The story contained in the musical Phantom of the Opera revolves around a man whose heart and face have been disfigured, but whose music compels a young girl named Christine to follow him. The Phantom gives her the gift of music and the opportunity to be a famous singer in exchange for her love. Christine eventually falls in love with a different man name Raoul and realizes the evil spell the Phantom has spun, but she is torn because she loves the gift from “the angel of music.” The climax of the story revolves around a song titled, “Past the Point of No Return,” in which Christine makes her decision on whether to pursue the love of Raoul or to love the Phantom and experience his gift of music. The song begins with the Phantom singing to Christine:
Past the point of no return –
no backward glances:
our games of make believe
are at an end . . .
Past all thought of “if” or “when” –
no use resisting:
and let the dream descend
I’ll let you watch the movie or see the live production to find out what happens with the Phantom and Christine, but for God’s people, they had followed a similar path. They had the opportunity to live a love relationship with their Creator and experience His presence. But they were wooed by an evil voice calling them to abandon God, live for their own glory, and worship idols. And they followed, yet they tried to stay in good with God. They were doing the religious rituals (vs. 6) God has prescribed, but they did their religion while pursuing other loves. God had continually called them back to Himself, but they continually choose to keep God in the distance. Now they had past the point of no return. “Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God (vs. 4).”
This is a sad place to be! This doesn’t mean that God is giving up on them, but the reality is that the deeper a persons or a group of people’s rebellion, the harder their heart will get. In the rest of this passage, God begins to explain how His judgement will come. He will be sending armies to enter the land to turn up the pressure and let them experience the consequences to their spiritual adultery. Judgement is actually an act of love, to help the people realize the seriousness of their decision to abandon God.
God loves us deeply, and calls us to a relationship with Him that is incredible and joyous. Yet, we tend to stray. The danger is that every step away from God is a step closer to the point of no return, where our heart will abandon God forever.