What Does It Mean To Backslide?

I have to say, I didn’t even know this word before I was a Christian.

In the Christian context backslide implies movement away from God rather the toward Him. A backslider is someone who is going the wrong way, spiritually. They are regressing rather than progressing.

The backslider had a one time demonstrated a commitment to God or once maintained a certain standard of behavior, by they have since reverted to their old ways.

Backsliding May manifest itself in several ways such as dropping out of church, losing fervor for God, walking away from a ministry or a church family, or falling back into old habits.

John 10:28-29 says, “God will not kick His children out of His family,”that is not how we will use the word. Backsliding simply means that someone is growing cold toward God. I think some people backslide because they are not growing in Christ ( meat). Although a backslide condition could indicate the person was never truly saved to begin with, and are only showing their true colors. It’s also possible for children of God to backslide, temporarily.

The Bible uses the phrase “fall away” rather than backslide, but the idea is similar. In the Bible “fall away” can mean two different things. In one instance, a person is saying break spearing and temporary period of questioning that could call a “crisis of faith.” In the other instance, the person was never saved at all the only temporary having behaved at the same person would. It’s like Taking a test drive and Christianity.

In Mark 14:27 Jesus told his disciples, “you will all fall away.” What he meant was that, when He was arrested, they would experience a crisis of faith, a life event so shocking that they would run from Jesus and question the very core of their beliefs. It was a night of offense, a night of stumbling for them. But this was a temporary condition. Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to his disciples. Their faith and hope restored, stronger than ever.

The apostle Paul tells us how to handle a fellow believer who is backsliding: “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted” (Galatians 6:1), James concurs: “My brothers and sisters, if one of you could wander from the truth…Somebody should bring the person back.” (James 5:19). The back slider has wandered from where he should be and is “stuck” in sin, but the church will work to restore him and set him back on the path of righteousness.

There are events in life, such as death of a loved one, that may cause us to question God. This is OK, as long as we go to God with those questions rather than using them as excuses to live in rebellion. The result of a crisis of faith is often that we come to know God more intimately than before. In times of trial, we should delve into the Word, pray with persistence (Luke 18:1). and surround ourselves with those whose faith is strong.

I see another type of “falling away” in Hebrew 6:4-6 and Luke 8:13. Hebrews 6 describe the apostate, Someone who had only “tasted the goodness of the word” verse 5 and later rejects it. In Luke 8:13. Jesus illustrate apostasy with the rocky soil – some fall away or backslide because “they have no root.” And each of these passages, a person outwardly appears to be a Christian, at least for a while, but he has not committed himself to God. Such a person might be attending church, reading his Bible, listening to Christian music, hanging out with Christian friends. He likes the wholesome atmosphere and a good company of being around Christian affords. But his heart is not changedHe has never been born again. Eventually, he backslides. He had taken Christianity for a test drive and decided he wasn’t buying.

Salvation comes by means of a genuine confession of Jesus as Lord to the heart that believe in Jesus’s death and resurrection (Romans 10:9-10). It’s a person who has been truly stayed later backslides – that is, he slips back into spiritually damaging attitudes and behaviors the slide will be temporary. The chastening of the Lord will bring him back. The good Shepherd will seek out the wandering lamb. (Luke 15-3-7).

It’s the person who was never saved but only putting on a good front backsides – that is, he dropped the charade and showed his true colors his last decision will be worse than the first (Hebrews 10:26-31). How can we tell one type of backsliding from another? We can’t always, unless given time, and even then, we don’t know how much time. God will take in restoring the backslider. Only God can see his heart.

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