Being Up Front on Backsliding
Posted by Pastor Szekely on April 25, 2008
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.
IN MY NEXT POST: I want to IDENTIFY MARKS OF BACKSLIDING…stay tuned.