believers have a time in their life when they slide back into the ways they
walked before they believed. It is a
common deflection and usually occurs because the backslider has failed to keep
in fellowship, prayer and the study of the Word of God. This lesson shows the state of the backslider
and the consequence and most important it shows a way of escape and return to
full fellowship with our Heavenly Father.
1. The State of the
2. A Common Defection
3. The Consequence of
4. God's Gracious Appeals
5. Promises to the
6. Security of the True
7. Spiritual Coldness in
the Last Days
8. Watching, Praying,
Defined: Many Christians
define the word backslider as one who was a faithful believer and now is involved
in all sorts of sin. The bible makes
it clear that a lot of good, solid believers also fall into this category,
because they are not following the Lord with 100% of everything they have. Sadly, this is the case for many believers who
genuinely think they are alright like they are. The good news is, we can all
return to Him. Don't let anyone ever tell you different.
As we will see in the following verses, God requires His children to come
running after Him with all their heart. Anything less is a divided heart, and
shows a lack of commitment to Him which does not match up with His total
commitment to us.
In Revelation 2:4, Jesus describes believers who have "left thy first
love." It is important to note that this section is addressing the leader
of the Church in Ephesus,
so this is a believer, not an unbeliever. In other words, this is a warning to
you and me, not to leave our first love.
Not being totally committed to God can lead to all sorts of sin, which we can
see outwardly. For example, with David, it led to adultery and murder (see 2
Samuel chapter 11). Peter, on the other hand, exhibited verbal denial of a
relationship with Christ (Matthew 26:70-74).
1. The State of the Backslider Described
Jeremiah 2:19 - Your wickedness will bring its own
punishment. Your turning from me will shame you. You will see what an
evil, bitter thing it is to abandon the Lord your God and not to fear
him. I, the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!
2 Peter 1:9 - But those who fail to develop in
this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed
from their old sins.
2. A Common Defection
Hosea 11:7 – For my people are determined to
desert me. They call me the Most High, but they don’t truly honor me.
Proverbs 14:14 - Backsliders get what they
deserve; good people receive their reward.
Hebrews 4:11 - So let us do our best to enter that
rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall.
Consequence of Backsliding
24:20 - Then the
Spirit of God came upon Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood before
the people and said, “This is what God says: Why do you disobey the Lord’s
commands and keep yourselves from prospering? You have abandoned the Lord, and
now he has abandoned you!”
Jeremiah 14:10 - So this is what the Lord says to his
people: “You love to wander far from me and do not restrain
yourselves. Therefore, I will no longer accept you as my
people. Now I will remember all your wickedness and will punish
you for your sins.”
2 Timothy 2:12 - If we endure hardship, we will reign
with him. If we deny him, he will deny us.
4. God's Gracious Appeals
Jeremiah 3:22 - “My wayward children,” says the Lord,
“come back to me, and I will heal your wayward hearts.” “Yes, we’re coming,”
the people reply, “for you are the Lord
Hosea 14:1 - Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for your sins have
brought you down.
5. Promises to the Backslider
Hosea 14:4 - The Lord says, “Then
I will heal you of your faithlessness; my love will know no bounds, for
my anger will be gone forever.
2 Chronicles 30:9
“For if you return to the Lord, your relatives and
your children will be treated mercifully by their captors, and they will be
able to return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and
merciful. If you return to him, he will not continue to turn his face from you.”
6. Security of the True Believer
Psalms 37:31 They have made God’s law their own, so they will never slip from
Hebrews 6:9 Dear friends, even though we are talking this way, we really
don’t believe it applies to you. We are confident that you are meant for better
things, things that come with salvation.
7. Spiritual Coldness in the Last Days
Matthew 24:12 Sin will be rampant everywhere and the love of many will grow
8. Watching, Praying, Escaping
Luke 21:36 Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong
enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.”
from the Dixon
from the New Living Bible courtesy of www.biblegateway.com
modified by HKM 09/06/2010