Summary: A sermon on the dangers of backsliding.
“A SAD SITUATION” Prov. 14:14
INTRO – Youtube video: Paul Simon – 1977 – “Slip Slidin’ Away” – reached #5 in on the charts in the US. Lot of folks have different ideas about the meaning behind the song, but all pretty much agree that it’s about man’s view of life & how we waste a lot of time & a lot of opportunities that are presented to us as we go through life. Unfortunately, many times, we slip & slide away from the opportunities we have instead of embracing them & pressing into them. Although it’s not a Christian song, it’s definitely got some strong elements of truth in it.
I can’t listen to that song w/out thinking about how that is true of many Christians in our churches today & how it’s been true of MY life way too many times. Prov. 14:14 in NIV – “The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, & the good man rewarded for his.” But listen to it in these other translations:
- KJV/NKJV – “The backslider in heart will be filled w/ his own ways…”
- NASB – “The backslider in heart will have his fill of his own ways…”
- ESV – “The backslider in heart will be filled w/ the fruit of his ways…”
- NLT – “Backsliders get what they deserve…”
I’m not talking about losing your salvation b/c that’s not possible for someone who is a child of God. The Scriptures teach that once a person is saved, they are always saved. Some call it “eternal security.” Others call it “the perseverance of the saints.” Jesus Himself promised the security of our salvation:
- John 6:37-40 – It is clear in v. 37 that God gives all those who believe to Jesus & that Jesus will never drive them away or cast them out. Verse 38 tells us that God’s clear & perfect will is that Jesus will not lose ANYONE to whom God has given His awesome gift of salvation by grace. Then verse 40 shows us that when we look to Jesus alone for our salvation & place our faith in Him alone, we “shall have eternal life.” That Gk. word means that salvation is given to us as a possession that we will own permanently. That’s the Father’s will.
- John 10:27-30 – We are the sheep in these verses, & Jesus clearly & definitely states that He gives us eternal life & we will NEVER perish. We are safe in His hand & in the Father’s hand & NO ONE can snatch us out. Some have said, “Well, you can snatch yourself out.” But that’s not possible b/c when He said “no one” can snatch us out, that includes saved people as well as lost people. “No one” means “NO ONE!”
So, we’re not talking about losing our salvation today. We are talking about a “sad situation” that exists in our lives & in the church today. We’re talking about a situation that stifles revival in our hearts & in our church. This situation is called “backsliding.” That is a term that we don’t hear much any more. You may not even be familiar w/ it. So let me define what a backslider is:
WHAT IS A BACKSLIDER?
- A backslider is a Christian who for one reason or another gets out of touch w/ the Lord & then continues out of f’ship w/ Him.
- A backslider is a saved Christian person, but has fallen into a state of carelessness, disobedience, & sin.
- Outwardly, may act fine, happy, & content. Inwardly, in turmoil, filled w/ anxiety, unhappiness, & lack of joy & peace.
- All of us who are saved run the risk of being a backslider. All of us run the risk of being one of the most miserable people on earth, which is what a backslider is.
- A backslider has experienced the sweet taste of close fellowship w/ Christ in their life at one time. They’ve smelled the sweet aroma of an intimate walk w/ Christ. They felt the strong touch of the hand of Christ in their life. They know what it means to truly walk w/ the Lord Jesus.
- But, for whatever reason, they’ve chosen to turn away from Him for a period of time in their life. Like the Prodigal Son that Jesus taught about in Luke 15, they are a child of the Father, but, right now, their in a far away place, a country that is foreign to the Christ-follower.
- The Christian who is a backslider is isolated between 2 worlds – B/c of his sin, he can’t enjoy sweet fellowship w/ the Lord, & b/c of who he truly is in Christ, he cannot enjoy the world.
- It’s a sad place to be, but it’s a place in which so many people find themselves.