He’s the son of a pastor and grew up in church, but you may know him as the frontman of Hawk Nelson. Jon Steingard just renounced Jesus Christ, the latest in a string of high profile Christians who are publicly turning away from the Lord.
Steingard used Instagram as his messenger to denounce his Savior. Essentially, he said once believed in God. But it seems he was offended with Jesus. Jesus said in the end times, “Many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another” (Matt. 24:10).
“If God is all loving, and all powerful, why is there evil in the world? Can he not do anything about it? Does he choose not to? Is the evil in the world a result of his desire to give us free will?” he asked. “OK then, what about famine and disease and floods and all the suffering that isn’t caused by humans and our free will? If God is loving, why does he send people to hell?”
I’m not going to get into a long theology debate about his post, but suffice it to say we live in a fallen world. The earth groans because we reap what we sow. God is sovereign, but He has given us the task to rule and reign on the earth. He’s given us authority over the enemy—and some things are part of the end-times plan that can’t be prayed away. We are not to question God, but to worship Him.
“Stepping away from belief in God felt like a loss in some ways—but it’s felt like freedom in others,” he wrote. This is a tragic definition of freedom.
We need to pray for Steingard. The enemy is has sown seeds in his heart and He is clearly offended with God. Proverbs 18:19 tells us a brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, but we know God can conquer the heart of any man. There remain seeds of truth in Steingard’s heart. Let’s pray the Holy Spirit will encounter him with His love. The reality is we all have hard questions for God, but trusting Him means not having to know all the answers.
You’ll recall Joshua Harris, the author of the best-selling book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye” renounced his faith nearly a year ago, saying, “I am not a Christian.” Dave Gass, a former pastor who once led Grace Family Fellowship in Missouri, renounced his faith in May 19. The list continues.
The Great Falling Away is Underway
In 2012, I wrote an article, “Is the Great Falling Away Already Underway?” I felt strongly then it was. Now, mainstream personalities are merely making the sad reality more visible.
Paul wrote, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth” (1 Tim. 4:1-3).
Some have indeed departed from the faith because they have engaged with deceiving spirits and embraced doctrines of demons. We’ve witnessed more than one man of God with a major ministry platform bow a knee to doctrines like universalism, deceiving and being deceived with this deadly heresy. Despite many in the church lifting their voice against heretical teachings, these deceived ministers hold fast to their demonic doctrine.
Work Out Your Salvation
The Bible tells us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12). We need to get at it because this is sure: Jesus is coming back for a glorious church without spot or wrinkle (Eph. 5:27). I believe the spots and wrinkles will fall away before His return. The gates of hell are trying to prevail against the church and will ultimately fail, but not before enticing some believers into heresy, idolatry and other sin.
I don’t believe in once-saved, always-saved doctrines. I believe you can lose your salvation. I don’t think it happens overnight. I think it’s a slow progression down the slippery slope of deception. I often ask people who are deceived this question: “How would you know if you were deceived?” I’ve never met one who was deceived find an answer for the question. Rather, they insist that they cannot be deceived or that they would know if they were. If we don’t think we could be deceived, we’re deceived already. And if we are deceived, we wouldn’t know it unless the Holy Spirit broke in and opened the eyes of our heart.
So is the Great Falling Away already underway? Clearly, and we’ll unfortunately see more of this. The Bible says so.