Summary: The gradual falling away from God
CHARACTERISTICS OF A BACKSLIDER
Text: Jeremiah 3:1-7
Intro: There has been much debate down through the years over the subject I am going to preach on this morning. However, I will not debate this morning. I will let the Word of God speak for itself and depend on God to help me rightly divide its truths and that’s all I can do. If you look at verse 6 you see that if a man says he has fellowship with God and is walking in darkness he is a liar and does not know the truth. Now that is a person that has never been saved. But when you start reading our text verse in Galatians and Hebrews there is without this is someone who has known the Lord and turned away from Him.
I was amazed to find that Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines the word backslide as: To fall of; to apostatize; to turn gradually from the faith and practice from Christianity.
Backslider is defined as: An apostate; one who fall s from the faith and practice of religion
Backsliding is defined as: The act of apostatizing from faith or practice; a falling insensibly from religion into sin or idolatry
I want to preach to preach on this subject “THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A BACKSLIDER”
When people are thinking about getting out of church or they are looking for a reason to get out you will start seeing some of these signs. The funny thing about it is they cannot control it. Sub-consciously they do not realize they are doing it.
I. THEY WILL COMMIT SPIRITUAL ADULTERY
A. (Jeremiah 3:1) They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s shall he return unto her again? Shall not the land be greatly polluted? But thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me,
saith the Lord. (To understand this you must look at Jeremiah 2:2)
B. (Jeremiah 2:2) Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the Lord; I remember thee, the kindness of they youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown
C. At one time everything was alright between God and Israel but somewhere in verse two and specifically in verses 6 and 9 they began to flirt with the world and committed spiritual adultery. Notice it didn’t happen overnight but it was a gradual process.
D. If you say you can backslide overnight then you have some serious scriptural misunderstandings or if you do backslide overnight you were never saved!
E. Notice verse 13 in Chapter 2. For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water
F. Just as Israel is the wife of God, Christians are the bride of Christ. In ( II Corinthians 11:2) Paul wrote to the Corinthians that he was jealous over the with a Godly jealous because he wanted to present them to Christ as chaste virgins.
G. However, the problem was they were the problem was they were flirting with the world. And that same problem exists today. People in the church want to be saved sinners.
CHARACTERISTICS OF A BACKSLIDER
II. THEY DISPLAY SPIRITUAL INSENSITIVITY
A. Jeremiah (3:3) Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed
B. In the field of law enforcement I had dealt with prostitutes and they have absolutely no shame about themselves. They are in a state of moral degradation and they refuse to be ashamed
C. The point is this sin makes you insensitive to the things of the Lord
D. When a person who claims salvation begins doing things they once renounced they are one there way to a backslidden state
III. THEY ARE FULL OF SPIRITUAL HYPOCRISY
A. (Jeremiah 3:5) Will he reserve his anger forever? Will he keep it to the end? Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest
B. This verse make reference to those folks who did a lot of “holy talk” but did not do a lot of “holy walk” Fact of the matter is they were doing all of the evil they could do even up to the day they left the church house.
C. (Luke 6:46) And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
D. Spiritual talk and worldly walk are good clues a person is on their way to being backslid
IV. SPIRITUAL OBSTINANCY
A. (Jeremiah 3:7) And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.