peace, comfort and guidance. We have answered previous questions on issues like depression which you can search for on our website. Perhaps use these when speaking to your friend.
3. Ultimately we need to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with everyone and especially people that do not know God, or who say they no longer believe in God. The answer is always the same. We need to turn back to God through Jesus Christ as often as is needed. God will always forgive us when we turn back to him. Jesus died so we can be forgiven and he rose again so we can have new life with God.
Your friend either never truly believed in Jesus, or they are going through a time of backsliding from God. Either way you need to tell them the Good News of Jesus and call them back.
4. Do not do this alone. You will need other friends in Christ to help pray and speak to people who have fallen away. Get your local Church involved in praying. Think of ways to invite your friend back into Church circles.
5. Be patient. Sometimes people can turn away from God for many years. I recently had the joy of seeing someone restored to the Lord after 20 years of being away from Him.
6. Do not lose hope. The Good News is that Jesus said he will never lose anyone that the Father has given him.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one (John 10:27-30)
I do hope this general answer to your question goes some way to helping you find peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: www.lookingforGod.com
In closing, I want to encourage you to get more involved with your local church. It would be good to speak to a Christian leader or another trusted church individual regarding your question. I know they would be delighted to further answer you as well as offer prayer and support as you continue your spiritual journey:
Please use our Interactive Answer Matrix and feel free to ask another question. Our helpful staff are praying for you and waiting to try and answer to you from the Bible, and will be delighted to tell you more about Jesus Christ the Lord, the Saviour of the world.
*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
*If anything in this answers affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at http://www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline
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