Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Preventing Spiritual Backsliding

1 CHRONICLES 16:8-12 – Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles and the judgments he uttered.”

THEME OF THE DAY: PREVENTING SPIRITUAL BACKSLIDING.  The word should make every Christian shiver, even tremble, but we must first know the signs of the condition the word describes.  Richard Owen Roberts, a recognized expert on revival history lists these signs of spiritual backsliding. Yes, it is long, but it demands a thorough self-examination with the question after each on, “Is it I, Lord? Is it I?” – 1. Prayer ceases to be a vital part of your life. 2. The quest for biblical truth ceases. 3. Biblical knowledge is not applied inwardly. 4. Thoughts are predominantly earthly and not heavenward. 5. The church service loses its delight. 6. Spiritual discussions are a source of embarrassment. 7. More time is devoted to recreation and entertainment than the Word and prayer. 8. Sins can be committed without any violation of the conscience. 9. Aspirations for Christlike holiness cease to dominate your life and thinking. 10. Your mind is focused on the acquisition of money and goods. 11. Religious songs can be mouthed without engaging the heart. 12. When hearing the Lord’s Name taken in vain, you are not moved to indignation. 13. Watching degrading movies becomes entertaining and acceptable. 14. Breaches of peace in the church are of no concern. 15. The slightest excuse keeps you from your spiritual duties. 16. The lack of spiritual power is met with contentment. 17. Personal sins are pardoned by a belief that the Lord understands. 18. An adjustment to the world is made with ease. 19. Nothing is done to relieve the misery and suffering which exists around you. 20. There is no concern for the lost or sharing the gospel.

That is a very uncomfortable list and what is alarming is that a large number of these characteristics of a spiritual backslider, a Christian far away from the Lord Jesus, characterize much of 21st Christianity and we are okay with the condition.  Another time to shiver, even tremble.  May the Lord show us our condition and then the way out.  And the way out begins with confession and repentance to include a radical lifestyle change centered on the seven elements in healthy Christianity found in today’s scripture.  They are also the “safeguards” to prevent spiritual backsliding.  They fall out in order from today’s scripture.  I will list them, then please go up and read the corresponding Word for its application . . .

Live thankful to the Lord, not sometime, but all the time and there is never a time we cannot be thankful  Next, cultivate a close walk with the Lord through prayer. Third step of application is spread His fame everywhere by making known His many works from creation to the Gospel.  Fourthly, practice a life of worship singing throughout the day to His praise. Fifth, be bold to tell people the wonderous works of the Lord.  The sixth application is make His glory the end of all we do, say, and where we go.  And finally, think right.  Remember His wonderous works as they apply to us.  Such a mindset will keep our hearts aglow with first love and prevent the God-dishonoring condition of spiritual backsliding.

PRAYER: “Father, help me not to drift into a backslidden condition and bring dishonor to Your Name and Gospel.”

QUOTE: “Backsliding is easy to do.  It begins with two words “spiritual neglect”.

In the affection of Christ Jesus,

Pastor Jim