|Can we forfeit
our gift of salvation or “backslide”? From the scriptures below, the
answer is a definite yes.
Proverbs 14:14 The backslider
in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be
satisfied from himself.
1Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit
speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from
the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with
a hot iron;
John 6:66 From that time many
of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 6:67 Then
said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 6:68 Then Simon
Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words
of eternal life.
1Timothy 5:15 For some are
already turned aside after Satan.
Luke 9:62 And Jesus said unto
him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is
fit for the kingdom of God.
Luke 22:31 And the Lord said,
Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may
sift you as wheat: 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith
fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
James 5:19 Brethren, if any of
you do err from the truth, and one convert him; 5:20 Let him know,
that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall
save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
Jude 1:22 And of some have
compassion, making a difference: 1:23 And others save with fear,
pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the
flesh. 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and
to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with
happens gradually and results in spiritual poverty
Proverbs 24:33 Yet a little
sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
24:34 So shall thy poverty come as one that traveleth; and thy want
as an armed man.
In the book of
Revelations, God warns the end time churches that being lukewarm
will not be tolerated
Revelations 2:5 Remember
therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first
works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy
candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
Revelations 3:15 I know thy
works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or
hot. Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold
nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.
Peter tells us
that returning to sin (backsliding) will result in a worse ending
than never having known the Lord.
2 Peter 2:20 For if after they
have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of
the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein,
and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of
righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy
commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them
according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit
again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
In the last days, the “love of many
shall wax cold” or backslide. It doesn’t take too much understanding
to know that we are in those days.
Matthew 24:11 And many false
prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 24:12 And because
iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 24:13 But he
that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Jesus tells of the
terrible state of a backslider
Matthew 12:43 When the unclean
spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking
rest, and findeth none. 12:44 Then he saith, I will return into my
house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it
empty, swept, and garnished. 12:45 Then goeth he, and taketh with
himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter
in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the
first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
backslider return to the Lord? Yes!
Jeremiah 3:22 Return, ye
backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we
come unto thee; for thou art the LORD our God.
Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a
man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a
one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also
Hosea 6:1 Come, and let us
return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath
smitten, and he will bind us up.
Hosea 6:2 After two days will
he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall
live in his sight.
Hosea 14:1 O Israel, return
unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. 14:2
Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away
all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the
calves of our lips. 14:3 Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride
upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands,
Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy. 14:4 I
will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger
is turned away from him.
Jeremiah 3:14 Turn, O
backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and
I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring
you to Zion:
Revelations 3:20 Behold, I
stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the
door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
The Lord Jesus gave us the Parable of
the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32, which illustrates the return of a
wayward son to God.
Some may say that the sixth chapter
of Hebrews (see text below) tells that a backslider can not be
restored, as it says that it is impossible for the person described
“to renew again unto repentance”. I think we must remember what the
Lord said in Luke (Luke 18:27 And he said, The things which are
impossible with men are possible with God.) First we should notice
the description is not your average Christian, but a Holy Ghost
filled Christian that has tasted of the heavenly gift and the powers
(spiritual gifts described - 1 Corinthians 12) of the world to come.
If a person grows to the spiritual state described by Paul and
backslides, then he or she is likely to become a reprobate (Matthew
12:43) or very hard hearted. I could understand the unlikelihood of
this person returning to God. For example, could you imagine a
minister with the gift of healing or some other spiritual gift,
backsliding and how difficult a recovery would be? This
“impossibility” that Paul refers to would not be the Lord’s
limitation, but the difficulty of the apostate from overcoming the
hold of Satan. From the scriptures, we know that there is only one
sin that can’t be forgiven, which is blaspheming against the Holy
Ghost (Matthew 12:32). I can say that God definitely is a God of
second chances, as I have witnessed several backsliders that have
returned to the Lord. If nothing else, this scripture should cause
Christians to be aware of how serious a lukewarm or backslidden
state can become.
Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving
the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto
perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead
works, and of faith toward God, 6:2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and
of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of
eternal judgment. 6:3 And this will we do, if God permit. 6:4 For it
is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted
of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 6:5
And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to
come, 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto
repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh,
and put him to an open shame.
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