Backsliding?

Some try to justify the concept of “backsliding” by pointing to the use of the word in the Old Testament. However, the word is used in reference to the nation of Israel, not to born-again individuals indwelt by the Holy Spirit. We cannot justify a believer falling away from following Jesus in light of Luke 9:62, where Jesus said that no one who even looks back is fit for the kingdom. The true convert says with Peter, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). It is the false convert who is like a dog that returns to its vomit and a pig that goes back to the mire. A genuine convert would rather die than despise the Spirit of grace and trample the blood of Christ underfoot.

Jeremiah 3:8 Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also.

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Stripped to be clothed.

The lost do not consider that they are disobedient and have sinned against a holy God innumerable times. By judging themselves against man’s standards, they come up reasonably clean. Adolf Hitler’s life, for instance, makes most of us look almost pure.

However, when we use the Law of God as our measure, we see that we are not as clean as we like to think. We need to apply the spiritual nature of God’s Law to the conscience of sinners so they can see that their own righteousnesses are as filthy rags in the sight of a holy God (see Isaiah 64:6).

“God never clothes men until He has first stripped them, nor does He quicken them by the gospel till first they are slain by the Law. When you meet with persons in whom there is no trace of conviction of sin, you may be quite sure that they have not been wrought upon by the Holy Spirit; for ‘when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.’” Charles Spurgeon 

Isaiah 42:24 Who gave Jacob for plunder, and Israel to the robbers? Was it not the Lord, He against whom we have sinned? For they would not walk in His ways, Nor were they obedient to His law.

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Strange and tragic.

This is both strange and tragic—that Samuel’s sons followed in the footsteps of Eli’s sons (see 1 Sam. 2:17). Never allow your ministry to cause you to neglect your family’s spiritual growth. Your faith is worth nothing if you do not provide for your own in the area that is most important. For how to raise godly offspring, see Deut. 11:19. See 1 Tim. 3:4,5 for the priorities of godly leaders.

1 Samuel 8:1 Now it came to pass when Samuel was told that he made his sons judges over Israel.2 The name of his first born was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba. 3 But his sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice.

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“Since God is loving, why would He send people to hell?”

By Mark Spence 

Why should we think God has less sense of justice than mankind? God is loving, but that’s not all He is. He’s also a good judge. Should a loving human judge allow criminals to go free? Of course not. If we, with our finite justice system. think it’s necessary to punish criminals in civil court, how much more should an infinite God judge our crimes, our sins against Him?

The Bible tells us God alone is holy. He is the standard of all that is right and good. His nature is pure. Think of it like this:

If I were to light a match and place the flame next to a dried out leaf, what would happen? The fire would consume the leaf. Why? Because they’re different, their natures are opposed one to the other.

In the same way, God and man have opposing natures. On the Day of Judgment, sinful man will not be able to stand in the presence of a holy God because of their opposing natures. It isn’t that God is unloving, but that He is holy. He is described as a “consuming fire who dwells in unapproachable light.” In our sinful state, we don’t stand a chance. Our only hope is to somehow take on the same nature as God. We must be born again. When we turn from our sins and place our faith in the resurrected Christ, God imputes His righteousness to us.

It’s imperative that we are given this new nature, since each of us is headed toward our own personal judgment day.

The Bible says, “He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness” (Psa. 96:13).

So the next time someone tells you a loving God would never send anyone to hell, simply explain the difference between God’s and man’s opposing natures. The problem isn’t with God; the problem is our sin.

Luke 16:28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’

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Not intellectual.

When people profess atheism, never be intimidated by the thought that they are somehow intellectual. They are not. The Bible says that such a person is a fool (see Psa. 14:1; Rom. 1:22). So, make sure that you move from the intellect (the place of argument; see Rom. 8:7) to the conscience (the place of the knowledge of right and wrong; see Rom. 1:14). This is what Jesus and Paul did, as well as others (see Mark 10:17–22; Rom. 2:19–24).

Isaiah 19:11 Surely the princes of Zoan are fools; Pharaoh’s wise counselors give foolish counsel. How do you say to Pharaoh, “I am the son of the wise, The son of ancient kings?”12 Where are they? Where are your wise men? Let them tell you now, And let them know what the Lord of hosts has purposed against Egypt.13 The princes of Zoan have become fools; The princes of Noph are deceived; They have also deluded Egypt, Those who are the mainstay of its tribes.

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A blunt axe.

A man was once cutting a tree stump with an obviously blunt axe. He was only bruising the bark as sweat poured from his beaded brow. Someone suggested that he stop for a moment and sharpen the axe, to which he replied, “I’m too busy chopping the tree to stop for anything.” If he would only stop for a moment and sharpen the axe, he would slice through the tree with far greater ease.

Stop at the beginning of each day, and “sharpen the axe” through prayer. Seek first the kingdom of God and you will slice through that day with far greater ease.

“We pray for His kingdom to come; we don’t bring it in. Oh, the conceit of prayerless activity! P. T. Forsyth said our worst sin is prayerlessness because of what it says about who we really think is in charge of the church and the universe.” Ben Patterson

Ecclesiastes 10:10 If the ax is dull, And one does not sharpen the edge, Then he must use more strength; But wisdom brings success.

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Only pray for revival?

At a Christian event 100,000 believers gathered to pray for re- vival and worship God. They were dismissed, not with a challenge to share the gospel, but with a challenge to worship the Lord wherever they went. What an unspeakable tragedy! Soldiers were told to feast in the barracks when they have been enlisted to fight on the front-lines of the battlefield. We are not short of worshipers; we are dreadfully short of those who will go into the world and preach the gospel to those headed for hell. What a tragedy that so many are not exhorted by their leaders to do what God has told us to do: to preach the gospel to every creature. Obeying Him by doing what He commanded is true worship in action.

“Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late and how little revival has resulted? I believe the problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying, and it simply will not work. To pray for revival while ignoring the plain precept laid down in Scripture is to waste a lot of words and get nothing for our trouble. Prayer will become effective when we stop using it as a substitute for obedience.” A. W. Tozer 

2 Chronicles 29:30 Moreover King Hezekiah and the leaders commanded the Levites to sing praise to the Lord with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshiped.

31 Then Hezekiah answered and said, “Now that you have consecrated yourselves to the Lord, come near, and bring sacrifices and tthank offerings into the house of the Lord.” So the assembly brought in sacrifices and thank offerings, and as many as were of a twilling heart brought burnt offerings.

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