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Are You Backsliding?


Good Morning Beloved Family!

What a glorious day to give reverence to Our Lord!
Thank you all for joining us!

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for Your grace and Your peace
as many today struggle to find peace amid this
pandemic, we find our peace in Your presence

We acknowledge that we live in a fallen world
that is continually going from one crisis to another
every day a new peril..

Disease, earthquakes, floods, fires, tornadoes and hurricanes
and threats of violence and war have all
become the daily headlines in the news

As personal and global crisis's plague our world
fear runs rampant in the hearts of both believers and non-believers
Father, we know that only You can make our fears subside
and bring peace that is unsurpassed in the minds of men

I pray in the name of Your Son, Jesus
Amen

Today's Message: Are You Backsliding?

"Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus said to Him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony. If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?"
John 3:1-12

Scriptures has a lot to say about backsliding, because it is a very serious matter! One with very severe consequences!

Christians tend to categorize sin. By their far reaching devastation effects to the inconsequential of a "little white lie." But from God's perspective, no sin is in isolation. God has a very different viewpoint on sin, than we do! Each and every disobedience to God, has lasting and far reaching effects, not only upon the one who sins, but others, in both the present and the future...

We can certainly find in history and in our present day, that world and the Church are full of those who never live up to their calling or their ambition. Yet, they build huge monuments with their words inscribed on them but their deeds are never called to a nobility of action.

Beloved, we are free to choose our sin, but we cannot choose it's consequences!

And Scripture clearly dictates, there are indeed consequences! Regardless how one may try, a sinner cannot change the consequences of his sin, unless he repents and is born again, in the Spirit. Then, and then, only through the sovereign grace of God, can the consequences of ones sins be changed.
However, that does not give any of us a license to continue in our sin!

And as is being taught today from a great many pulpits, God does love you, and accepts you as you are. And while it is equally true, that God will meet you where you are, even in your sin, He does not intend for you to stay there! Through His Word and Holy Spirit, God will change the desires of your heart, however, you must also be willing to maintain that change. Habitual, repetitive sin is disobedience!

In reading the history of Israel and Judah, we see on generation after another backsliding against the Lord. God told Hosea,
"My people are bent on backsliding from Me.
Though they call to the Most High,
None at all exalt Him."

Hosea 11:7

And of course there was Jeremiah's frequent heart-cry:

"Return, O backsliding children,” says the Lord; “for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding."
Jeremiah 3:14-15

"O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us,
Do it for Your name’s sake;
For our backslidings are many,
We have sinned against You."

Jeremiah 14:7

"Because their transgressions are many;
Their backsliding have increased."
Jeremiah 5:6 

The term backsliding means, simply, "turning one's back on God." Ironically God's people backslid mostly after times of great blessing and prosperity. Often, when God poured out incredible mercies on Israel, the people soon turned away from him. And I must say, it's really no different today...
It seems to me, the more God blesses someone, the more they turn their backs on Him and His ways.
There are a great many men and women, even preachers, who have received favor and blessing on their ministry, only to fall into corruption. 

Beloved,  as followers of Christ, we are not meant to be merely spectators in the sanctifying process. We are commanded to strive against their flesh for the sake of holiness and spiritual growth. 
That's not, well, if you wouldn't mind too terribly much or even if you feel like it, but a direct command from our Lord. Biblical sanctification is a cooperative work between the Lord and His people.

“How shall I pardon you for this?
Your Children have forsaken me
And sworn by those that are not gods.
When I had fed them to the full,
Then they committed adultery
And assembled themselves by troops in their harlots' houses.
They were like well-fed lusty
Then they were like well-fed lusty stallions;
Every one neighed after his neighbor's wife.
Shall I not punish them for these things?" Says the Lord.
And shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?
Go up on her walls and destroy,
But do not make a complete end.
Take away her branches,
For they are not the Lord’s. 

For the house of Israel and the house of Judah
Have dealt very treacherously with Me,” says the Lord.
They have lied about the Lord,
And said, “It is not He.
Neither will evil come upon us,
Nor shall we see sword or famine. 

And the prophets become wind,
For the word is not in them.
Thus shall it be done to them."

In this passages, Jeremiah is describing in detail exactly what a backslider is.
A backslider is someone who once enjoyed the blessings and favor of God. He walked before the Lord with a devoted, humble, kind heart.
He loved praying and digging into God's word. He vowed, "I will serve the Lord always, with all my heart."

And for a while he did seek the Lord faithfully. He forsook his wicked ways and delighted in the fellowship he found with other saints in God's house.

But then something began to draw this believer's heart away from the Lord. He no longer had genuine love. Instead, rebellion crept in. Soon he lost both the love and fear of God. He no longer trembled in the Lord's presence. His heart slowly grew cold.

Beloved, today this backslider has totally revolted against the narrow way and gone back to worldly ways. He has become completely blind, foolish, without understanding of the Word of God.

He no longer seeks the Lord or turns to his word. All desire to pray is gone.
And he doesn't go to God's house anymore.
He has removed himself completely from the Lord's presence, and he's headed toward apostasy!

Allow me to just say something about this, the Bible makes it very clear:
Backsliding is an evil, bitter thing and it has awful consequences!

"Your own wickedness will correct you,
And your backslidings will rebuke you.
Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing
That you have forsaken the Lord your God,
And the fear of Me is not in you,”
Says the Lord God of hosts. 

“For of old I have broken your yoke and burst your bonds;
And you said, ‘I will not transgress,’
When on every high hill and under every green tree
You lay down, playing the harlot. 

Yet I had planted you a noble vine, a seed of highest quality.
How then have you turned before Me
Into the degenerate plant of an alien vine? 

For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap,
Yet your iniquity is marked before Me,” says the Lord God."

And lest we forget Jonah.... I'm sure most of you are familiar with the story..

Jonah Was a Backslider!

But beloved, be warned, because what happened to Jonah happens to all backsliders! 

Here was a prophet of God, a man of genuine faith who loved and feared the Lord.
Jonah walked closely enough to God to be entrusted with a prophetic word to an entire city and state.

"Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.” But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

The Storm at Sea

But the Lord sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up."
Jonah 1:1-4 

So, Jonah's trip was likely intended to be a three or four-week journey. And soon after the prophet boarded ship, he went down into the hold, wrapped himself in a blanket and fell asleep.
Suddenly, without warning, the winds became violent, the waves rose higher, the sails were ripped apart, the rudder was of no use. The crew was completely at the mercy of the storm. God had stirred up a whole sea to get to one man who was in disobedience

The captain and crew probably had never seen anything like it. Frightened, they began unloading all the cargo and dumping it into the sea, to lighten the ship.
Kissing their good luck charm! I'm sure many of you have probably seen people that do the same thing or similar thing. They're kissing their good luck charms in times of trouble! That is a futile act!

But Jonah somehow slept through it all, hidden down in the hold. Yet his sleep was not the sleep of an indifferent or lazy person.
It was the sleep of depression and sorrow, the deep slumber of a man who knew he was running from God! Jonah's mind and body must have been literally worn out from the constant anxiety and inner turmoil of his backsliding.

And then, the apostle Paul clearly spells out the paradoxical cooperative work in Philippians 2.
Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians and to all of us, suggests several vital truths that inform and encourage true spiritual growth of the believer. We’ve already considered how our sanctification is influenced by understanding Christ’s love for us and by His own example to us, the need for obedience, and our responsibility to the Lord. In today's message, we’re discussing backsliding and the gravity of sin.

"Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain."
Philippians 2:12-16 

At this point, everything was wrong between Jonah and the Lord. He was in total disobedience, a fugitive. And he feared the judgment and chastisement he knew would come.
He probably spent his first week on the boat thinking, "How could I have done this? I've made the wrong decision. I've turned my back on the Lord!"

Even if a backslider is able to sleep at night, his sleep is that of a condemned person.
He remembers God's touch, his loving arms around him.
He remembers being in God's house with all the saints, being on fire for the Lord, feeling God's hand on his life.
But now the backslider can only toss and turn -- because he has turned his back on his loving Lord!

Backslider, if you are running from the call of God, living in disobedience, you will have only the deep sleep of sorrow. You'll feel like a condemned person, worn out by guilt and anxiety. And you can be sure your storm will come -- because God loves you! You have embarked on the same trip Jonah took.

And like that backslidding prophet, you will be tossed about by a life-and-death battle for your soul!

But allow me to me ask you:
Do you think God will stand idly by and let the devil take you from him?
Do you think He'll let you simply walk away and damn your own soul to Hell?? No, never!

You once told him you'd serve him for life and He took you at your word.
Jesus covered you in His blood.
And now He's saying, "That's my blood, shed for you. You're mine and I won't let you go. I'll take any drastic action I have to, to keep you. and I may put you in the belly of a whale.

But I won't let you run head-first into Hell!

Beloved, make no mistake!
Although God is loving, merciful, and forgiving, He nevertheless holds believers accountable for disobedience... He holds each and every one of us accountable! Perhaps not in the same way as the unbeliever, but make no mistake, we'll be held accountable for disobedience. However, God will not allow the devil to over take you, He'll fight for your soul.

There are awful consequences to backsliding.
Let me share with you these consequences:

When God has a controversy with a backslider, it affects everyone around him.
You see, when the backslider's storm finally comes, it hits everybody family, children, coworkers, friends, even strangers.

You've heard addicts and alcoholics say, "My addiction is my sin, my problem only. I'm not hurting anyone but myself."
No! Scripture proves that it's not just your problem. It's the problem of everyone who lives with you, walks with you and knows you.
If God is pursuing you and that makes you dangerous!
 
I have heard of a preacher, who resigned from his church and left the ministry altogether. Then he divorced wife and married an ungodly woman. He dragged all his children down with him, causing them to also turn from God.

I think of the story I that heard, about a husband and father who was delivered from a terrible drug addiction. He got saved and God restored him to his wife and children.
God blessed this man with a decent job. And when he came home from work at night his three kids crawled up in his lap, happy and excited, thanking Jesus that Daddy was home. Their household was full of God's favor. But then the tempter showed up. Eventually, the man went back to snorting cocaine.

It wasn't long until his wife saw something in his face she hadn't seen for over a year. His eyes were red again. She cried out to God in prayer: "Oh, God don't let this be so!"
But she knew he was hooked once more. He came home from work at noon, trying to drink cold water and coffee to bring himself down from his high. She knew then he had been lying, he was no longer going to his job, because he'd already lost it. Now he was back on the streets.
This backsliding man became dangerous to his whole family.

All of their money was cut off, and all of God's blessings disappeared.
He tried to convince everyone, "It's my sin, my problem. I'm only destroying myself."
No, not true! He was now destroying his entire family! His children became bitter and angry, mad at God, Dad, Mom, and even the whole world. The godly legacy, this man could have had may never exist!

Likewise, many backslidden Christians are sending their coworkers to hell. At one time these believers were a testimony on the job.
They kept a Bible on their desk and were always eager to talk about Jesus. Their colleagues knew something was genuinely different about them.
But now these ungodly coworkers realize there has been a change. They know their Christian friend is backslidden! They can't explain what has happened in spiritual terms, but they do know something is different now.

Their once over zealous Christian coworker has now become like them! He was their last hope!
They may have mocked him at one time, but secretly they thought,
"At least he's somebody I can go to in trouble. He might even prove to me there is a God."
This backsliding Christian robbed them of their hope!

If you're a backslider, you probably remember a time when you could stand confidently in any storm or crisis... When you knew God had your back!

But now, you can't command a storm. You don't bring any real hope to a situation. You've lost the dignity that comes with walking closely with the Lord. Worldly lust has drained all your spiritual power!

Worst of all your backsliding presents to the world an unattractive picture of salvation you make it seem as if it's more profitable to be sinner than a Christian!

You can tell people all day long what it used to be like serving God, but living as a sinner, so you've lost your testimony!

There should not be a single area of our lives in which we make it seem more attractive to serve the devil than to serve the Lord. In every area we ought to have the gentleness, kindness, goodness and grace of God. Our lives should be a witness that says, "Serve Jesus. He makes a way where there is no way. He'll see you through any storm!"

If You're running from God, He Is Going to Take You Down Into the Lowest Pit Known to Man! You know the Bible... there is many He brought right back down to their knees!

Your trial could be your health, your finances, your family.
Yet it will happen not because God wants to destroy you, but because you are his. 

Accept it right now, if you're a backslider,  no man or woman who runs from God escapes the storm. And no human power can deliver you from it! Only God can! You already know that!

If you're running from the Lord, mark it down: Your crisis is coming, and it will be the storm of your life. Your loved ones and friends may try to shield you from it, but none of their best efforts will work. God will have already made up his mind: He has a purpose in sending the storm. And He knows if you He doesn't rescue you from it before He can discipline you, you'll never be able to return! And He wants you back.

You can give in to the despondency and hopelessness, convinced God hates you for your disobedience. You can say, "I'm so far gone, I can never get back to God. There's no hope for me!" And despair will rule your life, sinking you ever deeper into the pits of depression.
You're never too far from God, that He can't reach you!!

You can call on God for mercy!
You can come back to the Lord, no matter how far from Him you've run!
He's waiting for you to call out to Him..

There is someone out there, you're squirming, because you know this message is for YOU!
I don't know who you are, but God does! That's why He had me preach this Word.

The purpose of this heart felt message is not to condemn you, for your mistakes, we've all made 'em. But it is meant both to warn and encourage you... I'm fervently praying for you!

Come Back To God!

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
Amen
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Brian Monzon Ministries

The Brian Monzon Ministries

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