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                                            BIBLE STUDY - WHAT MUST I DO NOT TO BACKSLIDE

Backsliding is a gradual cooling of faith, trust and obedience towards the Gospel of Jesus Christ; often we are even unaware of it. You are falling away of what you first believe or you are not where you used to be in your walk with God. In Biblical term's it has been defined in many ways such as; being lukewarm, forsaking your first love, committing  spiritual adultery, falling from grace. Etc. You all know exactly what I mean by backsliding. The word ‘backsliding’ appear 12 times in the AV of the Bible; 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’. ‘Backslidings’ appear 4 times in the AV of the Bible. Preacher 14:14, ‘The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself’. There are 15 statements on ‘backsliding’ in the New Testament.

WHY DO PEOPLE BACKSLIDE?

1.  People start backsliding when they loose faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

They do NOT know exactly what they believe themselves. They do not have their own statement of faith. Have a look at mine on the front page of my website; www.christianchurch.org.za  ‘What we believe’. Take a pen and paper and write down your own statement of faith, you can use mine as a guide I will not mind.

2.  They start wondering about whether THIS is the true gospel.

Galatians 1:8,9 “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed”.

3.  God does not answer prayers if they ask something?

The problem is not on God’s side it is on the believer’s side. Jesus said; “you shall receive whatever you want, as long as you abide in Me”. So where is the problem? Are you living where God answers prayer?

4.  People start backsliding because they are ignorant about the Scriptures.

To me they have not been told to search the Scriptures, or they are too lazy to do Bible study. Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”. Matthew 22:29, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God”. Also, Mark 12:24; 1 Corinthians 15:34b, “For some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame”. Knowing or knowledge about the Bible is like the foundation of a building; ‘the stronger and deeper the foundation the longer the building will stand’.

5.  People do not pray regularly.

They do not spend time with God. If God is not in your mind 80% of a normal day you are lost my friend, better make right with Him. 1Thessalonians 5:17, ‘Pray without ceasing’. The word pray appear 306 time in the AV of the Bible.

      6. They never witness for Jesus.

      They are ashamed of the gospel of Jesus. They are to proud or to lazy to tell others about Jesus. Romans 1:16, ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes, both to the Jew first and to the Greek’. Mark 8:38, ‘Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels’.

7.  Last but not least. You could have had a raw experience with someone or a ‘church’.

Firstly; I had such a bad experience with a so called ‘evangelist’ that could not leave other men’s wives. Praise God he passed on in 2002. 1 Thessalonians 4:3 - 6, ‘For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God; That no man go beyond and DEFRAUD HIS BROTHER in any matter; because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified’. Some wolves bear sheep clothing! By their fruit you shall know them! Something like this can cause an imbalance for years in your Christian walk. I know many preachers that caused these experiences. But praise God these things make you strong.

Secondly; You may be disappointed how some ‘pastors’ conduct their meetings. Some pastors have a form of ‘Godliness’ but have denied the truth thereof. Many pastors and preachers in our country are in the ministry because the dad or grandfather was a pastor. I know many of them like that. Then there are those that run abroad to America and go start ‘gospel tricks’. They all start with ‘healing services’ which is deceiving Christians. Some fall in the ‘spirit’, some shake in the ‘spirit’ some laugh in the ‘spirit’ etc. I watched many of these guys on international TV. This is all RUBBISH. Be warned God does not let Him be mocked. I have been saved for more than 50 years and saw many of these clowns coming and going. The Bible warns us about them.

Then there are those ‘pastor’ or teachers that turn a blind eye on sin in their families and congregations. I know of ‘churches’ in the northern suburb of the Western Cape that allow lesbians as leaders in their churches. God is the one that will reap one - day. He endures the good and the bad till the end. Matthew 7:21 -23, ‘Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity’.

OUR CHRISTIAN WALK IS SEEN AS A RACE.

1 Corinthians 9:24, ‘Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain it’. Matthew 24:13, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved”. 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith”. Philippians 3:12, ‘Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus’.

We know that in any race or marathon there will be a route marked out with rules and regulations to be obeyed or you will be disqualified. Satan will put many obstacles beside the route. Luke 9:62, ‘And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God’. 1 Timothy 6:9 - 11, ‘But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness’.

WHAT TO DO NOT TO BACKSLIDE.

1.  If you are a young Christian do NOT accept whatever is thought, if this can not be proved from the Bible, example; infant baptism, the doctrine on tithing etc. A well balanced teaching will be confirmed in the New Testament only. We believe and accept the Bible from Genesis to Revelation but we today, live in the dispensation or time of the New Testament. The Book of the Acts is still in continuation, there is no; END or AMEN at the end of this Book.

2.  Keep your eyes on Jesus the author of our faith. Never loose faith in God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. The more time you will spend with God in prayer and in the Bible the closer your walk with Him will be. You do not have to close your eyes every time you pray. You can pray while you drive, you can pray while you work. You can listen to tapes while you drive.

                                                   Compiled by: Chris Mengel

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