Whatever Happened To Jesus?
A song about lukewarmness, apostasy, and a falling away from Jesus in the church
I wrote “Whatever Happened To Jesus” relatively early in my Christian walk. As a new Christian I was surprised by things I saw happening in the church and would often contemplate what I was seeing. As a young believer I naturally thought everyone in the church would be totally on fire for Jesus. I didn’t know much about apostasy, that there would be a “falling away” in the Last Days. I also didn’t realize that many people would call themselves Christians, who really weren’t born again, or that in many ways Jesus had become more of a figurehead for a religion than a living Lord who was to be obeyed and followed.
Scripture has much to say about God and His desire for a relationship with His people. We have a God who is steadfast in love, and a people who are prone to wander. You would think that it would be hard to grow cold in affection when you’ve been shown the greatest love the world has ever known, and yet, though we are the very bride of Christ and loved beyond measure… we still find a way to mess things up and stray!
I talk about that in my song “Whatever Happened To Jesus”.
In Revelation 2:4 we read, “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.” My song addresses various issues, but at the bottom of it all, I suppose forsaking our first love of Him would be at the heart of the matter; it is our forsaking of our first love that leads to all the rest of our troubles. It’s then we began to flirt with the world and look for cheap substitutes to fill the empty spaces He used to occupy. His Word, which at one time was the joy of our hearts, becomes faint in our wandering; we no longer fear displeasing Him or worry about the consequences of our unfaithfulness. The abundant life and living waters that used to flow so freely become but a trickle, and our life begins to look more like a desert than a well-watered garden. It’s then that we break out the “Golden Calf” and try to whip up a little life of our own. It may even seem to work for awhile as we enjoy the party. Hey, a lot of our friends have come too, and we’re having fun! The world and it’s lusts, it’s pleasures and sins, do seem fun for a season. We revel in it, wallowing in the mud, blinded to the fact that God is not amused. You are His Bride! His heart is grieved, His jealous anger aroused. He’s desired a pure bride and you have flaunted your adultery to His face. Most suitors would have long since cast you off, but God is not like man… In His love, He is determined to have YOU! His desire is for you only. He will not settle for you and your lovers; He wants your whole heart. You are the apple of His eye, and He will not rest until you only have eyes for Him.
“I will betroth you to me forever…”
Hosea 2:19 reveals God’s heart of love for us in the words, “I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion, I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the LORD.”
The book of Hosea is filled with “the vilest adultery” and rebellion against the LORD, but more than rebellion- love scorned, and God’s heart broken. First comes His righteous anger: “Let her remove the adulterous look from her face and the unfaithfulness from between her breast, otherwise I will strip her naked and make her as bare as on the day she was born…” (Hosea 2:2-3) In vivid description He lays out the case of Israel’s infidelity to Him and we feel His broken heart together with His anger:
“…she decked herself with rings and jewelry, and went after her lovers, but me she forgot,” declares the Lord. (Hosea 2:13)
And yet, the very next words out of His mouth are, “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her…” Who can fathom the love of God?
The scriptures are filled with examples of straying from the Lord, and these examples are given to warn us and turn us back to Him. “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come…” (1 Corinthians 10:11)
“I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them.” (Hosea 14:4)
Let us return to the LORD… His love is from everlasting!