Several times the Apostle Paul says he fears that his labor in various churches might be in vain.
He says to the church in Galatia:
“I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain“
After warning or encouraging the church in Philippi to be blameless, harmless, to shine as light in the world by holding forth the word of truth, he says to do these things:
“that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain“
“I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you,
and our labour be in vain.“
Paul understands that people can turn from the truth. Absence from solid teaching and counsel makes for weird results. Paul knows that evil corrupts.
If you’ve been in the church long enough, you’ve seen churches that were good and doing good things fall apart. It happens. It’s devastating to watch and greatly frustrates those who worked to build it.
There has also been many times when a pastor leaves that the church falls apart. In the end, it’s just a church. Sometimes I think we worship our institutions too much.
The sad thing is not the downfall of a church or the falling apart of some ministry that used to be great. That stuff happens and it’s OK.
The sad thing is if the truth is supplanted by error and the tempter deceives those on the way to eternal life and destroys their faith.
As every investment commercial tells you, “past performance is no guarantee of future results.”
Stay vigilant in your faith. Don’t stop. Don’t take a break. There is no point in Christian growth where you can sit back because “you’re done.”
Press toward the mark. Don’t look back. Remember Lot’s wife.