Monday, May 4, 2015

Do Back Sliding Christians Go to Heaven?

If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then you may know what the term "back slider" is. It is one of those "Christianese" terms we refer to when we know we aren't doing what we are supposed to be doing as a Christian.

There have been instances when God's people have become back sliders. Many of the prophets of God have addressed God's people when they have turned away from God and have taken on the properties and personalities of those living among them. Idol worship, sexual sin, and have forgotten about God while living in the world. They were simply living for their own selfish desires and not following God. It didn't mean they weren't still God's people.

It means simply not moving forward in our spiritual states. We are not growing spiritually. We are still Christians, but there is a lack of growth in our lives. We can easily look back and see those times, when we are on fire for God, couldn't wait to go to church and now want more time for ourselves and less time living for Him. That is what it means to be back sliders.

As parents, you know those times, when you leave your child at school or babysitter to go to work, and the moment they see us, they are overjoyed to see us. They have missed us. They don't want to be anywhere but with us. We, are their favorite people to hang out with. Does that describe how you feel about God?

Philippians 3:20b (NIV) ~ "And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ."

We should want to be near God.

The backslider knows that God is returning but they are afraid. They live their lives in a state of fear when they think about Him coming back. They are living apart from God and they are generally the most miserable people to be around.

If you recall the story of Peter when he denied Jesus three times just as Jesus predicted Peter would despite his insistence he wouldn't. When we see what happened to Peter, was he miserable living apart from God at that moment?

For a back sliding Christian, we, Christians, can tell when you are back sliding? It's because your bulb has gone out. You still have a bulb, but you're missing your joy. Your light has simply gone out and needs to be turned back on.

Non-believers don't even have a bulb.

Realize this God doesn't grade on a curve. Sin is sin in His eyes. There is no greater sin. Lying versus sexual immorality in God's eyes are the same! So what happens if you are walking away from God, righting a few wrongs in your life, living according to your desires, and you die. Do you still get to go to heaven?

Yes, even while living in your back slidden state. It's not an excuse as a Christian to living according to your own selfish desires, but you are NOT off the hook. You'll still stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ and have to explain to Him why you wasted your time, living for yourself instead of Him.

1 John 3:2-3 (NIV) ~ "Dear Friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not be made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. 

Luke 12: 35-37, 40 (NIV) ~ "Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open to door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."

That means we are to be living for Jesus to come at any time, spending time growing in our knowledge of the Bible, enabling the Holy Spirit to be active and working in our lives. We want to be ready!

If you don't, one of two things will happen, through the willful choices you are making in your own life, (1) the world will send difficulties, not God, He will simply use them to destroy the life you are living and bring you back to Him. He's trying to get your attention; or (2) God will shorten your life because you won't give up your sinful behaviors.

1 Corinthians 5:1-5 (NIV) ~ "It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father's wife. And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this just as if I were present. When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord." 

Church judgment must happen so his sinful nature will be destroyed. Check out Romans 8/1 Corinthians 15/ John 3/ Revelation 2-3 for more information on scripture that secures the Christian at any moment of time. You are never too far for God to reach.

So what happens if a Christian were to die in a backslidden or carnal condition, tt results in spiritual discipline and loss of rewards in heaven, but you still go to heaven.

The Bible says we shouldn't condemn people, but we can judge their actions, think of it as spiritual fruit inspection.

Hopefully that will put some of you at ease regarding your salvation and you can begin to repent of your sins and get right with God again. Find that spiritual joy that one day you will see your Father in Heaven, His Son Jesus Christ and that should give us unspeakable joy that should be evident in our life and cause us to enjoy life and to want to share it with others who don't know Christ.

We need to be serious, vigilant and protective our faith and to also to be an example of what a true Christian looks like. We all need encouragement and Christ-centered fellowship with godly friends that encourage your spiritual growth. More importantly you need to be encouraging others in their faith as well!

1 comment:

LV said...

Today's church folks never heard of "backslider". I heard that a lot in my younger days at the old fashion churches.