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Summary: Backsliding begins with a rationalization of one's behavior, and a relativistic approach to determining right and wrong in one's life. This message deals with the result of this faulty thinking, while offering the only solution to one's backslidden condit

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Recovery through Repentance

Text: Jer. 2:13; 3:22

Intro: Backsliding on God, whether that of an individual, or that of a nation, does not take place all at once; but it is a gradual process. This spiritual malady usually begins with little departures from the truth of God’s Word—making little allowances here and there with truths upon which one once firmly stood.

Backsliding begins with a rationalization of one’s behavior (excuses for one’s actions or beliefs which are usually superficial), and a relativistic approach to determining right and wrong (resorting to situational ethics). Though Satan isn’t passed using blatant, in-your-face temptations to pull God’s people away from the Lord, his usual method is to use temptations that appear harmless, or almost imperceptible. However, as Song of Solomon 2:15a says, it is “…the little foxes, that spoil the vine…”

Such has been the case with our nation. Once our country proudly proclaimed itself a “Christian nation.” Nevertheless, as Dr. Tim LaHaye has said,

During the last 200 years, humanism (man’s wisdom) has captivated the thinking of the Western world. After conquering Europe’s colleges and universities, it spread to America, where it has developed a stranglehold on all public education.

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Humanism seems so credible and logical to the man who does not understand God’s wisdom that it is adopted readily by the masses—much to their own peril. Today’s wave of crime and violence in our streets, promiscuity, divorce, shattered dreams, and broken hearts can be laid right at the door of secular humanism.

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Simply defined, humanism is man’s attempt to solve his problems independently of God.(1)

The bottom line is that, due to humanism, our nation has developed an “I’m okay, you’re okay” philosophy of life. Since the religion of humanism is atheistic, morality is viewed as an irrelevant and outmoded idea in our society; and as a result, our nation is crumbling from within. For all practical purposes, the great, good, and moral nation we once knew is a dream of the past. Whether an individual or a nation has backslidden on God, only repentance and revival can turn the tide.

Just as the spiritual decline of Israel was gradual in the days of Jeremiah, we have seen much the same thing take place in America. Let’s learn from Israel’s mistakes, and pray that God will turn both the individual Christian and our nation back to Himself.

Theme: God, in urging His people to return from their backsliding, revealed…

I. ISRAEL’S FORMER DEVOTION


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