A minister falls.
A person stops coming to church and rejects his once “watertight” beliefs.
I hate the term,”Backsliding!” There I said it.
I know this word is in scripture. It occurs 12 times in the King James Version, 9 in the book of Jeremiah & 3 in Hosea. Did you know “Backsliding” literally in Hebrew, means turning away, froward (habitually disobeying), and variant (deviating, disagreeing, or looking back)?
Can I, a person who does not believe a person can be “Once saved; always saved”, hate this term? Yes!! I just need to let you know what term I chose when someone was “slipping and sliding” from their faith. Yes, I was just being sarcastic when I mentioned “slip and slide”.
Most of you know, I don’t consider salvation a “One-time” prayer (although I can tell you the date when I came to Christ) I work out my salvation daily and still am in that process. Also, I don’t believe it is a “one-shot” deal for someone to be “sanctified”. I believe areas in their life can be, but they don’t walk away from the altar as Mr. or Ms. “Perfection”!
First, though, let me share with you, there are many scriptures that affirm we are in God’s hands. God continually lets us know that His children are not going to be taken from His Hand.
“From eternity to eternity I Am God; No one can snatch anyone out of My Hand. No one can undo what I have done.” Isaiah 43:13
And this is only the beginning, Jesus even stated this about US!
I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My Hand. Jn10:28
And He makes sure we know who gave Him this Authority and Who He is.
My Father gave them to me and He is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s Hand. The Father and I are One. Jn10:29-30
So what happens to some who have been perfectly fitted into His strong Hands. Did they “slide” off? Are His Hands an unreliable place to stand? Some consider those who have left the faith, “backsliders”. Growing up, this was a common word to describe someone who once was a Christian, but had left the faith. I dislike that term probably just as much as I dislike when a serial killer gets charges dropped due to what the judge and jury call “Mental Insanity”.
Jesus said to him, `Any person who starts doing something and then keeps looking back is not fit for the kingdom of God.’ Luke 9:62
Wow. He called it, “Looking Back”. When we sin, we are going in reverse. We are not becoming more like Christ, are we? So, regardless of whether or not we were full-fledged Pagans in our past, if we think about sin or act on it, we have consciously chose to disobey God’s Word!
How do we know we are “HIS”? We never,ever “Look back”! There were many who looked back. Even the Children of Israel thought it would be better to run back to Egypt than go God’s way! Of course, A few other Look Backers are: Lot’s Wife was told not to look back, but did~Gen 19:17, Disciple applicant was told by Jesus Himself, not to look back~Luke 9:62, and Orpah, just decided it was better out of God’s plan for her life. Remember, their was another Godly man, besides Boaz that was needing a wife. Of course, he let Boaz marry Ruth~Ruth 1:15
God is not the unreliable party. His promises to “keep” us never change, but we can “look back” and think that those things opposite God will be our saviour. He doesn’t drop us into sin. We go there willingly. If you can identify sin and see “right from wrong”, you are responsible for your own actions. I decided to use the term Jesus did. You “looked back”.
The biggest reason why the term, “backslide” has been adopted is because satan is subtle in pulling you away from Christ. He starts with harmless conversations, popular sitcoms, and interesting new friends. Soon, we neglect our times with Christ and “don’t have time” for church.
Then, we allow the “greys” into our lives. Everyone knows what these are. They aren’t condemned in the Bible, but they are attributed to the world. They are the things we ask, “Is this a sin?”. In the world, if we saw a Christian doing, wearing, drinking, or partaking in the “Greys”, we would say, “You call yourself a Christian?”~Julie Coggins
Then, even if he claims Christ, often he will be blind to his own spiritual state (Luke 6:46, Rev 3:17, 18). ~Diane Dew
Finally, after the areas that are seemingly “harmless” are allowed in, sin grows until we are doing, saying, and living lives contrary to the Word of God.
If I have put a question in your mind as to where you are with God. Let me put you at ease. If you are in a relationship with Him daily and are living according to His Word, you are in right-standing.
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. James 1:22
Just like you talk to your spouse or closest friend everyday, you are in a relationship or friendship with them. But, if you are not spending the time and expressing your love in action, you don’t have a relationship. In the same way, if you are looking to other things or people to occupy the place Jesus should have in your life, you are not connected to Him. The more you distance yourself from Him, the less likely you will look like Him. The less likely you look like Him, most likely you are not “His”. It might be gradual, but if you are honest, your turning away from God is occurring.
Don’t Look Back!