An author and minister encourages believers to hold on to God and continue in Him even though others are leaving the faith.

In his column on The Christian Post, Wallace B. Henley, senior associate pastor of Second Baptist Church in Houston, warned Christians against abandoning the faith amidst the current trials and persecution when it may be a turning point of victory.

Calling the occurrence as the "Slovik Syndrome," he recalled the story of an American soldier, U.S. Army Private Eddie Slovik, who was executed for deserting his post, just mere months before the surrender of Japan and the Nazis.

Scared of guns, Slovik ran away but returned a day after. He was convicted of desertion and was sentenced to execution by firing squad. Though he did appeal his sentence, it failed, holding that he "directly challenged the authority" of the country and that "future discipline" will depend on the response to the challenge.

He made another appeal to Dwight D. Eisenhower, then Supreme Allied Commander, but also failed. Thus, he was shot to death in France on Jan. 31, 1945.

In May that year, Germany would surrender to the Allies, followed by Japan in September 1945.

Henley observed that like Slovik, many Christians seemed to have gone cold during the pandemic and failed to return for in-person services, even after the churches were already opened.

He said that some Bible students see this age as what Jesus described about the End Times - "an age of apostasy, peril, false prophets, outright hatred for Christ's followers, and other ominous phenomena", which relates to what the Bible calls as "the abomination of desolation."

"All of this intensifies like 'birth pangs' in the womb of time and culminates in the grand telos (purpose) of history - the coming of Christ and the establishment in the world of His Kingdom of righteousness - justice, peace, and Spirit-given joy," he added, citing Romans 14:17.

He emphasized that the return of Christ, which may occur anytime now or sometime in the future, will surely happen.

"Some of Christ's followers in these turbulent and trying times will turn away under the stresses and trials of persecution, exclusion, and antipathy at just the moment everything they have hoped for is being birthed," he continued.

Further, the author shared how the devil works to defeat Christians through the novel written by C. S. Lewis, "Screwtape Letters." In it, the enemy instructs his demons to attack the believers on "patience, chastity and fortitude" and "the fun"" is to make them yield at a time when "relief was almost in sight."

He lamented that such picture is happening today, wherein Christians are turning back from the faith.

"Thus, the tragedy now is that of people deserting Christ, the Bible, and the Church after the Christ-movement has come so far, bled and borne so much. They would be giving up at what could be the very time in the "birth pangs" process when the new birth of all things in and through Christ bursts from the womb of time," he explained.

"Don't panic, don't be afraid. Everything is happening right on time. Now is not the time to run away," Henley concluded.