by Charles Box
Backsliding is a terrible problem because of the great and grievous loss it causes. Only the Devil can be happy over all the souls who have turned away from God.
The Church Loses a Member
When one backslides the church loses a member: Every member of the church is an important member. Each member is a part of all other members of the church.
“For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another” (Romans 12:4-5).
The backslider becomes unfit for the kingdom. “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). God has not departed from the backslider, but the backslider has departed from God.
The Lord Loses a Servant
When one backslides the Lord loses a servant: The faithful brother or sister in Christ is a servant.
“And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave — just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:27-28).
Greatness in God’s kingdom comes through service. “But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant” (Matthew 23:11). The backslider will never hear God say, “Well done, good and faithful servant … enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” (Matthew 25:21).
The Brethren Lose a Brother
When one backslides the brethren lose a brother or sister: Those who turn their backs on God also turn their backs on their brethren. How empty one must feel who can remember sweet fellowship among brethren in times past that has now been forfeited through backsliding?
“Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:46-50).
We long for the fellowship of those brothers and sister who have turned away from God.
The Community Loses an Influence
When one backslides the community loses an influence: It is so easy for a Christian to lose his good name and his influence for Christ.
The very life of a backslider is a disgrace to Jesus Christ and to His cause. Jesus is put to open shame by the backslider. If a Christian loses his influence he is good for nothing (Matthew 5:13).
The Backslider Loses His Soul
When one backslides the backslider loses his soul: Those who draw back “draw back to perdition” or perishing. “But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:39). If one returns to sin after becoming a Christian, “the latter end is worse than the beginning” (2 Peter 2:20-22).
The Christian who goes back to the world or backslides must repent. A failure to repent would cause one to die in sin. This would make it impossible to see Jesus.
“Then Jesus said to them again, I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come” (John 8:21).
What a loss! A soul that had been saved giving up salvation to die in sin. A backslider loses his soul!
Think about your eternal home and stay faithful to God.
From the email of Walnut Street church of Christ, Greenville, Ala.
Backsliding as a Christian causes great and grevious loss for everyone.