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Nature of, and Tendency to,



How does God regard backsliding?


“Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the Lord your God and have no awe of me,” declares the Lord Almighty.” Jeremiah 2:19. “But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.” Hebrews 10:38. 


What persistent tendency did the Israelites display?


“My people are determined to turn from me. Even if they call to the Most High, he will by no means exalt them.” Hosea 11:7.


To what is backsliding likened?


“But like a woman unfaithful to her husband, so you have been unfaithful to me, O house of Israel,” declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 3:20. 


Causes and Characteristics of Backsliding


What inevitably leads to departure from God?


“See to it brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.” Hebrews 3:12.  


In what ways did the constant backsliding of the people of Jerusalem manifest itself?


Why then have these people turned away? Why does Jerusalem always turn away? They cling to deceit; they refuse to return. I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right. No one repents of his wickedness, saying, “What have I done?” Each pursues his own course like a horse charging into battle.” Jeremiah 8:5,6.


What is the one characteristic of backsliding?


“Every since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty. “”But you ask, ‘How are we to return.” Malachi 3:7.


In response, what neglected ordinance does God cite?


“Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings. Verse 8.


What remedy is indicated?


Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” say the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have enough room enough for it.”

Verse 10.


Because of Christ’s plain teachings, what did some of His disciples do?


“From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.”

John 6:66. 


Backsliders Way Back to God


On what condition does God promise His abundant mercy to sinners?


Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.” Isaiah 55:7. 


Why must the wicked forsake their thoughts and ways in order to find salvation?


“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declared the Lord.” Verse 8.


Note – God desires that we shall think His thoughts, which are right thoughts, pure thoughts, and everlasting thoughts. He desires also that we shall take on His ways, which are the ways of pleasantness, and walk on His paths, which are the paths of peace.”


What is especially necessary to prevent backsliding?


Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” Mark 14:38.


What are believers warned to do?


Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you fail the test?”

2 Corinthians 13:5.


If one has God’s law in the heart, what will not occur?


“The law of God is in his heart; his feet do not slip.” Psalm 37:31.


“When the backslider repents, what does God do?


“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 on war-horses. We will never again say ‘Our gods’ to what his own hands have made, for in you the fatherless find compassion.” “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them.” Hosea 14:2-4.   


Last-Day Backsliding


Will there be special danger of backsliding in the last days?


“Because of the increase of wickedness. The love of most will grow cold.”

 Matthew 24:12.


What are some of the evils against which we are specially warned at this time?


“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.”

Luke 21:34.    


In view of the perils surrounding us, what are we told to do?


Be always on the watch, and pray that you will be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” Verse 36.

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