What Is Backsliding? Is It Biblical

by Robert Driskell on September 27, 2012 · Print Print · Email Email

There are many professing Christians today who believe that they are saved forever simply because of something they did years ago.  However, being a Christian means continually living like God wants you to live.  Sadly, some believers have ‘backslidden’ into their former sinful way of living.  ‘Backsliding’ is a term signifying what happens when a Christian, who is devoted to God, begins to take his or her relationship with Him less seriously.  There are different reasons a believer would backslide.  The terrible reality is that, if a believer does not stop backsliding, they could wind up without any faith at all.

Biblical Warnings Against Backsliding

The reality of the danger of backsliding is made clear by the many admonitions in Scripture warning of this possibility.  There would be no need to warn anyone of something that could never happen.  The apostle Paul, as he instructs his student Timothy, writes, “This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience.  By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith…”  (I Timothy 1:18-19 ESV).  Paul encourages Timothy, and those to whom he ministers, to make sure they are diligent to nurture their faith.  To neglect this is to open the real possibility of ruining their faith, as he writes that some have already done.

A warning found in Hebrews seems even more pointed, “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin”  (Hebrews 3:12-13 ESV).  The writer of Hebrews, speaking to professing believers, admonishes them to search their hearts for signs of ‘evil’ or ‘unbelief’.  That the writer considers his audience to be believers is shown in that he addresses them as ‘brothers’.  This is a clear warning that it is possible to fall away from God if one is not careful to keep one’s faith alive and active.

What Is Backsliding

The best way to prevent the possibility of backsliding is a moment-by-moment relationship with God, wherein we love Him and submit our will to His will.

Reasons Believers Backslide

Jesus tells the Parable of the Soils in Mark 4:14-19.  This parable describes the heart of the person who hears the Word of God.  While this parable directly speaks of the person who is first hearing the Word of God, it indirectly describes the hearts of any hearer of the Word.

Verses 14-15: “The sower sows the word.  And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them.” 

This seems to be the type of person who hears the Word of God, knows what he or she should do, but does nothing.  This is the procrastinator.  While possibly taking the initial step towards faith, no subsequent steps are taken, and no commitment is made. A missed opportunity.  Sadly, if one does not act while the Holy Spirit is prompting, the opportunity may not come again.

Verses 16:-17: “And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy.  And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.”  

These are the people who enthusiastically embrace their newfound faith, but never do anything to solidify it or to make sure they are growing.  They consider the one-time act of praying a prayer or signing a card to be all that is necessary for living the Christ-like life.  Soon, the newness wears off, they have no true foundation, and, before they realize it, they have returned to their old way of life.

Verses 18-19:  “And others are the ones sown among thorns.  They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.”

 These are the people who take their eyes off of Jesus.  They fail to trust in Him to see them through the hard times.  They allow their selfish desires to overrule their allegiance to God.  It might be that the love of money (I Timothy 6:10) outweighs their love of God. It might be that they simply do not trust that God will provide as He promises.  These believers allow the things of the world (James 4:4) to turn them away from God.

However, there are those who hear God’s Word and receive it with gladness.  Mark 4:20 says,But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”

 These are the people who understand that a relationship with God is not simply an add-on to our current sinful lives.  It is not simply ‘stay-out-of-hell’ insurance.  A saving relationship with God involves a commitment on our part to live for Him.  It requires a radical restructuring of our lives around the will of God.  It is this type of person who immerses himself or herself into a relationship with God as being the center of his or her life.  This person grows deeper in that relationship every day by praying, studying the Bible, and doing whatever God lays on their heart to do.

Conclusion: Worship Is The Best Prevention Against Backsliding

Worship is more than simply going to church for an hour on Sunday.  As ungodly influences increase daily in our society, the Christian cannot afford to live out his or her faith in a haphazard manner.  We must be diligent to keep our faith healthy.  Once a person becomes a believer, his life should be characterized by worship.  This means recognizing God for who and what He is, and responding properly.  As the apostle Paul tells us in Romans, we should, “…present [our] bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is [our] spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1 ESV).

We should no longer follow our own wants and ways, but completely turn ourselves over to His leading in our lives.  The Bible tells the believer, “…to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24 ESV).

Whether we know what God’s plan for us entails or not, we can trust He will not lead us astray.  Even when we do not understand what is happening in our lives or not, we can trust God to take care of us.  This gives us confidence to lay our lives at His feet, in His service, for His glory.  John MacArthur says this about worship, “Biblical worship—worship in spirit and truth—is a constant attitude.  It’s a persistent inclination of your  heart and mind toward the majesty and glory of the Lord.  It’s not a momentary event, but a full-time, nonstop activity that is borne out in faithful praise, prayer, service, and study of God’s truth…Worship is   not an optional by-product of our sanctification—it’s the primary purpose for which the Lord created and saved us.  We’re called to praise God and reflect His perfect, righteous character.  In a word, we’re called to worship.”  (Grace to You newsletter, February 14, 2012.)

The best way to prevent the possibility of backsliding is a moment-by-moment relationship with God, wherein we love Him and submit our will to His will.  We trust Him, obey Him, and glorify Him with our entire being.  Our internal thoughts as well as our external actions should be motivated by our love for Him.  When the believer lives his or her life this way, they will never be in danger of ‘backsliding’.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  Do not quench the Spirit.  Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good.  Abstain from every form of evil” (I Thessalonians 5:16-22 ESV).

Resources

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version

“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV)



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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Patti September 27, 2012 at 8:14 am

Another great article and a good reminder.
Thank you

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Robert September 27, 2012 at 10:46 am

Thank you, Patti.
Your support is very important to me, dear.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Roger September 27, 2012 at 8:28 am

Amazing, encouraging and exhaustive message on worship and how di keep up our faith. I deeply appreciate! Thank you so much and God bless you!

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Robert September 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Thank you for reading and commenting, Roger. I pray that this article was/is an encouragement to you and all who read it. God bless you also, my friend.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Jess Hotson September 27, 2012 at 1:04 pm

How can i make my faith stronger ?

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Robert September 27, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Hello Jess,

You ask a question that shows me that you are on the right track to increase your faith. Simply by asking the question, you exhibit the desire to know Jesus better. In answer to your question, I would say that growing in one’s faith takes time. Time spent in Bible reading and study, time spent praying, and time spent doing what God impresses on you to do.

God doesn’t hide Himself or His will from us. However, it is common for the believer to feel as if he or she should be closer to God, or further along in the Christian life, than they are. Jess, I would simply suggest that you have patience, immerse yourself in God’s Word, prayer, and attend a Bible-preaching church. You will find that your faith will increase as you do these things.

Now, one word of caution here, God sometimes uses adversity to strengthen our faith, so if your life gets a little difficult, remember you have a special relationship with Jesus Christ and He has promised to be with us every step of the way, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 ESV).

God bless you, Jess.

Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Jack Wellman September 27, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Superb work Robert. This article reminds me of Paul’s admonition to examine yourself to see that you are in the faith. I think he was telling the Corinthian church to do this prior to taking Communion. Your sage advice is absolutely spot on my friend…as always of course. Well done.

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Robert Driskell September 27, 2012 at 8:35 pm

I sincerely thank you, Jack.
I am still amazed at how much I learn every time I write one of these articles. I’m sure you’ve experienced it too, God teaching you as you prepare to share that teaching with others. It’s also a good thing God knows me like He does, He is fully aware of my hard head and the need for me to relearn lessons over and over again. God bless you, brother.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Alex September 16, 2013 at 5:52 am

Hey a question for you Jack (Robert please read this too) :). I’ve read an article where you put it like this:
“Once a person is saved, that is born-again, there is no way that they will ever be lost again”. I’ve also asked you on facebook about this. I’m not trying to put you on display, if you can say that (I am not an American). Your answer to me then was:

‘If a person suddenly turns away from God he was never saved in the first place. We can all be prodigals but eventually we will return. I John 2:19 says as much, “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.”

I am not sure what you really mean then. I mean this article states that you can backslide or lose your faith.

I know this article is not by you, but when reading your comment now,other articles by you and by the answer you gave me back then, I am now pretty confused. I know nothing can seperate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39), but we can backslide and walk away ourselves. God warns us like said in this article. And many other times we are warned:

Eze 18:24
‘But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.’

John. 15:6
“If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”

Gal. 6:9
‘…in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.’

Col. 2:8
‘Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.’

Eph. 5:6
‘Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.’

1. Tim. 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…’

Heb 3:12
‘Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.’

Rev 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.”

2. Pet. 2:20-22
‘For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 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. 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.’

I am just confused what you mean Jack. I know what the Bible says. And Robert please tell me if I read your article wrongly.

God bless you all :)

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Alex September 16, 2013 at 6:55 am

Note: Jack I realize, that I may have misunderstood you (Because I’m a Dane) when you wrote:
“We can all be prodigals but eventually we will return..”

I Just dont see biblical proof, that all who backslide, have made shipwreck of their faith, turned their back on God or whatever we call it, will all eventually return to Him.

:)

Alex September 16, 2013 at 8:54 am

hehe.. I just have to say Jack, that I have truly enjoyed reading many of your other articles, and I see that you respect The Word of God. So it’s not that I have anything against you sir :)

Robert September 16, 2013 at 9:51 am

Hi Alex,
First, let me encourage you that there is no reason to be distraught or confused. There are some issues in the Christian faith on which believers see things differently. Pertaining to the issue of whether one can lose their salvation, some say it is possible while others say it is not. Both groups base their beliefs on the Word of God and one does not have to believe one way or the other to be saved. I think Jack is of the group that believes that the Bible teaches once you are saved you will always be saved. I am of the group that believes that the Bible teaches that a person can be saved but then reject Jesus to the point where they are no longer saved.

So let’s try to sort it out in the simplest way. We will not settle the issue here, the two different groups have been around a long time and will continue to be around until Jesus comes back, I think. I consider Jack a saved brother in Christ and I believe he consider me the same.

Point One: No one can ‘lose’ their salvation. One is saved when they make a decision to follow Jesus and only by making a decision to reject Him can one be lost again.

Point Two: If we commit our lives to Jesus as fully as possible, we never have to worry about our salvation.

I know this is a simplified answer, but I think it is just that simple. We are saved, and kept, by the power of Christ. However, we must remain in Him, we must abide in Him, or we sever the connection with Him that provides that power.

Alex, the “security of the believer” is certainly real and powerful. The key to that phrase is found in being a “believer”.

I will stop here and we can comment back and forth if you’d like. I also wrote an article explaining the differing views of these two groups that you might want to read, you can find it here. http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/what-are-the-main-differences-between-calvinism-and-arminianism/

Yours in Christ,
Robert

Jack Wellman September 16, 2013 at 10:07 am

Alex, I am glad for one that you are hungering and thirsting to know more about God and His Word. I am still a student of the Word. I believe that Robert is correct. We will never know all that will satisfy us this side of heaven and so we must focus on putting our trust in Christ and these other non-essential issues will be resolved on that Great Day of His return. I think we will never solve this by ourselves and I think that you have a great desire to learn and that in itself is a sign that you are resting secure in your salvation. Thank you Alex.

Alex September 16, 2013 at 11:06 am

Thank you both for answering my questions. I am a little ‘familiar’ with the two groups Robert, but I’ll take a look at the article. :)

It’s true there are things, we will never truly know, before we stand before The Lord in Paradise. It’s exciting to think about actually. If we strive to follow Jesus all the way, nothing can go wrong. Though I’m in the same ‘group’ as Robert, all followers of Christ go to the same place. And I consider both of you brothers in Christ. :)

I’m looking forward to seeing you two in Paradise (If i dont get to America first). Then we get to see who was right..lol

Thank you Jack and Robert for answering my questions. Have a good day. :)

Yours in Christ
Alexander

Joe Sewell September 17, 2013 at 11:19 am

We’ve hit the limit on replying to replies, so I’ll add stuff here.

I never realized or thought that “once saved, always saved” vs. “once saved, reject Jesus, no longer saved” was a Calvinist vs. Arminian thing. Then again, I rarely bother with such stuff.

Consider this, though: in one sense “salvation” really is proven at death. Until then we can only have faith that we are saved, no matter which side of the argument you take. I’m ignoring the idea of the fruit of salvation for the moment, as some “bad fruit” can appear good, much like Snow White’s poison apple did.

The important point, I suspect, is that *God* will not take away our salvation. Some groups take to heart Habakkuk 1:13, which some translations render in a fashion that says that God cannot “look upon” sin. They take this out of context and conclude that, if a person sins even once, even by accident, then they have lost their salvation. Most of these groups, of course, then require some form of ritual to reapply for salvation. That would mean, therefore, that if you accidentally forgot to return something to a friend, and on your way to him you are killed in an accident, then you are going to Hell, because you “stole” something.

I suspect both Robert and Jack would agree that this particular interpretation is total garbage. Both Calvinists and Arminians, I hope, would agree that there is greater eternal security than that.

Alex September 17, 2013 at 5:04 pm

My last comment was a bit vague. By saying there are things we won’t get the answers to, before we get into Heaven, I don’t mean the question about eternal security (though I know that’s what I made it sound like). Truly salvation will be proven at our death. I also think it’s important as said, to make it clear that God will not take away our salvation. But I see it clearly in His word, that we can turn our backs on Him.

2. Pet. 2:20-22
‘For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 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. 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.’

All in all I only care what God tells us through His Word. And on matters as if we can walk away from God and thereby get lost forever (if we dont repent) or if we have eternal security, The Word is clear.

Heb 3:12
‘Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end’
I dont even have to comment on this.

I am afraid that the teaching of eternal security or OSAS easily just becomes a license for immorality. I by reading The Word of God surely see OSAS as a false teaching, and therefore dangerous. It’s definenetly not a non-essential issue.

John. 15:6
“If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”

Yours in Christ
Alexander

Robert Miller September 27, 2012 at 4:18 pm

You might also consider picking up a copy of ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ by Rick Warren. I’ve been reading it for a while now, and it is definitely providing me with answers about how God wants us to live our lives. It may help you grow your faith simply by showing you what God intends for you to do with your life.

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Richard okonkwo September 27, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Your article is of immense Spiritual benefit to readers.May God refill and strenghten you in evangelising the world.

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Robert September 28, 2012 at 7:01 am

Richard,
It blesses my heart to know that God has used me to encourage one of His children. God bless you, Richard.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Derek Hill September 27, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Thank you for this article Robert. I know I have had seasons of backsliding in my walk with God. I am so grateful that God is so forgiving and full of mercy and grace to forgive us when we lose our way sometimes. He is good all of the time!

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Robert September 28, 2012 at 7:00 am

Derek,
I have looked back over the times I’ve backslidden to see if I can discern a pattern. For the most part, it starts with one tiny little concession to sin, then it grows from there. I am living in such a way now as to be aware of the smallest lapse in my walk with Christ, so that I leave no room for sin to creep in. May God bless you, Derek.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Joe Sewell September 29, 2012 at 4:33 pm

There is another aspect to backsliding as defined here (with which I have no disagreement, by the way). The parable of the Sower as rendered in Luke 8:4-8 reveals it. Verse 5 in the ESV reads:

A sower went out to sow his seed. and as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it.

This is a bit like Mark’s rendition, with Satan replacing the birds, but it makes me think of something slightly different than what you mentioned in this article, Robert. I see it as other people producing convincing arguments against what the Bible teaches, slowly eroding the seed or the plant that it produces, until one argument strikes home so sharply, it’s like an axe against a tree.

That type of thing happened to me some time around 2007. I had been saved since 1978, in spite of a non-church background. After moving to Florida in 1980, I sensed God directing me to a church, though. I was in that one until 2000, then went to a more Biblically-sound, less liturgical church shortly thereafter.

During one of the expositional messages at that second church, the pastor made a passing mention about marriage and children. He said that it was God’s will or command (I don’t recall which now) that married couples raise children. He covered infertility with a mention of adoption, but he covered neither the case of two widowed people marrying, or a couple who chose to be child-free. We were in the latter category, in part due to what I now consider emotional abuse during my own childhood, as well as various chemical imbalances that cause panic and anxiety attacks, chronic stress, and other sundry nasty things.

I was afraid of raising a child, plain and simple. I still am. I don’t trust myself around a child who is screaming, especially at a high pitch, since high pitches give me intense headaches. (I’ve heard dog whistles before, for the record, as well as the “teen buzz” ringtones. I can also hear just about everything my dog hears.)

Take this one man, deathly afraid of abusing a child as had been done to himself, being told by a trusted pastor — and later by a nationally famous family “expert” by the name of Dennis Rainey — that he was, in effect, willfully and intentionally violating God’s will and/or command by refusing to adopt a child. (We cannot have children of our own.)

What would you call the result?

For me, it flushed all sense of hope I had accumulated over the 20+ years in Christ. I believed, and still do in a sense, that willful disobedience was serious, full-on backsliding. I didn’t know what God was going to do with it, but I didn’t think I was going to hear a “well done, good and faithful servant” in Heaven because of that. Rather, I figured a full-out “giving an account” was in order, and it would not turn out well.

Satan, through trusted “Christians,” had robbed me totally, thorougly, and completely of all hope and trust of eternal life.

I gave up.

Since that time I’ve slowly recovered some of that hope, though the doubts and questions still linger. I don’t recall the Scriptural support the one pastor used for his mention, and I don’t recall what he was teaching on, so I cannot go back through my piles of DVDs and review what he said. Mr. Rainey, if memory serves, used the Genesis command of being fruitful and multiplying as part of his support, as well as several Gospel notations regarding children, to support his claim. I asked both men about this. The pastor tried to cover things up by saying that “when” was a “personal” matter, but didn’t reverse what he said, although I’m told he did not repeat that particular admonition in subsequent services. Mr. Rainey simply said that he was right, and I was wrong.

We all need to make sure we are never a stumbling block to those who may wind up backsliding because of us. We will be held accountable, I believe, for such incidents. God sees when we uncover some of that seed, or trample it under our own feet, allowing Satan to steal it away, even after it has turned into a fruit-bearing plant.

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Robert Driskell September 30, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Joe,
Thanks for reading and commenting. Good observation on the Parable of the Soils there. I agree with you. Satan uses many different tactics and people to throw us off guard. I know I will make mistakes, but when I write (or counsel anyone in any way) I pray that God will guide my words so that I won’t cause anyone to stumble in their faith. The warning for teachers in James 3:1 always comes to mind.
Joe, I am so glad that the experience you had with, let say ‘some less than sensitive leaders’, did not cause you to walk away from Christ forever. I would say that the mandate in Genesis to ‘be fruitful and multiply’ was general statement for the human race, it was not a specific statement by which every single person must abide. I don’t think a very strong biblical case can be made for the idea that every person who ever existed was willfully disobeying God if they did not participate in the conception of a child.
Anyway, that’s my two cents (with biblical support…ha…ha).
Good to have you back, brother. If I can be of any help, please feel free to ask.
I want to thank you for the advice at the end of your comment, very important to keep in mind. God bless you.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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raymond October 1, 2012 at 5:35 am

While I agree with many of the insights shared in the comments column, I find it hard to come to terms with the following verses:
a.Phil 2:12
b.Heb 6:4,5,6
c.Mt 10:22
d.Eph 2:10
e.James 1:22
f.James 2:18,22
g.Jn 15:6

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Robert October 1, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Raymond,
Thanks for reading and commenting. In what way do you find it hard to come to terms with those verses? I don’t quite understand what you mean. Could you clarify a bit for the hard of understanding (me). Then maybe we could discuss it a bit further. Thanks. God bless you.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Elaina October 1, 2012 at 2:49 pm

I have been trying to find my way back to God, but haven’t found my way back to Him yet. I notice I always go into a cycle where I read the Bible for a while and then I don’t read it for a while and I notice when I don’t read it, I go through hard times. This cycle has happened over and over since I became fully deaf at the age of 20, and I haven’t been able to break it. I’d like to be able to read the Bible and have a relationship with God continuously but I am not sure how to do it since everytime I start reading the Bible, I worry about how long It will take me to stay with it this time. I really need a relationship with him and I don’t want to fall away again. Do you have any advice for what I can do to solve this?

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Robert Driskell October 1, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Hi Elaina,
I can understand your heartache. Sin is a terrible burden to bear. However, anyone who trusts Jesus for their salvation no longer has to bear the weight of that sin…He bore it for us. From what I can glean from your comments, I think it would be good for you to get an accountability partner, someone who you trust and who you give permission to confront you when sin and help you get back on the right track. This is someone who will pray with you and for you, who knows you, and will be honest with you about your behavior. Attending church would be a good idea also, if you don’t already. Many times Satan (temptation) comes upon us when we are isolated from others who care about us. I pray that the advice I am giving you is what the Lord would have me say. It is so tricky giving advice to someone I don’t really know. However, right now I am putting this situation in God’s capable hands. I pray you will do the same. Continue reading the Bible even when you don’t feel like it, continue praying and trusting God…and you will find yourself growing closer to Him and farther away from temptation. God bless you Elaina.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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augustus joseph October 3, 2012 at 8:04 am

Excellent articles.Ihave learnt quite a lot. I have a question though,would you please explain to me what is meant in 1 Thessalonians,5-22 which says “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”
Thank-you in advance.
A.J

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Robert October 3, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Hi Augustus,
First, I want to thank you for your kind comment.
Now, to the verse you asked about. I used to think that this verse was saying something like, “Stay away from anything that even looks like evil.” This made me very nervous that, although I would never willingly commit sin, I had to make sure it didn’t LOOK like I might. This interpretation made me very self-conscious about outward appearances. However, I realized that I had misinterpreted the verse based on my definition of the word ‘appearance’. The Greek word from which the English ‘appearance’ comes does not mean what I thought it meant. The King James version of the Bible, from which we get the translation, “every appearance of evil”,was translated at a time when the word ‘appearance’ was used differently than it is today. I Thessalonians 5:22 in several different translations:

Abstain from every form of evil (English Standard Version).

Abstain from every form of evil (New King James Version).

Stay away from every form of evil (Holman Christian Standard Bible).

reject every kind of evil (New International Version).

abstain from every form of evil (New American Standard Bible).

So, this verse is actually teaching us to (1) evaluate everything to discern whether it is evil or not and, (2) if it is evil stay away from it, don’t do it, or flee from it. In other words, the verse is talking about real evil, not things that simply look evil.

Hope this helps. God bless you.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Steve January 5, 2013 at 8:52 am

Dear Robert : Thank you for an excellent article and it renews my soul to read yours and other articles on this website. I also have read some of the comments from other readers and I want to give them some encouragement to know they are not alone and God and others( including myself) love them and want to help. They must realize everyone of us are sinners and fight a constant battle ( mentally and spiritually ) to keep from sinning and backsliding. Some steps I take are these in no particular order. 1. When I wake up start thanking God for allowing me to wake up and to go from there to asking for help for others and lastly to seek Gods help in battles I am facing today or just to keep him first in everything I do during the next 24 hours. Next put on Christian music ( maybe a song in my head) this is a vital to me as praying because music is a form of worship and if you not worshiping God with music then who or what are you worshiping with the music your listening to. So, this starts my day before a bible reading or maybe watching a biblical based evangelical tv program. I am not suggesting instead of church but to keep myself plugged in all week. I personally like Joyce Myers and John Hagee and I do not believe that every tv evangelical preacher is corrupt in fact I find that statement disheartening because it will be God to decide who is and who isn’t corrupt and not me to make that decision in my heart. My point in discussing every day activities is this, every one who wants a relationship with God must start the process first thing in the am seek ways to keep evil thoughts out of their mind and when these thoughts do enter your mind reject them immediately and replace those thoughts with God honoring thoughts. These are my two cents and thoughts. Take care and God Bless. Steve

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Robert January 7, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Thank you, Steve,
The tips you give are sure to help and encourage Christians in their walk with God. God bless you, brother.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Pastor Bill May 3, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Thank You for putting the Relevant Verses Together for Us Readers! And it is Well Done Also! Some Brethren Believe that Pastors Could Never Backslide in their Lives! Not True at All! At least Not for Me! Our spiritual walk with God can be Thrown Off Course by the Many Distractions in this World! But we need to be ever Thankful for the Management Team Our Heavenly Father has working All Around the World to Help each of Us as Christians! God uses Many of Our Faithful Brothers & Sisters in Christ Jesus Out there Helping Each of Us to Better Manage Our Walk with the LORD! Such as Web Sites Just Like This One! It Helped this Pastor Tonight! And I’m Sure it will Continue to Bless Many in the Body of Christ to Keep Their Relationship with Our God to be a Healthy And Well Maintained One through the Very WORD of GOD! They isn’t an spiritual issue out there that cannot be rectified just by Prayer, Fasting but Especially…Reading the WORD of GOD on a Daily Basis! As a Pastor, you would think we are Always Deeply Immersed in the WORD of GOD! And that We Never could Possibly Backslide! Not True! Yes, Pastor’s are usually Very Actively at Work with the WORD of GOD, and to a Large Degree, We are! But, as Any Flesh and Blood Human, We do have Our Difficult Times, just as everyone does! And it’s times like that which can Lead Us Away from Our Duties in the Ministry and Cause Us to Backslide! Just as Easily as Any Other God fearing, Christ Loving Believer out there! But then, I find Myself at a Site Like This One… That Helps Me get right Back On Track! We can Edify One Another by Becoming Part of God’s Management Team! And in doing so, we manage to Help Our Fellow Brethren in their Time of Need! Thank You for Each of You who Helps God’s Children from Straying To Far from Home! Amen! Humbly Yours in Christ Jesus, Pastor Bill! And May God Bless All who found the same Help I did right Here at This Web Site for The Body of Christ! Amen!

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Jimmy July 29, 2013 at 10:44 am

Hello Everyone,
I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior almost 30 years ago. I felt a great joy when I did. It has been a rough road. I fell back into the world a bit in my younger years. I committed all kinds of sins (accept drugs and alcohol). It was an up and down struggle. All along the way I knew who Christ was and is, I did not lose focus on what Christ did for me. I felt Him pull me back by my shirt tails when I would mess up.
My problem was women, I knew too many of them. I fell and fell again all knowing I was disappointing God. I tried to get right. I fell in love with a woman I met in church. I loved her so much and I told her I could not sleep with her unless we got married. She was supposed to be a good Christian woman but a week after we got married she cheated on me with a guy she knew. I forgave her and took her back then the next week she left me for him.
I went back into the world and struggled some more. I fought on taking my unsaved friends to church when I went and still witnessed to people. It has been a never ending battle. I got married again and had a daughter. I started to get it together when she left me because she did not like my Christian faith. I came home one day from work and she was gone never to comeback. After she said she was not coming back she told me to divorce her, it killed me inside. I would see my daughter every other weekend. A year after my divorce I met a Christian woman and we dated. A year later we got married.
She has been a true blessing. When I would get my daughter she would make sure that we took her to church. When my daughter was 9 years old she asked my wife and I if she could accept Jesus Christ as Savior. We took her to see our pastor who led her in the sinner’s prayer after making sure she knew what she was doing. I also prayed with her because I was never baptized and I wanted to get baptized with her. The next day my daughter and I got baptized. When my daughter got home to her mother’s house she told her mother that she needed to accept Jesus as her Savior. Her mother went crazy and called me to yell at me, she did not want her daughter saved by “Snake Charmers”. Our church does not handle snakes (I am afraid of them) we are a traditional Baptist Church.
Her mother did not want my daughter to see me anymore. My daughter was sick with seizures and when I would call to pick up my daughter my ex-wife would get her so upset she would get sick. I had a court order and I told her mother that I would have the courts enforce it and then I would get a telephone call from my daughter saying he did not want me to have her mother arrested.
Her mother won, just before Christmas 2010 I received a telephone call from my daughter telling me she did not want to see me anymore. I figured I would give her time and I would see her again. July 21, 2012 I received a telephone call from the corner’s office telling me that my daughter passed away in her sleep. I heard but cannot prove it that her mother stopped giving her medication.
I have been back in church since I got married. I have two more children who love the Lord. Can I ever get truly back to God? I struggle with Hebrews 6:4.
Thanks,
JM

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Jack Wellman July 29, 2013 at 11:03 am

Jimmy, I am so very sorry for all the grief you have gone thru my friend. What a hard time you must still be going thru. I am not the author of this article and perhaps he can give a much better answer to your question or concern about getting back to God or not….but let me say that Hebrews was written to Jewish converts and to Jewish people who had heard the gospel and seen Jesus but never acted upon it. That is why Hebrews 6:4 scares some people. An important principle is that all of the Bible is written FOR us but not all of the Scriptures are written TO us. Does this make sense? Let me explain.

Many have read Hebrews 6:4-6 and interpreted it to mean that someone can be saved, choose a sinful life, and then can never recover their salvation. However, a close examination of the surrounding scripture makes it clear that what the author of Hebrews was saying has nothing to do with the impossibility of returning to God. Why does this passage say that it is “impossible” to be brought back to God? The truth is, it doesn’t. The statement is that it is impossible to be brought back to repentance. While it is true that one must repent to become a new Christian, one need not be a new Christian to repent. The key phrase in the NIV is “brought back”, but King James and NAS say it is impossible to renew them again.

The question is, who’s doing the renewing? It may be impossible for you or me to bring them back, but that doesn’t mean that God cannot. This idea of what is “impossible” shows up in the Gospels, when Jesus is talking. Take for example the following verses, which are parallel: Matthew 19:26, Mark 10:27 and Luke 18:27. The Luke verse tells us: “Jesus replied, ‘What is impossible with men is possible with God.’ ” So don’t let the word ‘impossible’ fool you into thinking that this passage in Hebrews means that there is no way a saved person can leave God and come back. It happens all the time, actually. It is God, working through His Holy Spirit, who brings His lost sheep back.

So if this passage isn’t about the loss of salvation, what is it about? A key to the answer to that question is in the second half of verse 6, which says ‘since they again crucify Jesus’. This is where the context is useful. Please take a look at the end of Chapter 5 through the first two verses of Chapter 6. A modern paraphrase might be, “OK, enough talk about the simple issues of salvation; because we could go on and on and talk about resurrection, eternal judgment, the laying on of hands, etc. But there are deeper issues to discuss in order for you to see measurable growth in your Christian walk.” It is important to keep in mind who he was writing to. The recipients of this letter were Hebrews (hence the title of the book), a group of folks who had a hard time getting rid of the concept of salvation by works, because it was something they grew up with. The writer is imploring the Hebrews: Jesus paid for your sins with His death, now accept it and move on. Bottom line: this passage is about performance-based Christianity, a line of thought we all need to be careful not to fall into.

The intended point of the writer of this passage in Hebrews is that those of us who have tasted what the Lord offers should not let ourselves get caught up in the idea that our works are what saves us, because it is a slap in the face of the One who died for us. Rather, we should concentrate on maturing as believers so that we can reflect Him more.

Unfortunately, the whole idea of “Performance Christianity” is more prevalent among Christians than we think. It is true that almost all believers will say that they believe salvation is a free gift, most of us at one time or another still fall into the trap of believing we can get more of God’s love by performing, and that we risk the very existence of our relationship with Him based on our actions.

God doesn’t like our failures, but when we don’t fail, it is because of Him and the abilities that He has put into us that enable us to move forward in our Christian walk. Get out of the trap of worrying about the effect your actions might have on your salvation, thank God daily for His free gift, try to be more and more like Him, and tell others the good news!

As long as you have breathe in you, God can still forgive you. The only sin that God will not forgive is that of rejecting Jesus Christ as Savior.

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Joe Sewell July 30, 2013 at 11:09 am

Something else to consider, Jimmy, is that nothing you have done since returning to Christ has been against Him. Bad consequences does not mean you aren’t right with God; that’s the flip side of the “Performance Gospel” that Jack mentioned.

Let me suggest reading Romans chapter 8, then reading the entire book of Romans. I think you’ll find some amazing hope there, especially at the end of chapter 8.

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Jimmy July 29, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Jack,

Thank you so much. Your words really helped. I feel I cant be lost because I am doing so well in the Lord. I feel the Holy Spirit and if I was lost I would not have the Holy Spirit. I want to please God and if I want to please God I must still have Him.

If satan has been going after me so viciously I must be walking right or he would not waste his time on me.

Thank yous again.

Jimmy

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Jack Wellman July 29, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Amen to that comment Jimmy….if you are under attack, then you know you are on the right side for Satan and his demons don’t mess with those who are already headed down the broad path of destruction. I love John 10:28-29, John 6:37, 2 Cor 5:21, and 1 John 1:9. These are great memory verses to throw back at Satan. When the Devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future (Rev 20). LOL

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Jimmy July 29, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Jack,

Thanks again. You are a God send, it is great to be able to talk to a brother that will tell you like it is. I looked at the loss of salvation this way, there are far more verses that ensure us of salvation and only a few verses that are questionable about losing salvation. The Holy Spirit was telling me to find out who Hebrews was written for and that is exactly what you said. God was speaking through you my brother.

Jm

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genesis August 8, 2013 at 12:33 pm

after they backslide and lose there faith couldn’t they lose there salvation? i thought jesus would hold our salvation til the end and it is impossible for a believer to lose faith. im no denying the word or calling god a liar i am just confused

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Robert August 9, 2013 at 7:51 am

Genesis,
Thank you for reading and commenting. The questions you ask are good questions. Let me attempt to answer them.

There are those who believe the Bible teaches that, once a person becomes a Christian, that person can never not be a Christian. There are others who believe that a saved person can become unsaved again. Both of these scenarios can be supported biblically.

However, regardless of this, the Bible tells us in multiple places (I Corinthians 6:8-10; Galatians 20-22; Ephesians 5:4-6) that, “…the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (I Corinthians 6:9-10 ESV). So, a person living in willful sin cannot claim to truly be a Christian. Either that person: (1) never was a believer, (2) or he or she was a believer and is no longer, or (3) he or she is a believer on the verge of becoming a non-believer.

The Bible is clear that only ‘believers’ are saved; therefore, I believe in the security of the ‘believer’. However, when one immerses himself or herself in willful sin, it must be asked, “Is this person truly a believer?” The Bible tells us to work out our salvation in ‘fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). So, we need to always be evaluating our lives in the light of biblical teaching to make sure we are living in a manner that is consistent with a true faith. “Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall” (II Peter 1:10 ESV). I hope this helps a bit. May God bless you richly.

Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Joe Sewell August 9, 2013 at 11:29 am

The idea of “willful sin” needs to be dealt with very carefully, too. I was told on two different occasions by two different speakers (one a pastor, one a nationally-known family “expert”) that it’s a sin for a married couple to choose not to have children; adoption is a possibility for those who cannot have their own. That caused me to lose my hope in Christ entirely, because I concluded that I was living in willful disobedience. (The reasons why I’m frightened of children, let alone raising them, are quite personal, but Jack knows a bit of that story.)

I concluded that I had lost my salvation without possibility of reparation.

I am slowly getting back on track after 6 years, but that particular issue still damaged me. I’m glad you were careful in defining what would keep one from the kingdom of Heaven, but so many people are not.

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Robert August 9, 2013 at 11:52 am

You are absolutely right, Joe,
Too many people (and I’m sure I’ve been guilty of this from time to time) consider things ‘sin’ that are merely a matter of opinion. I know some Christians that will not shop on Sunday; they consider it a sin. Now while I fully respect their decision to not shop on Sunday, I also do not believe they should impose their self-restriction on others. It is very difficult, as a new Christian, to know what is truly a sin (as defined by the Bible) and what is merely someone’s opinion. So many believers, with good intentions I am sure, want to point out what they think you are doing wrong. I think that is what Paul is refering to when he wrote this passage in Romans, “Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God” (Romans 14:4-6 ESV).
Joe, it’s always a pleasure to hear from you. God bless you.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Jimmy August 9, 2013 at 1:34 pm

If you still have Jesus in your heart and are still guided by the Holy Spirit you did not lose your Salvation. God will not let you off the hook that easy. The key is that the Holy Spirit brought you back. We all sin, if we as Christians were judged on our sin God would be very lonely in Heaven by himself.
Peter denied Christ 3 times; David committed adultery, murder and who knows what else.
I truly do not think you can lose your salvation, but you can lose rewards on Earth and in Heaven. I do not know much but I do know that Satan loves to make people think they are going to Hell. If you are worried about being saved you are not lost, a truly lost person would not think about it. I live my life the best way I can, I am faithful to God’s word, I have a prayer life, I witness, and I tithe faithfully and put God first. My life is not made up of works, (works will not get you to Heaven) but obedience to what God commands us to do. At the end if I do not make it to Heaven oh well I tried.
It is good to search yourself but to assume you are lost and cannot get back is wrong. I met a Methodist Pastor who told me that the problem with Baptists are that they think once saved always saved. I asked him what he meant and he said when you sin after Salvation you are going to hell. I told him I guess only he, Jesus and the Father will be the only ones sharing eternal life. I asked him to help me witness to people on the street corner where we met and he just walked away.
If you make Jesus your Lord and Savior try to obey Him, when you fall confess your sins and repent that is all you can do. Anything else is just plain WORKS…..

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Robert August 9, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Hi Jimmy,
Thanks for reading and commenting. I’d like to comment on a couple of your comments (sort of a comment commentary, if you will…that’s supposed to be funny). I just want to make sure we understand what we are discussing.

You wrote: “If you still have Jesus in your heart and are still guided by the Holy Spirit you did not lose your Salvation” You are absolutely right, “So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Romans 8:12-14 ESV). However, a person who willfully lives according to the flesh would not be saved according to this passage. Or are we claiming that the Holy Spirit is leading us to commit sins? Surely not!! Therefore, when we sin, we are not being led by the Spirit of God. Therefore, a person cannot claim to be a Christian if he or she habitually, and willfully, engages in sinful practices (just as Paul said in the Corinthian, Galatians passages cited in my previous comment).

You wrote: “I truly do not think you can lose your salvation, but you can lose rewards on Earth and in Heaven. I do not know much but I do know that Satan loves to make people think they are going to Hell”. While this statement is true, it is also true that Satan loves for people to think they are saved when they are not. However, the Bible gives us a clear way of knowing we are saved…our lives will show it. If our lives are steeped in sin (I’m not talking about momentary slips or stumbles, but willful and habitual sin), then we are definitely not exhibiting a holy life.

You wrote: “I live my life the best way I can, I am faithful to God’s word, I have a prayer life, I witness, and I tithe faithfully and put God first. My life is not made up of works, (works will not get you to Heaven) but obedience to what God commands us to do. At the end if I do not make it to Heaven oh well I tried”. While all the things you do are commendable (keep doing them), they are the outworking of a heart that is grateful for the gracious offer of salvation God extended to us, which we have become partakers of. It is the work of Jesus Christ, and our faith relationship with Him, that saves us. (I only addressed your statement here only to encourage you that, as long as your relationship with Jesus is what it should be, you needn’t worry about whether or not you’ll get to heaven…just continue to love and serve Him).

You wrote: “It is good to search yourself but to assume you are lost and cannot get back is wrong”. I never said that it is impossible for one, who has turned back to sin, to reconcile their relationship with God. At any time, if one repents, they can be welcomed back into the loving arms of God. What I am saying is that the person willfully living in sin, willfully rebelling against God, and willfully disobeying Jesus has no legitimate biblical claim to salvation. Whether he or she forfeited their salvation or whether they never had it to begin with, it is dangerous and unbiblical to say that a person can claim to be a follower of Jesus while living in a manner that is directly contrary to His commands.

You wrote: “If you make Jesus your Lord and Savior try to obey Him, when you fall confess your sins and repent that is all you can do. Anything else is just plain WORKS…..”. You are absolutely right, Jimmy, and as long as this is the way we live our lives, we are assured of our security in Christ. God bless you, Jimmy.

P.S. Thankfully, all Methodist preachers aren’t like the one you mentioned.

Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Jimmy August 9, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Robert my brother,
You are correct in everything you wrote. I do not believe that you can accept Jesus as Savior and then live as you want to. I have done that for many years. Not that I didn’t have a continual relationship (maybe a constant thought) with Christ but I still did some stupid things from time to time. The stupid things I did, did hurt my communication with Christ and my walk but He has always been faithful. Every time I messed I felt the Lord pull me back by my shirttails. I am truly ashamed by my conduct for many years. I thank the Lord that He showed me the error of my ways. I truly repented and now I live my life completely for the Lord. I enjoy my life much more now than I ever did before. I can really feel God’s presence in my life.
I feel that Christ has used my foolishness to help other young people from doing the foolish things that I had done in my younger years. My pastor’s son (a secular college student) came to me with questions about life that he could not ask his father about. He asked me questions about women (which was my vice and sin, not porn but the actual female beings) I was able to tell him some horror stories about what he was going to get himself into and the horrible guilt and pain that will follow. I mentor a few young adult men.
I used this Methodist pastor to show that people even pastors could butcher scripture and lead people into the wrong impression of Christ. I know a lot of great Bible believing Methodists. My aunt is a Methodist and I called her and told her what this pastor had said and she told me that she and her church believe in eternal security and salvation.
In closing it would be foolish to accept Jesus Christ and then live entirely in opposition to His word. One would then have to wonder if that person ever knew Christ at all. The great thing is that Christ never gives up on us. Christ is always faithful to forgive us if we truly repent and turn to Him. We are always welcome home.
Your words and thoughts are refreshing to hear Robert because you enhanced what I was meaning to say. You said it in a better way.

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Robert August 11, 2013 at 11:03 am

Jimmy,
Your story is a great encouragement to others who may be struggling. You show that God is always ready, willing, and able to forgive anyone who repents. The choice is ours; whether to continue in sin or to repent and be forgiven. Jimmy, you are an example of how God can use the penitent man (or woman) to teach and encourage others that no one is too far gone who will repent and return to Jesus. I am very encouraged to hear that you are helping others avoid the same mistakes you made. You are absolutely right about God using you to aid others. God bless you, brother. Keep the faith.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Jimmy August 11, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Robert,
Thank you so much for your kind words. I heard Jesus speaking through you. In our walk with Christ the most important thing is how we finish. We are going to have rough roads and hard times. I love all my brothers and sisters in the Lord, but the brothers I am most closest to are my struggling brothers. I have been there and have the T-shirt to prove it. I have truly repented of my “playboy vain” life style and would rather die then go back to the way I use to be.
When I came back to Christ who never left me I left Him to a certain degree, I loved Him, called Him savior but did not walk in strict obedience to His word and was lukewarm. I was somewhat obedient to His word but I did not lose my life for His. “Somewhat” is not what He called us to be. Now my life is completely over I truly live for Jesus Christ.
When I see young men saved or not giving into to vanity and the lust that comes with it I go out of my way to stop them from falling into an open grave. My life is so much more peaceful and happy living for Christ than living for myself.
If I had a theme song it would be Amazing Grace, I breakdown when ever I hear it.
I love you all very much, I am grateful for this board and the opportunity to share our struggles and encourage each other to finish the race strong. Iron sharpens Iron.

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Robert August 12, 2013 at 10:02 am

Jimmy,
I’m sure I speak for all here at What Christians Want to Know when I say that we are always so pleased and encouraged to hear that our ministry is being used by God. I appreciate you sharing your story here, I’m sure it will be such an encouragement to others who struggle as you have. God bless you, Jimmy.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Genesis August 12, 2013 at 5:32 pm

I am having allot of trouble, I have a mind set of self righteousness and on top of that when I meditate I get frustrated because I am thinking on how much I believe on what I am meditating on rather than meditating on what the scripture says about god and then I’m doubting my salvation and must remember to put on the armor but it is hard for me help. I feel soo lost and confused

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Jimmy August 12, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Genesis,
You are trying too hard. We are still human. We are still sinners saved by grace, I have been there. Read God’s word and take it at face value, what does it mean to you, do not read into it. Let the Lord speak to you from His own words do not make them your words. The Holy Spirit will give you comfort and meaning. People over analyze God’s word and go off on the meaning and get themselves all worked up.
Just relax and ask God to open your eyes and ears to His meaning not your own.
If you are concerned about your Salvation you did not lose it. What more can you do than to ask God into your heart anything else is works. Do you have a prayer life, do you read your Bible, do you share Christ with others, do you try to do what Christ wants you to do? If you fall get back up and ask God for forgiveness, He is faithful to forgive you. If you could be saved any other way then God made a terrible mistake offering His son for our sin debt.
When it comes to our belief, do you believe that Jesus died for your sins, do you believe He is the son of God, do you believe that He was raised from the dead and is at the right hand of God? If you believe this and asked God for salvation you are saved. We are not going to have all the answers, we just have saving faith.
It is good to check yourself but do not let Satan get a foothold on you. If you asked God for salvation based on what Jesus did on the cross then there is nothing else you can do then walk with Him.
Its a daily struggle but it is how you finish your race that counts. I love you brother, keep your eyes on God not your own understanding.

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Jack Wellman August 12, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Jimmy….this is so well stated. We will never ever be free from sin until we are glorified at Christ’s return and we are certainly not sinless but we do sin LESS. When Satan remind’s me of my past I remind him of his future (Rev 20)!

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Jimmy August 12, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Jack,
You have been a great inspiration to me. You have helped me greatly with Hebrews. You’re saying I use every day. Bible; “Everything is meant for you but not everything is written to you”. And now I am going to use the “sin Less” one also.
I have a friend who converted from Judaism and is now in a New Jersey mental institution because he could not cope with not being sinless. People could really beat themselves up over misinterpreting the word of God. We mature in the word, things that I have done after just being saved turns my stomach 30 years later. God brings us a long maturing us making us more like Him if we keep our eyes on Him. We will never even come close to being like Him in our sinful bodies.
Maturity in Christ is an ongoing thing until we are brought home. I love you guys, keep up the fight. We are homeward bound……

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Jack Wellman August 13, 2013 at 9:19 am

Wow Jimmy. What an inspiring comment. I thank God for you sir and for your passion for growing in grace and knowledge. I have so much yet to learn and am humbled by your words of encouragement. Amen about not coming close to Him in holiness but that’s why His grace is so amazing.

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Robert September 17, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Joe Sewell,
Great insights on that last comment, sir. I greatly appreciate your Godly viewpoint. God bless you.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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