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A Backslidden State

The backslider in heart will have his fill of his own ways, But a good man will be satisfied with his.

Proverbs 14:14

What does it mean to backslide? The word backslide comes from the Hebrew word “sug” (5472). It means to move away, to turn back or turn away. The backslider:

  1. Turns away from ADONAI (Numbers 14:43, Deuteronomy 11:26-28, 2 Chronicles 15:1-4, 2 Chronicles 16:9, Jeremiah 2:19, Jeremiah 17:13)
  2. Turns away from their first love (Revelation 2:4, Matthew 24:12, Jeremiah 2:2, John 14:15, 1 John 2:3-6, 1 John 5:3, 2 John 1:6, Revelation 2:5)
  3. No longer delights in serving ADONAI (Job 22:21-28, Psalm 37:4, Psalm 40:7-10, Psalm 94:19, Psalm 122:1, Ephesians 5:10)
  4. Turns away from the Gospel (Galatians 1:6-7, Galatians 3:1-5, Galatians 5:4-7, 1 Timothy 1:3, 1 Timothy 4:1, 2 Timothy 2:16-18, Revelation 2:14-15, Revelation 2:20)
  5. Turns to Satan (1 Timothy 5:15)
  6. Turns to Evil (Psalm 101:3, Psalm 125:5)
  7. Turns to the World (2 Timothy 4:10)

A backslidden condition is gradual. You gradually slide away or abandon your faith. Little by little you stop obeying the Word and the faith you have been professing (Proverbs 24:30-33, Proverbs 19:15-16, Galatians 5:9, Song of Solomon 2:15). As pointed out in Isaiah 1:4, turning away from the Lord happens in the following three stages:

  1. Abandoned— backsliding occurs first in the mind. The backslider forgets The Commandments of ADONAI (Proverbs 3:1, Proverbs 4:1-4, 2 Corinthians 11:3, Colossians 2:8). This happens because the backslider is not a doer of the Word, they never move forward, learning to know Him. Instead they stay the same or grow less spiritual over the years. (Psalm 119:1-8, James 1:22-25).
  2. Despised— backsliding then occurs in the heart. The backslider’s heart turns away from ADONAI (Deuteronomy 11:16, 1 Kings 11:3-10, Isaiah 1:4-6, Isaiah 57:17, Jeremiah 17:5, Hebrews 3:12) appears to be a Christian, but the heart is filled with lying, lust, unforgiveness, jealousy, bitterness … Instead of being convicted by truth, they are offended (Amos 5:10, Galatians 4:16).
  3. Turned Away—backsliding finally occurs in the actions (Titus 1:16)

Indications You Have Backslidden

  • You haven’t felt the presence of The Holy Spirit in quite some time (Numbers 14:43, Isaiah 59:1-2, Hosea 5:15)
  • You don’t remember the last time you heard the voice of ADONAI (Amos 8:11, 1 Samuel 3:1, 2 Chronicles 15:3-4)
  • Your joy in serving ADONAI is gone (Deuteronomy 28:47, Psalm 118:24, Psalm 122:1, Isaiah 9:3, Nehemiah 8:9-12)
  • Your knowledge of The Word is inconsistent with your life (Hosea 8:2, Matthew 7:21-23, Luke 6:46, Titus 1:16, 1 John 2:4)
  • You No Longer believe you need to fellowship with other believers (Hebrews 10:24-25)
  • You can’t remember your last in-depth bible study (Psalm 111:1-2, Psalm 119:47-48, Ezra 7:10, 2 Timothy 2:15)
  • Most of your prayers seem to be hitting the ceiling (John 9:31, Job 35:12-13, Psalm 66:18-20)
  • You don’t feel ADONAI loves you (Isaiah 32:17, Proverbs 3:32)

How Can You Turn From the Backslidden State?

Humble yourself, confess your sins (Psalm 32:5, Proverbs 28:13, 1 John 1:9)

Pray (Philippians 4:6-7, Colossians 4:2, James 5:13, 1 Peter 4:7)

Seek Him earnestly (1 Chronicles 16:11, 1 Chronicles 28:9, Matthew 6:33, Philippians 3:10)

Turn back to ADONAI-Repent (Psalm 7:12-16, Luke 5:32, Luke 13:1-5, Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19, Acts 17:30-31)

How Can You Avoid Backsliding In the Future?

1)     Cling to The LORD (Joshua 23:8, Joshua 23:11, 2 Kings 18:6)

2)     Delight in The LORD (Psalm 1:2-3,Psalm 34:8, Psalm 119:24, Psalm 119:33-35, Psalm 119:47, Psalm 119:77, Psalm 119:142-144, Psalm 119:97-107)

3)     Keep your mind on ADONAI-Meditate day and night upon His Word (Psalm 1:2-3, Psalm 16:7-8, Isaiah 26:3)

4)     Stand Firm in your Faith in JESUS (Colossians 1:23, Ephesians 6:10-11, Hebrews 10:39, Revelation 2:13, Revelation 14:12,)

5)     Persevere in Keeping ADONAI’s Commandments (Matthew 24:13, Luke 8:15, Romans 2:7, Romans 5:3-5, Romans 15:5)

6)     Be on Guard-Stand Alert (1 Timothy 4:16, Acts 20:28, Luke 21:36, 1 Corinthians 16:13, Colossians 4:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-9, 1 Peter 5:8)

7)     Walk in Sound doctrine (1 Timothy 4:6, 1 Timothy 6:3-4, 2 Timothy 4:3-5, Titus 1:9-11, Titus 2:1, Titus 2:6-15, 2 Peter 3:16 )

8)     Keep yourself separate from evil doers (1 Corinthians 15:33, Psalm 1:1, Psalm 119:115, Proverbs 1:10, Proverbs 1:15, Jeremiah 15:17, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, 2 Corinthians 7:1, Revelation 18:4)

9)     Keep yourself from evil (Joshua 23:6-7, 2 Chronicles 4:10, Psalm 101:1-4,)

10)  Understand the causes of Backsliding

  • Disobedience (Matthew 24:12, James 4:17, 1 Peter 2:8, Revelation 3:2-3)
  • Discouragement-Lack of Faith in ADONAI (Psalm 78:22, Isaiah 26:2-3, Habakkuk 2:2-4, Luke 18:8, Hebrews 11:6)
  • Doubt (James 1:6-8, Mark 11:23, 2 Peter 2:14)
  • Fleshly Lusts (2 Samuel 11:13, 2 Samuel 12:1-13, Romans 7:4-5, Ephesians 2:3, 2 Peter 1:4, James 4:1-3, 1 Peter 2:11, Galatians 5:16)
  • Indifferent to Sin (Revelation 3:15-16)
  • Jealousy (Matthew 5:23-24, Galatians 5:15, Hebrews 2:15)
  • Love of Money (Matthew 6:24, 1 Timothy 6:10)
  • Love of The World (2 Timothy 4:10, James 4:1-4, 1 John 2:15-17)
  • Murmuring-Complaining (Exodus 17:3, Job 33:13-17, 1 Corinthians 10:9-11, James 5:9)
  • Over confidence (Matthew 26:33, Romans 11:20, Romans 12:16, )
  • Pleasing man rather than ADONAI (John 5:44, John 9:18-23, Galatians 1:10, Acts 5:29)
  • Poor Prayer Life (Zephaniah 1:6, Mark 14:37-41, Luke 18:1, James 4:2)
  • Pride (Proverbs 16:18, Jeremiah 8:12, Hosea 13:6, John 5:44, 1 Corinthians 10:12, James 4:6, 1 John 2:16 )
  • Rebellion-hardened heart (1 Samuel 15:11, 1 Samuel 15:23, Nehemiah 9:17, Nehemiah 9:26, Psalm 106:43, Psalm 107, Proverbs 28:14, Isaiah 1:19-20, Isaiah 65:2-3, Jeremiah 2:27-32, Jeremiah 5:6, Hebrews 3:15, James 4:8)
  • Shrinking back from persecution, tests and trials (Psalm 106:13-14, Matthew 13:21, Matthew 26:56, Matthew 26:70-74, Mark 14:72, 1 Corinthians 10:6, Hebrews 10:38-39)
  • Stubbornness (Judges 2:19, 1 Samuel 12:25, 2 Kings 17:14, 2 Kings 17:40, Jeremiah 5:3, Jeremiah 8:4-7, Jeremiah 44:15-17, Hosea 11:7, Zechariah 7:11-13)
  • Spiritually blind (Revelation 3:17-18, Hosea 7:9)
  • Unequally Yoked (1 Corinthians 15:33, 2 Corinthians 6:14, 1 Peter 4:2-4, Joshua 23:12-13)
  • Unguarded thoughts (Psalm 104:34, 2 Corinthians 10:5, Philippians 4:6-7, Philippians 4:8)

Consequences of Remaining in a Backslidden State

  • Your name is blotted out of the book of life (Exodus 32:32-33, Psalm 69:28, Revelation 3:5, Revelation 22:19)
  • There is No Help from ADONAI (Isaiah 59:9-14)

Examples of Men Who Had Backslidden in The Bible

Israelites (Ezra 9:1-2)

King David (2 Samuel chapters 11 and 12, Psalm 51:1-14, Psalm 61:10-12)

King Solomon (2 Kings 11:1-13,)

Job (Job 42:6)

Peter (Luke 22:31-34, Luke 22:54-62)

Other disciples of JESUS (Matthew 26:56, John 6:66)

Hymaenaeus and Alexander (1 Timothy 1:18-20)

Phygellus and Hermogenes (2 Timothy 1:15)

Fellow worker of Paul, Demas (2 Timothy 4:10, Philemon 1:24)

Examples of Churches Who Had Backslidden in The Bible

Corinthians (2 Corinthians 12:20-21)

Galatians (The Book of Galatians, Galatians 1:6, 3:1, 4:9-11, 5:6-7)

Asia (2 Timothy 1:15)

Ephesians (Revelation 2:4-5)

Pergamum (Revelation 2:14-16)

Thyatira (Revelation 2:20-23)

Sardis (Revelation 3:1-3)

Laodicea (Revelation 3:15-19)

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