Summary: This sermon is about Backsliding;Backsliding is when a born-again believer in Christ turns back to sin or becomes stubborn in his heart and refuses to submit to the will of God in his life,Backsliding is like carnality, in that your own desires and device
Backsliding is when a born-again believer in Christ turns back to sin or becomes stubborn in his heart and refuses to submit to the will of God in his life.
The outward actions are only symptoms of the real problem -- the attitude of the heart -- which must be dealt with in order to change the actions.
Backsliding is like carnality, in that your own desires and devices are acted out as opposed to God’s will
(I Corinthians 3:3; For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
Proverbs 14:14). The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself
What does Scripture say
"Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place"
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness".
"Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them".
"When he came to his senses, he said, "How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you".
"...let him turn to the Lord...for he will freely pardon".
"I will heal their waywardness and love them freely...".
The Causes of Backsliding
Jeremiah 2:17, 19
"Have you not brought this on yourselves by forsaking the Lord? Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you..."
The causes of backsliding are many and varied.
Some are hidden; others are obvious.
But the usual tendency is to emphasize the externals: pornography, illicit sexual relationships, drunkennness, etc.
The lack of positive, spiritual input (prayer and Bible study), however, has just as detrimental an effect upon the soul as the introduction of evil influences.
Starvation can be as deadly as the ingestion of any lethal substance.
Jesus condemned the Pharisees not for what they did, but for what they failed to do: "...you neglect the weightier matters of the law," such as mercy, He said.
He also told his disciples that they would be judged not just according to their relationship with him, but also by their neglect of "the least of these"
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
Not everything "lawful" is "expedient" or beneficial, Paul writes.
Reading romance novels, for example, might not in itself cause one to go out and sin. (It could).
But neglecting the Word of God certainly will.
The "lust of the flesh," the "deceitfulness of riches," "the love of the world" – all these can entrap us and cause our downfall.
But the pride of life, and hatred toward a brother, eat away from within and are just as destructive.