Fish or Cut Bait: Avoiding the Backslide
As I knelt at the altar of the large church, I felt a gentle hand on my shoulder.
It was my friend Karen* who had followed me up there. Through her gesture, I knew that she was encouraging me on in my walk with God.
And I appreciated her support – probably more than she’ll ever know.
It was college, and I just had been through a difficult season. Karen and I had some good talks in her dorm room that year. She was a ministry major, and I enjoyed the freshness and depth to her faith.
I remember that Karen was committed to fasting on Sundays, a practice that I still have difficulties with. But I admired her for it, and I wondered at her commitment in seeking God through fasting.
It was a few years after graduation when word came to me that Karen and her new husband had fallen from their faith and turned away from God.
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7/28/2012 02:58:47 am
I thought of two other Hebrews verses that use a nautical simile - 6:19 and 10:23 where we stay the course by throwing out our anchor, Hope, and by holding the tiller steady, "unswervingly". But I like best the simile of the hymn, "O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus" because when I remember that the love of Jesus is like the ocean "underneath me, all around me..leading onward, leading homeward to my glorious rest above." Do you know that hymn?
7/28/2012 04:40:32 am
Thanks for the scriptures, June. Great additions to this message. I hadn't heard that hymn before. Found it on YouTube though at:
7/28/2012 06:53:00 am
While believers can certainly backslide, somebody who is truly born again cannot lose their salvation. Yes, they can walk away for a time, but they are sealed by the Holy Spirit, and they are, as our pastor says, as assured of heaven as the saints who are already there.
7/30/2012 06:40:32 am
Not sure where I stand on the "Once saved, always saved" issue, Tod. I know that many people believe this. I just can't get past some of the grisly scenarios of folks who are born again and then turn from God for life -- doing horrible things. Got any scriptures you can share here?
Sorry for the delayed response, but I have been busy, and didn't realize you had responded until yesterday. I understand that this issue is not always easy to figure out, as I have also known folks who at one time were professing Christians, but have since fallen away. I think it's important to realize that there are two types of folks in the church today. One group I would call professing Christians. These folks attend church regularly, go to Bible Studies, etc., etc., and yet they are not born again, as there is no real heart change, which is then reflected in real fruit being demonstrated in and through their lives. (See I John 2:19,25).
“Drift -- the word itself is passive. It is a word that should be connected to the word neglect in the passage. How do I become a cold hearted Christian? Don’t do anything. Don’t come to church. Don’t read your Bible. Don’t pray. Don’t go to small groups. Don’t serve God. Don’t, don’t, don’t. All you got to do is don’t, don’t, don’t.”
7/30/2012 09:55:29 am
this week's blog made me think of my marriage. we've been together 27 + yrs. and we started to drift, nothing intentional, we just stopped appreciating the other person and all that they did for us. I think the same thing happens to all our relationships, we get comfortable and take it for granted. Happily i can say my husband and I caught ourselves drifting. We feel stronger than ever as we approach this new 'empty nest' stage of parenting. both kids will be away at college in a few weeks and we've made plans to celebrate our 24th anniversary next month, kind of a date with my husband! I can't wait. Maybe we need to make a 'date' with our faith to keep the sparks going in our relationship with God, our Father.
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