Backsliding is not losing one’s salvation according to John 5:24. It is breaking fellowship with God, it is becoming at ease in the things of God. It can be out of Church or in Church.
A backslider is a saved person who falls backwards into sin. We have the examples of Noah, Abraham, Peter, Lot, and David.
Judas was not a backslider for he was lost. A lost sinner cannot be a backslider. You have to go somewhere before you can slide back.
Some stay backsliden longer than others. For Peter, it was a matter of days, for David, it was a matter of months, but for Lot, it was a matter of years.
Most church members live so far below the standard that you'd have to backslide to be in fellowship! - Vance Havner
I-CONSIDER THE CAUSE OF BACKSLIDING:
(It is real, it happens every day, but why does it happen?)
A-One Cause is the Lust of the Flesh:
Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not.
1)Paul says there is a war going on in us for our loyalty; between the flesh and the Spirit. Someone has said who wins? Another has said, the one we feed the most.
2)Brother Craig Larson gives a testimony as a kid, he saw a movie in which some shipwrecked men are left drifting aimlessly on the ocean in a lifeboat. As the days pass under the scorching sun, their rations of food and fresh water give out. The men grow deliriously thirsty. One night, while the others are asleep, one man ignores all previous warnings and gulps down some salt water. He quickly dies.
Ocean water contains seven times more salt than the human body can safely ingest. Drinking it, a person dehydrates because the kidneys demand extra water to flush the overload of salt. The more salt water someone drinks, the thirstier he gets. He actually dies of thirst.
When we lust, we become like this man. We thirst desperately for something that looks like what we want. We don't realize, however, that it is precisely the opposite of what we really need. In fact, it can kill us.
B-One Cause is the Light Hearted love for Jesus
Revelation 2:4 Nevertheless I have [somewhat] against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
1)There is the story of the man and woman riding down the road and meeting a car in which a young married couple were siting close together. The woman said, why don’t we sit close like that anymore. The man replied, who has moved?
2)Who has moved in many Christians Lives? It is not God, for He has loved us with a everlasting love. Many Christians are in a backsliden state because they have left Jesus.
3)Dick Halverson, the Chaplain of the Senate, notes:
In the beginning the church was a fellowship of men and women centering on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome where it became an institution. Next, it moved to Europe where it became a culture. And, finally, it moved to America where it became an enterprise.
C-One Cause is the Love of the world:
James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
1)Lot Was lured by the world, and got into it, but in doing so, the world got into him also.
2)Paul was hurt by Demas who forsook him for the love of the World.
3)One day a department store manager left all the windows open and a great windstorm blew all the price makers around the store causing them to land in total disarray. The next day, the shoppers delighted to see socks for $149.95, suits for $1.19, shoes for 5 cents, and a scarf for $1,299.99!
This is how worldly Christians live every day. The put low value on spiritual things and high value on things with none. Stop living your life as though the price tags got mixed up!
II-CONSIDER THE CHARACTER OF BACKSLIDING:
A-There is Unholy Living:
Jeremiah 7:9 Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not;
1) W.W. Clay tells that when he was a boy, his father had a farm that had no well. Their source of water was a spring in a valley. Only a cup or two of water could be obtained easily, so his Father got a 16" tile and planted it over the spring. This tile was always full, and it was easy to get water then by the pail, if needed. How these boys liked to drink from the surface of the spring as it overflowed from the tile!