Wednesday, May 17th, 2017
Self-Examination (Part 57)
Mind: Backsliding Minds
'Return, you backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.' 'Indeed we do come to You, for You are the Lord our God.'
Jeremiah 3:22 (NKJV)
I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away...
Hosea 14:4 (NKJV)
For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened--those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the Word of God and the power of the age to come--and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing Him to the Cross once again and holding Him up to public shame.
Hebrews 6:4-6 (NLT)
Backsliding* is an Old Testament term. It's not mentioned in the New Testament. Because before Christ, God's people rebelled in cycles of sin, pain and repentance. Like kids in every home that ever was, they needed discipline to grow up right. Because sin needs the rod of correction before evil exits the premises. Submission starts the eviction process (because rebellion started the backslide).
'Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you' (James 4:7)
Questions about salvation's guarantee have hung around the church since Jesus left.** Backsliding is a hot-topic trigger. Denominations differ in beliefs, so individuals should turn to God in prayer, His Word and self-reflection.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: As God's new leaders in media, reaching above divisive church walls, renew your minds and update your thoughts on the tough subject of backsliding:
1) First, make sure you're on Rock-solid ground. No pastor on earth should be your God. Nor should he translate God's Word for you. Yes, wise teachers are beneficial, but you must learn God's Word directly.***
2) If your fervor for God seems weaker, if your walk with Christ seems less steady, if your ears aren't hearing Him as well, if your good behavior has nosedived, confess, repent and turn back to Him.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Hollywood insists upon passion. It requires whole-hearted commitment, without second thoughts or backward looks,**** even less spiraling down a hill. In a strangely similar mandate, it mirrors God without knowing God. Let it meet Him through your devotion.
To Be Continued...
* Short article: What does it mean to backslide? https://www.gotquestions.org/backslide.html
* Previous AMTC Devotion, Complaining In Church: http://amtcdevotions.org/proverbs-for-performers-part-38-complaining-in-church
* Previous AMTC Devotion: To Reject Holiness Invites God To Reject Us: http://amtcdevotions.org/rejection-part-6-to-reject-holiness-invites-god-to-reject-us
** Short article: Is a backsliding Christian still saved? https://www.gotquestions.org/backsliding-Christian.html
** Previous AMTC Devotion series, The Question Of Salvation: http://amtcdevotions.org/the-question-of-salvation-part-1-what-question
*** Having ready access to the Bible is amazing, and many Christians in repressive nations do not. Therein, I believe God moves tremendously through His Spirit through willing hearts in desolate places. But for those of us with Bibles and physical freedom, I believe He expects more.
*** 'From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked' (Luke 12:48, NIV).
**** 'But Jesus said to him, 'No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God' ' (Luke 9:62, NASB).
**** 'But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt' (Genesis 19:26, NASB).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Self-Examination series.