The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

Dear Backslider, …

Posted by israeliteindeed on January 1, 2014

Dear Backslider, 

Are you truly sorrowful for your sin?  Are you filled with remorse, wishing you could undo what you have done?  Do you honestly desire to be reinstated as an obedient child, forgiven and at peace once again?  Are you willing to cast your sins away from you in disgust and determination to submit to God?

God wants the backslider back. Don’t let satan cause you to doubt that.  If you are in a state of godly sorrow over your sin, there is hope for you.  Godly sorrow over sin produces repentance leading to salvation (2 Cor. 7:9-10). 

No one wasted his life more than the thief on the cross, yet Jesus–even in personal agony on His own cross–was quick to forgive him and comfort him because he humbled himself. 

Peter was someone who knew the Lord and walked with Him, and heard His teaching and even had Jesus explain teachings to him on an intimate basis.  He fell away the night Jesus was betrayed, due to his fear of what men might do to him. But afterward he sorrowed to repentance, and Jesus not only accepted him back, but gave him instructions (“feed my sheep”–John 21:15-18).  Peter went on to be a strong leader in the church despite his failure (which the whole world knows about!)

Read Micah 7:18-19.  God “delights in mercy.”  He does not give mercy grudgingly to the humble. He gives it gladly. It rejoices His heart to see a sinner repent, and Jesus was careful to tell us that all of heaven rejoices with God over this too (Luke 15:10). 

Are you afraid you have messed up so much that you can’t come back? Many believe they may have committed the “unpardonable sin,” and this keeps them from returning to the Lord.

The “unpardonable sin” is a confusing topic, but read the passage in Matthew 12:22-32. Notice that the pharisees had accused Jesus of setting a man free from a demon by the power of the devil (vs 24). The truth was that Jesus had done it by the power of the Holy Spirit.  This is the sin Jesus referred to, which would not be forgiven.  

It is not 100% clear to me why this won’t be forgiven. Perhaps it is because there is “woe to those who call good evil.” (Isaiah 5:20)  If a man is in bondage to devils, and then he is freed by God, and you are so blind as to call his salvation from devils evil, what hope does God have at leading you to repentance by His Spirit?–If you are now referring to His Holy Spirit as the devil?  This is the terrible place the pharisees were in. They were so hardened in their hearts that even the most beautiful deliverance was evil to them. They could not recognize God the Son, and they could not recognize God the Spirit, but instead always resisted Him (Acts 7:51).  They refused the baptism that signified repentance (Luke 7:29-30), showing that they were not willing to let the Holy Spirit draw them to God. 

If you are not rejecting repentance, or attributing the works of the Holy Spirit of Jesus to the devil in an effort to reject Jesus, then you are not committing “the unpardonable sin.”   If you see your need, that is proof enough that there is hope for you

If you see that your wasted time is a debt you owe God, if you see that your sin should never have been committed, and if you desire to be restored as God’s child, and if you will sincerely repent and submit to Him, He will happily forgive you and let you start over!  Let the remorse over your past be a fuel that works for your good, and for God’s good! Let it bind your wandering heart more tightly to Him from this day forward.  

After I first got right with the Lord for a while, I backslid. In fact, I entered into sin more wicked than the things I had done before!  I can still remember hearing a voice in my head saying that I was destined to continue in sin. The voice said there was no way out. That voice was the devil lying to me (just as he may now be lying to you.) He had gained access to my life through my sin, but I began to plead with God to rescue me from the deep pit I was in. 

Something inside me knew that there must be hope, even though I did not know the Bible very well at that time.  God answered my repeated cries for help by having a Christian brother call me. He told me he had noticed I was “not right,” and asked if there was something wrong. I realized this was my “rescue rope” sent by God, and if I didn’t grab it with all my might, I might be lost forever. I humbled myself and confessed my dark secrets to him.  Thankfully, the Holy Spirit spoke to me through this man, telling me my sin had separated me from God, but if I would put away my sin and ask for mercy, I could start over.   I fully turned away from those things, including making changes that would help me keep from that sin in the future.  

It is always hard to go back to the beginning, and if the heart is properly tenderized by regret, it is a very humble and low place. It is a place of agonizing.  “Strive to enter the narrow gate” literally means “Agonize to enter” in the Greek.  But it is in that humble and low place that God begins to help us, for He resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.  It starts out as agonizing, but it becomes a place of mercy and freedom as God washes us in His own blood, and draws near to us in our humility (James 4:7-10).  In this humble place, He teaches us that our own hearts and emotions are not to be trusted (they got us into alot of trouble), the world is not to be trusted, the lusts of the flesh must be crucified, and if we are to be overcomers, we must find a deep abiding place in Jesus. We learn to be humble sheep following our Good Shepherd and not wandering off. 

Read Hosea 5:14 through Hosea 6:3.  God tore at the backsliders as a lion would tear the prey, then He retreated to His den (seeming to ignore them) to wait for them to “acknowledge their offense.”   Do you feel the affliction and sense the awful separation your sin has caused?  There is hope for you.  He afflicted them SO THAT they would seek Him.  He could have just killed them, but in mercy He afflicted them and waited for their repentance.   All of this was in order to bring about the beautiful ending–Come, and let us return to the LORD; for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up.      After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight. Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth.  

Dear Backslider, I hope that what I have shared here will increase your hope in the Lord, and that you will have a testimony of full restoration to share with others in the near future.  After you are restored to the Lord, get into the Word of God with all your might.  Seek God in the Scriptures and read to apply every word to your life. His Word will renew your mind and change you from the inside out. And it will fortify you from the false teachings that are everywhere. 

God bless you and help you!


2 Responses to “Dear Backslider, …”

  1. AMG said

    I loved reading this post of God’s truth. What a powerful, beautiful, hopeful message.

  2. nice

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