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WHAT IS BACKSLIDING?
Backsliding is going back to sin . . . returning to sin and wrongdoing, after you have accepted Jesus as Saviour and Lord. Backsliding is when you stop moving forward in your Christian walk; to regress spiritually. To backslide is to draw back or apostatize in matters of religion. (Acts 21:21; 2 Thes. 2:3; 1 Tim. 4:1). This may be either partial (Proverbs 14:14) or complete (Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:38-39). The apostasy may be both doctrinal and moral.
The results, are as follows.
- Selfish Absorption. Proverbs 14:14 The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself. [KJV] Isaiah 1:4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. [KJV] Jeremiah 14:7 O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us, do thou it for thy name's sake: for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against thee. [KJV] Hosea 11:7 And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him. [KJV]
- Religious Indifference. Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. [KJV] Unfitness For The Kingdom. Luke 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. [KJV] Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: [KJV]
- Bondage. Galatians 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? [KJV]
- Divine Displeasure. Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. [KJV] 2 Peter 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. [KJV]
- Loss Of Spiritual Enthusiasm. Rev. 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. [KJV] Rev. 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. [KJV]
- Absence Of Spiritual Leaders. 1 Samuel 15:11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the Lord all night. [KJV] Exodus 32:1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. Exodus 32:8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. [KJV]
- Evil Associations. 1 Kings 11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. [KJV]
- Worldly Success. 2 Chron. 25:2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart. [KJV] 2 Chron. 25:14 Now it came to pass, after that Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense unto them. [KJV] Psalm 78:57 But turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: they were turned aside like a deceitful bow. [KJV] Hosea 6:4 O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away. [KJV] Zeph. 1:6 And them that are turned back from the Lord; and those that have not sought the Lord, nor enquired for him. [KJV]
- Shallowness. Luke 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. [KJV]
- Emptiness Of Life. Luke 11:24-26 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.  And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.  Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. [KJV]
- Lack Of Spiritual Insight. John 6:63-64 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.  But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. [KJV] 1 Tim. 5:15 For some are already turned aside after Satan. [KJV]
- Love Of The World. 2 Tim. 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. [KJV]
Scripture Verses on Backsliding
- Psalm 85:8 I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly. (KJV)
- 1 Cor. 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (KJV)
- Jeremiah 2:19 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts. (KJV)
- Psalm 85:4 Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease. (KJV)
- Lament. 5:21 Turn thou us unto thee, O Lord, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old. (KJV)
- Psalm 37:24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. (KJV)
- Proverbs 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. (KJV)
What Are Some Signs of Backsliding? Backsliding starts in such subtle and indirect ways. WHO is guilty? We all are, at certain times of our lives! NONE of us are as true to God as we should be. NONE of us love God as we should. Do you TRULY love God with ALL your heart, with ALL your soul, with ALL your mind, and with ALL your strength? (Mark 12:30). As much as I love God, and as much as I would like to say "Yes" I cannot! I would be a liar if I claimed this.
Here are some signs or marks of backsliding.
- #1 Prayer ceases, or isn’t as regular as it should be.
- #2 Bible study has stopped, or isn’t as frequent as it should be. You seem content with what you already know.
- #3 What you know about the Bible isn’t applied to your life.
- #4 Sports, recreation and pleasure have become a large part of your life, and you are unwilling to give them up for God.
- #5 Money and earthly possessions have become the dominating factor in your life.
- #6 You sing hymns and read Scripture without it coming from your heart.
- #7 You can watch dirty movies, soap operas and read immoral literature and your conscience doesn’t bother you.
- #8 The slightest excuse will keep you away from worship services.
- #9 You are content with your lack of spiritual power.
- #10 You have adjusted well to the world’s lifestyle.
- #11 Your tears are gone; and nothing seems to be able to bring them back. In other words, your heart has become cold and hard.
What the Bible has to say. BACKSLIDING
- It is turning from God. 1 Kings 11:9 And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, [KJV]
- It is leaving your first love. Revelation 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.[KJV]
- It is departing from the simplicity of the Gospel. 2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. [KJV]
- God is displeased at. Psalm 78:57 But turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: they were turned aside like a deceitful bow. [KJV]
- People are rebellious and disloyal, unreliable as a crooked arrow. Warnings against. 1 Corinthians 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. [KJV]
- Guilt and consequences of. Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. [KJV]
- Brings its own punishment. Jeremiah 2:19 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts. [KJV]
- A proud and arrogant spirit leads to. Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. [KJV]
- Inclined to. Proverbs 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. [KJV] The true believer may fall, by stumbling at some obstacle in his path; but he gets up with the help of Christ, and goes on his way with much more care. This can be falling into trouble, and also falling into actual sin.
- In danger of continuing. Jeremiah 8:5 Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return. [KJV] When we fall down or realize we are headed in the wrong direction, it only makes sense for us to get up or change directions. But people live sinful lives by choice, deceiving themselves that there will be no consequences. They lose perspective concerning God’s will for their lives and try to minimize their sin. Are there some indicators that you have fallen down or are heading the wrong way? What are you going to do to get back on the right path?
- Backsliding is not hopeless. Psalm 37:24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. [KJV]
- Try to bring back those guilty of. James 5:19-20 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;  Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. [KJV]
- Pardon of backsliding promised. 2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. [KJV]
- Afflictions are sent to heal. Hosea 5:15 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early. [KJV]
- Blessed are those who keep from. Proverbs 28:14 Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief. [KJV]
- Hateful to saints. Psalm 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. [KJV]
When we backslide, we need to RUN BACK to God immediately!
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