Summary: Here is a clear plan of action to help people get right with God and continue to walk with Him after having gotten off track.
RESTORING THE BACKSLIDER
APRIL 2, 2000.
Pastor Eric J. Hanson
This is the fourth in a series which has included the following previous messages.
1. When people backslide.
2. Hidden in the Body. &
3. Hidden in the Body part 2.
If we are to really care about restoring those who have backlidden, we must understand just how high the stakes are. There comes a point at which the backslider is in grave danger regarding eternity. Jesus could not have made this more clear in the following passages from the Gospels.
1. Matthew 25:1-12. The ten virgins.
2. John 15: 1-10. The vine and the branches.
The Epistles also bear clear warnings about this matter:
II Peter 2:20-22 notice : HAVING ESCAPED… BY THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.
Hebrews 6: 4-8 and 10:26-31 couldn’t be clearer than they are.
Paul the apostle certainly understood the vital nature of staying connected to the Lord
See I Corinthians 9:27. Charles Spurgeon, perhaps the greatest preacher of the 1800s
shared this concern also. He told about an evening in a hotel room as he was putting branches for kindling into a new fire in the fireplace that he wrestled with the importance of not drawing back and being cut off as in John 15, but continuing to cling to the Lord and bear good fruit right to the end of this life.
There are few things in all of life which are as important as restoring the backslider if at all possible. This past week on Back to the Bible, Dr Kroll talked about the shepherd leaving the 99 and going after the one; the very scripture I spoke on in the message “When People Backslide”.
II. WHY PEOPLE BACKSLIDE
One thing that will help us to reach out to the backslider is to understand what causes people to back away in the first place. According to Christian Equippers International, there are eight common causes.
1. Lack of Sufficient grounding in the faith. (Col 2:7, 1:23)
2. Love of the World (present world system) (Mk. 4:19, II Tim. 4:10)
3. Temptations (Luke 8:13)
4. Satanic Deception (I Thess. 3:5)
5. Persecution and afflictions (Mk 4:17)
6. Offenses (Matt 18:7)
7. A Breakdown in Spiritual Disciplines
8 False conversion.
III. RESTORING THE BACKSLIDER
Is there hope for the backslider? Very surely yes! King David went through a severe
Backsliding and was ultimately restored after repenting. King Saul, on the other hand, never did get right with God after his backslidings. Repentance brings about a good end.
Here are the positive steps any backslider can take toward restoration to fellowship with God and fruitfulness in life:
1. Godly repentance (I John 1:9)
2. Forsake sin. (Prov. 28:13)
3. Accept God’s Forgiveness. (I John 1:9)
4. End worldly entanglements (Eph. 5:11, II Cor. 6:14, I Cor. 15:33)
5. Establish Godly relationships (Acts 2:42, I Cor. 12:12-27, Eph. 4:1-3)
6. Establish Godly disciplines (The Word, Prayer, Worship)
7. Walk free of internal condemnation. (Romans 8:1, 33-34)
8. Don’t give up! (Prov. 24:16, Phil. 4:13)
GOD’S ATTITUDE: “Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked?” declares the sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their wicked ways and live? (Ezekiel 18:23)
Remember the father of the prodigal son in Luke 15. This same degree of love and acceptance toward the restored believer is what God expects of us.
GOD’S FOUR PROMISES TO THOSE WHO REPENT OF THEIR BACKSLIDING:
1. He is pleased (Ezekiel 18:23)
2. Love, healing, and forgiveness (Hosea 14:4)
3. Care, instruction, and guidance (Jer. 3:14-15)
4. Salvation (James 5:19-20)