Whilst sorting through some papers I found the written Testimony of an old Christian Minister entitled “The Backslider”. I’m sharing it here to offer hope to other Christian backsliders.
Who Are The Backsliders?
First, he identified three groups of Backsliders who have one thing in common – they have wandered from the Good Shepherd and are lost:
- Those who have turned against God and now vow that they are Agnostic or Atheist. They deride the Gospel they once believed. The enemy has dragged them into sin and they are apparently are unrepentant
- Those who are regular members of a Church or Chapel, they know the Gospel and can talk the ‘talk’. But they have fed upon the lies of the enemy and now twist Scripture to fit in with modern ideologies and distorted truths.
- There are those who are enthusiastic workers, always ready to help anyone in need. But they’re not really walking with Christ. They’ve left their first love (Revelation 2 vs1-8) They are very respectful outwardly but inwardly there is no real love for the Lord Jesus, His Word and sometimes even for fellow believers
A Minister’s Testimony
His testimony continued……..”So, with me. I grew up in a Vicarage and was trained to be religious in the best sense. From a child, I knew and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour. I believed He had come into my heart and that He would never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13 v5). But as I grew older I thought I was better than many. In ministry, I found I could prepare sermons and preach them with not much more than a selfish prayer that they would be well received. My personal Bible reading and study dwindled away. My prayers consisted of reciting a long list of names. Sometimes I even told people I was praying for them which seemed to impress them.
[My] gradual friendship with the world and the heavily disguised desire for popularity for which my excuse was glorifying God but in truth self-glory was my delight…….. I really thought I was progressive in my spiritual outlook.
When A Backslider is Challenged
One Sunday a Christian friend was staying with my family. After attending a Service I had taken they spoke to me and said: “Do you realize you’ve lost your message?” I was so upset and earnestly sought to recover it but the world was still in my heart. “
Challenged, the Minister looked for help from his so-called Christian friends but they were mostly cold and hostile. Were they asking themselves whether they were really walking in faith or were they
But there was one man who helped, by encouraging him to seek God again. To seek His forgiveness for turning his back, and for his sins. And for the strength to stay true to God in the future.
The Turning Point
The Testimony of our friend continues:-
Next day the enemy attacked my witness through a senior colleague when he reprimanded me for going to the funeral. I prayed hard for grace and humility NOT to answer back! A few weeks later that same colleague and his wife asked the Lord Jesus Christ into their hearts. And for the first time in our lives he and I began to pray together and for each other. Our Church membership was vastly different but from then on we were brothers in Christ.”
The Backslider Learnt 4 Lessons
“First, I know I cannot live without the Lord Jesus for a moment. I need Him. I need to be alone with Him
Secondly, It’s quite easy to backslide and still belong to the Church and work for Christ
Thirdly, I know the miserable loneliness of a Christian worker who has no real message to share.
Fourthly, I discovered many other backsliders who believed that they had gone too far away to come back. I knew the value of humbling one’s self and turning back to Jesus. It
The Minister’s final words of his testimony offer hope for the Backslider – “I am so glad I came back to the Lord Jesus Christ!”
What the Bible Says to Backslider
“…… the one who
“Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and My burden is light” Matthew 11 vs28-30
“I have loved you with an everlasting love therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you” Jeremiah 31 v 3
The Bible is full of encouragement and invitations to Backsliders to return to the Lord who loves them. Four books of the Bible are addressed especially to those who have gone astray. You’ll find passages in the Song of Solomon, Jeremiah, Hosea and Galatians about those who have lost their love for the Lord. The Bible also tells the history of many who wandered far from God and yet were accepted back into His fold when they sought Him again.
Matthew 18 vs 10-14 says:- What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
Conclusion: There IS Hope For Backsliders
For thus says the Lord God: “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick ~ Ezekiel 34 v 11,16
Remember Jesus said “I will never leave you or forsake you” Hebrews 13 v5 and just as the father of the Prodigal (Luke 15) kept looking out for the return of his son, so God looks for us.
If you have wandered away from God, perhaps fallen into sinful ways, there is good news for you! There is a way back to Him – no magic formula required – simply tell God you are sorry, and that you know that your life without Him is meaningless. Tell God that you want Him back in your life and ask Him to help you start making the changes you need to make. You can’t undo the past but you don’t have to be held prisoner by it. Why not take the first step today?
And if you have never asked the Lord Jesus into your life read the post Do You Have a Minute? to find out more.
Helen CroninEditor -in-chief
Helen Cronin lives in the UK with her husband and two furbabies. She is the founder of the gardening website Leaves From My Garden and the website dedicated to studying the Word of God – Honey Bible Study. When not glued to her PC you will find her walking her dogs in the countryside near her home or gardening! Helen gave her life to the Lord Jesus when she was 19 yrs old and has served in a number of ways including administrative roles, speaking at a Bible Conference and latterly through writing.