The Pastor\’s Pen

An Independent Baptist Preacher\’s Musings and Observations

Being Up Front on Backsliding

Posted by Pastor Szekely on April 25, 2008

The Return of the Prodigal Son by MurilloI want to write about something a person without the Lord Jesus Christ cannot do…and that is: a lost person cannot backslide…only a Christian can. In this post, I want to be up front on backsliding.

Proverbs 14:14 says, “The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.” The word backslider in this verse has a negative ring to it…and it should! The word itself means to flinch; to retreat; to apostatize. It means a person has abandoned what they’ve professed. Someone once said to be a backslider is like having bad breath – most won’t tell you if you’ve got it…and if you know you have it, you wouldn’t admit it 🙂

 Consequently, every one of God’s children is susceptible to the condition of backsliding…

Leaders can backslide:

After King David sinned so grievously, he finally came to himself and prayed, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation” (Ps 51:12). He didn’t pray for his salvation to return, but he prayed for his joy in the Lord to return…he had slid away from God.


Young people can backslide:

The prodigal son [represented in the painting above] was still a son, even when he was away from his father…but when he returned to his father, fellowship was restored. BTW: Remember why this young man slid away from his father in the 1st place? He wanted to live an indulgent, sinful lifestyle!


Preachers can backslide:

Just remember what happened with the Apostle Peter when the Lord was brought before Caiaphas. The Bible says that Peter “followed afar off”…Peter warmed himself by the “devil’s fire”, keeping bad company and his distance from the Lord’s presence that soon resulted in him cursing and swearing.


Any one of God’s children can backslide:

Lot is a good example – He’s the “poster-boy” of backsliders! Lot digressed away from God and got closer and closer to the world…Now some may say, “Was Lot even a child of God…how could he be”?  Well in 2 Pet 2:7-8 when God was making a distinction between the righteous and the wicked, the Bible says, “And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)” If it wasn’t for what God had Peter write, every Baptist preacher would preach Lot into Hell! BTW: Do you know what we notice in the case with Lot? Backsliding is a slow leak, and not a blowout.


All of God’s children are susceptible to backsliding. Have YOU ever backslidden since you’ve been saved? How about right now? And if you’re not in a backslidden condition now, sadly you are susceptible to backslide at some point. You probably know the old saying, “When a person lies down with dogs, he’s likely to get up with fleas!”


Sounds gloomy, doesn’t it? Well, it’s gloomy when we know that the number one cause of backsliding is SIN. Sin makes you retreat from God. Sin takes you into apostacy. Sin causes you to flinch on doing what is right.

Sin will take you further than you want to go…

Sin will give you much more than you want to know…

 Sin will leave you longer than you want to stay…

Sin will cost you far more than you want to pay…

 Oh but child of God, there’s hope in the gloom! When you recognize you’ve retreated from where you once were with GOD, and when you realize the causes of your backsliding…

1. Confess your sin to God. We must come to ourselves like the prodigal and say to the Father, “I have sinned.” 1 Jn 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Prov 28:13 says, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy”.

2. Forsake your sin before God. With God’s help, turn your back on that sin…and turn back to God! The prophet Hosea said in Hosea 6:1, “Come, and let us return unto the LORD.” Aren’t you ready to return unto God? Someone once said, “If you were ever closer to the Lord than you are right now – you’re backslidden“.


Remember: a backslider is one who has retreated from God and lost fellowship…but not salvation! Joy may have departed, but not the Holy Spirit.




10 Responses to “Being Up Front on Backsliding”

  1. Good post. I was teaching on King David two weeks ago, and was astounded to find almost nothing went right in his life after Bathsheeba. 12 chapters are dedicated to the fallout from that sin. SCARY & sobering thoughts.

    Charles P.

  2. Thanks for clicking in, Bro. Charles!

    That’s amazing about David…and like you said – scary and sobering. We are all susceptible unfortunately.

    I pray all is well with you, and I’ll be clicking over to your site later on…

    Lord bless, my brother!

  3. Shawn said

    Hi Preacher!

    I just wanted you to know that I’ve been enjoying reading your blog and appreciate the work you put into updating. It’s a big encouragement. Thanks!

    Hopefully, I’ll be able to talk to you soon.

  4. G’day my brother!

    I’m thankful to hear from you and also to know the blog’s being a blessing! I pray you’re getting settled in where you’re at, and I too look forward to talking with you soon.

    Catch you later, and Lord bless you, my brother!

  5. Howdy!

    WORDPRESS says that our two blogs (at least our most recent posts) are related, so I came by to check you out–I hope you enjoy my slant on the topic. Please stop by my blog and let me know what you think (and if you like it, maybe add Jesus + Compassion to your blog roll so we can stay connected).

    God bless you!


  6. Leon Kolberg said

    Dear Szekely,

    I read “Being Up Front On Backsliding” I wonder if I could have your permission to make tracts from your postings. I want to use it for witnessing and place in our church’s foyer.

    God with us

  7. Many Kerst said

    It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting things or advice. Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article. I desire to read even more things about it!

  8. ANNETTE said

    You can’t backslide and feel OK about it for long if you really ever knew the Lord.

  9. Medad said

    Dear Pastor Szekely,

    First of all, I would like to say thank you for this blog especially about this teaching on backsliding… I am a pastor and i have been backslided for the past almost 2 and half years now. I left the ministry I started by the grace of God and the sheep scattered. Ever since I left the church, I have been into one problem from another as a result of the issues I had leading to the closure of the church, I had to separate from my wife and moved out of my matrimonial home. Not long after, my life changed drastically where the love for women replaced the love for God and this landed me in a situation where I have had a child with a lady outside my marriage though I am still separated from my wife.

    In fact, I now really feel that its time to let go of anything holding me back and seek for the face of God and take my place in the kingdom. My problem is where to start from and how to go about it efectively, though my wife understands my mistakes and has forgiven me and we looking for the possibilities to work our marriage out as we have been separated for all this while…Please I need practical advises and prayers to be able to face these challenges of self guilts and regrets. Please speak to me as the Lord laids on your heart. Thank you.

    Just in case you are also reading and feel like offering me any godly advise on what I have just said above…you are welcome to do so as I know in time like this every word that comes from God through His people will be very useful to me!!!

    Thank you and God bless you all.

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