"An Analysis of Backsliding"

Do you think much about "backsliding"? Maybe we should think about it from time to time. The word "backsliding" is used sixteen times in the Old Testament. It comes from a Hebrew word that means to turn away or to err. The prophet Isaiah used it in chapter 57 and verse 17. Jeremiah used the term more than any other writer. The nation of Israel had entered into a covenant relationship with God but broke God's covenant with them by turning away from it. Backsliding is a spiritual disease. Let us analyze it as such. There are certain symptoms that precede backsliding.

First, there is a lack of joy in the Christian's life. Yet, the Bible says in Philippians 4:4, "rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice."

Secondly, there is irregularity in attendance to worship services. David, in Psalm 122:1 said, "I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord." Can you say that?

Thirdly, there is a divided interest. Jesus said in Matthew 6:24, "No man can serve two masters." Are you trying to serve the Devil and Christ at the same time?

A fourth symptom of backsliding is indulgence in those sins that were given up in obedience to the gospel.

What are the causes of backsliding? First, for many it is association with the wrong type of friend. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:33 said, "Evil companionships corrupt good morals."

Secondly, for others it may be a lack of faith. Many are strong when with other Christians but weak when separated from them. These need to say with Jesus' disciples, "Lord increase our faith" (Luke 17:5).

In the third place, inactivity causes backsliding. Backsliding is not a sudden thing. It happens gradually over a period of time. No one intends to backslide. It starts with neglect of daily prayer and Bible reading. It progresses by the missing of a few services and then like wild fire, it can't be stopped! Yet in James 4:17 we read, "To him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not to him it is sin."

Now let us notice the dangers of backsliding. First, it makes us unfit. Jesus in Luke 9:62 said, "No man having put his hand to the plough and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God."

Secondly, your name will be blotted out of the book of life (Revelation 3:5).

Thirdly, everybody loses. The body of Christ loses a member. The Lord loses a worker. The family of God loses a member. The community loses some good influence. The child loses the proper example of parents. Certainly the biggest loss of all is your own soul!

Stay tuned on Sunday morning for Ways of Preventing Backsliding!



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  Madison, Tennessee 37115
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