Corner is a Christian author, defender of the Christian faith and evangelist who has had over four decades of experience dealing with the Bible.
PITTSBURGH, PA, May 09, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ — Unfortunately many Christians mistakenly believe that nobody who backslides can be saved again. Sadly, this belief has literally destroyed the lives of many remorseful and repentant backsliders. That idea however is clearly refuted in the Bible. Dan Corner of Evangelical Outreach offers the truth – that a backslider (recidivist) can be restored and find forgiveness through sincere repentance. He had this to say:
A backslider in the Bible is a person who once had salvation, but has since turned away from the PRECIOUS Lord Jesus Christ to the point where he is now spiritually lost and dead again, just like he was before becoming saved. The truly saved can indeed backslide, and sadly many do. The following two scriptures reveal the backslider definition:
“A man who strays from the path of understanding comes to rest in the company of the dead” (Prov. 21:16).
“But those who turn to crooked ways the LORD will banish with the evildoers” (Psa. 125:5).
The scriptural definition of a backslider, therefore, is a person who strayed from the path of understanding and turned to crooked ways. In the KJV, the only time the word backslider is found is in Proverbs:
“The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways… ” (Prov. 14:14).
Ezekiel and Peter give valuable details about those who are backslidden and what occurred when they turned to evil. Carefully observe and ponder these backslider scriptures referring to spiritual death and becoming bound by sin once again. According to God, backsliding is a very serious and dangerous state as proven here:
“If a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, he will die for it ” (Ezek. 33:18).
“If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: ‘A dog returns to its vomit,’ and, ‘A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud’ ” (2 Pet. 2:20-22).
So, if you backslide, are you still saved? Not according to God’s word, you’re not, but that doesn’t mean you can’t return to God and salvation. In fact, God commands such! Moreover, God’s cure for backsliding is simple; the backslider must return to him:
“Return, faithless people; I will cure you of backsliding…” (Jer. 3:22).
There are examples of both named and unnamed backsliders in the Bible, who turned away from God temporarily or even permanently. Some backsliders, like Peter and King David, returned to salvation after a while, but some others never came back to God; some examples of backsliders who never returned to God are King Saul, Solomon, Judas Iscariot, those in Heb. 6:4-6 and John 6:66 as well as others.
The grieving backslider wants to come back to God, but isn’t sure how to be restored or even if returning to God is possible. Some backsliders think they sinned far too much and too grievously to come back while others wrongly think they have committed eternal sin and therefore can’t get forgiven. There is, perhaps, no more downcast person than a repentant backslider who isn’t sure he can return to God and find the forgiveness he so desperately craves.
Years ago, when I was pastoring, I knew a backslider who fell into sexual immorality. Over the next couple days, that same backslider lost nearly 10 pounds and was actually, on occasions, beating his own head against the wall in regret over his sin and foolishness! He wrongly thought, as a backslider, he could not repent and was, consequently, doomed to hell with no possible hope of ever getting saved again.
What finally helped that backslider to see that he could come back to God, in spite of his wicked actions, were the examples of King David and the Apostle Peter. Since God took those men back after they backslid, then why would he not take back this man, since he too was deeply repentant and resolved to never commit those sins again.
All throughout the Bible, we see how the highest authority on backsliding and forgiveness responds to a the repentant backslider; God himself taught that a backslider can indeed be restored and find forgiveness (Luke 15:11-32). The backslider (or prodigal son in this case) repented when he came to his senses. This verse demonstrates that a person who remains unrepentant and in sin that is dragging him to hell is not in his right spiritual senses. The backslider has been spiritually blinded by something or deceived somehow.
Although the prodigal son backslider, for an unknown time period, perhaps even many years, had engaged in wild living and sexual sin with prostitutes, he still found forgiveness; he was still able to return to God, and God wanted him back.
The prodigal became alive again, and his lost spiritual condition reversed upon turning from his sins and humbly returning to the Father to serve him (Lk. 15:24). Compare this teaching to 1 Thess. 1:9b. The only time in the Bible we see the Father running is to welcome the repentant backslider back home!
Remember this precious truth if you are a backslidden former Christian. Please also note that the Father was so happy to have the backslider back home that he hugged and kissed him and even celebrated his return with a feast.
Some Christians who correctly reject the teaching of eternal security wrongly think that no one who ever falls away can come back to salvation. This notion is clearly refuted by Jesus’ teaching here, as well as by other passages (Rom. 11:19-23 and James 5:19,20).
A spiritually lost and dead person could be a person that was once saved. That truth and the following explain the phrase, “God is married to the backslider”, but few know God gave her a certificate of divorce and sent her away:
“I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery” (Jer. 3:8).
God delights to show mercy to the repentant backslider:
“Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:18,19).
“He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (Prov 28:13).
David’s prayer as a backslider returning to God and asking God for forgiveness shows the pain, misery and guilt he, and others like him, are in (Psalm 51). His prayer for backsliding is Holy Spirit inspired. When the devil is tempting the righteous to sin, he will never accurately portray sin’s regret in this manner. The following gives more insight:
Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God. Your sins have been your downfall! Take words with you and return to the LORD. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips. Assyria cannot save us; we will not mount war-horses. We will never again say ‘Our gods’ to what our own hands have made, for in you the fatherless find compassion.” (Hosea 14:1-3)
To read the rest of this teaching, see https://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/backslider.htm.
Ex Catholic Dan Corner is available for media interviews, including debates, and can be reached using the information below or by email at [email protected], by phone at 724-632-3210 or by mail at PO Box 265, Washington, PA, 15301. His websites are https://www.evangelicaloutreach.org (EOMIN.org) and AlcanceEvangelistico.org (DBN-MIN.net) and EternalLifeBlog.com.
After graduating from college, Dan Corner got saved by reading the Bible. For over four decades, he has diligently served the Lord Jesus. Dan Corner’s pastoral, apologetic, counter cult and street evangelism experiences have equipped him to contend for the faith and win souls to Jesus from many backgrounds.
He is an ordained minister and director of Evangelical Outreach who pastored for almost seven years and has authored hundreds of Christian articles, answered thousands of emails and letters and has written several books of vital importance in our day.
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