Summary: We look at several things that causes backsliding in the church world today.
Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
What causes Backsliding?
1. Looking on forbidden things
This stirs up strong and unlawful desires. This weakens the will, and the outcome is sin in greater or lesser degree. Such was the case of Eve, who stood looking on the forbidden fruit, when God told her not to eat it. This was the case of David, who was gazing from the top of the palace. This is the art that Satan tried on Jesus, when he spread before His mental vision all the kingdoms of the earth and all their glory in one impressive display of worldwide sovereignty and splendour.
2. Self-management. Another cause of heart wanderings is self-management and attempting to take our affairs in our own hands
This was the case with King Saul, who thought that Samuel was so long reaching his appointment that he must play the part of the priest and offer sacrifice; and from that hour he began wandering from God. This was the case with Uzza, who thought, when the oxen stumbled, he must surely put forth his hand and assist the Lord in caring for the ark.
3. Taking undue liberties / going beyond our boundaries.
A handshake is harmless enough…but
The lingering hold… etc.
4. Self-confidence, or leaning on natural or acquired strength. The soul which has been highly favoured of God, or is possessed with strong natural traits, will instinctively lean upon itself, until it has been thoroughly broken. This was the case with Peter, who was so confident of the inherent largeness of his character that he vowed that though all the others should forsake Christ, he would never forsake Him.
5. Worldliness refusing to be separate and holy… such was the case with Demas
6. Presumption the taking it for granted that the soul stands so well with God that He will make great allowance for it, and that the guardian angel will take extra trouble to deliver the disobedient heart.
Satan tells you that you are the Lord’s pet; that He thinks more of you than He does of most of His children; that He will make excuses for you that He does not make for others.
This was the temptation that came to Solomon. He had been assured of his high standing with God, and of his unparalleled wisdom and knowledge; and Satan brought forth his temptation to act on this presumption, until the wisest of men mourned in the dust and cried, "vanity of vanities!"
7. Occupied with Difficulties exhibits a lack of Faith…without Faith it is impossible to please God.
Case of Peter walking on the water to Jesus…
8. Harshness of Spirit / severe judgment of others