Can A Christian Backslide?

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The question is “Can a Christian Backslide“?  If you mean are they committing sins, knowing they aren’t following the commandments of God, then yes.  If you are asking if they will lose their salvation, that’s up to interpretation, which we will go over further down in this article.

The word backslide is not mentioned in the New Testament but it is in the old testament.  It was used mainly to describe the behavior of the children of Israel.  A person who backslides in today’s terminology is a Christian who has turned their back on some or all of the Christian commandments and is living a life of sin.  Instead of the word backslide, you could simply say these people are not following God’s commandments.  So what does this mean for the Christian?  The answer to that depends on if you believe once saved always saved. We will discuss this more in the next section.

Can A Christian Backslide if We are Once Saved Always Saved?


I have often wondered about this very question when it comes to sin.  I believe that once we are saved we are always saved, yet there are so many scriptures where it talks about sin and what an abomination it is unto the Lord.

The distinguishing factor for me is someone who willfully does the same sin over and over again and doesn’t repent for it.  For example, sleeping with someone you are not married to.  Have you ever wondered if, or how, something like this will affect your salvation?

To me, a backslider is simply a Christian who is going to heaven but will have to explain to God why they did what they did.  No one knows for sure, but you’d better live the best Christian life you can.  Do you believe enough in your doctrine to take any chances on heaven or hell?

Because of what Jesus did for us on the cross there is, therefore, no condemnation for us, however, God will praise us only for the good things we have done as you will read in the following verse.   If it weren’t for Jesus we would all be in trouble!

In I Corinthians 4:5 it says, “the Lord will come and bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the councils of the hearts.  Then each one’s praise will come from God.”

You should realize many denominations don’t believe the same way on this subject and that choice, of course, is up to you.  Some believe that once saved, always saved.  Others believe your salvation depends on if you ask forgiveness daily for your sins.   I’m not here to convince you one way or another but to get you to thinking and going to the Word for yourself.

Can a Christian Backslide – What Are Some Signs


We answered the question “can a Christian backslide“, so let’s go over some signs of backsliding. We will use Joe as an example. If Joe suddenly becomes secretive about where he’s been or what he has been doing, this is a clear sign of sin in most cases.

Joe may be skipping church or doesn’t spend time reading the bible like he used to. It’s very common for people who are backsliding to spend less time in prayer, the word, and church.

The reason for these actions is clear. If they prayed or went to church it would make them feel convicted and they don’t want to quit what they are doing!  A backslider may also decrease their giving as well as make excuses for their bad behavior.

The flesh is unruly and frankly hard to tame, but staying away from God is a sure way to fail. In times of temptation of the flesh, we need to stick close to God more than ever. The Word is what helps us fight those spiritual battles.  According to the Word, there is no temptation that is too great for us to handle and defeat!

Can a Christian Backslide? – What Are Some Causes


There are many causes or excuses people use to backslide and all of them are carnal in nature. I don’t necessarily mean lustful things of the flesh but things like feeling sorry for yourself in certain situations. For example, If your spouse just left you for another person then you may tell yourself you deserve to get drunk after what they did to you.  You might continue on this path using the same excuse every time!

Your pride may lead you into sin by telling you that you should go out and find a partner as well!  After all, they did it to you.  Wrong!

You could eat yourself into oblivion because someone has upset you, knowing your blood sugar is going to rise to a dangerous amount. We convince ourselves that the things we are going through give us the right to sin and leave God behind.

And once you do it once, you think why not do it again and again! You may wonder how can a Christian backslide doing simple things like overeating or drinking?  Sometimes sin starts as a small thing and grows into something bigger.

Hanging out with the wrong people can also be a cause of backsliding. The pressure to be liked and accepted has caused more downfalls than you could ever know.

When Christians let their feelings and emotions rule their bodies, their walk with Christ will always suffer the consequences.   The more we stray from the Father, the harder it is to feel worthy enough to ask for forgiveness.

By ourselves, we aren’t worthy, but through the blood of Jesus, we are righteous.  Praise God! The good news is that there is a way back and God does forgive!

Bible Characters Who Did Backslide


Even people God has chosen for a mighty work have sinned and come short at times, but they were smart enough to see the folly of their ways and ask forgiveness.

King David wanted Bathsheba even though she was married to another.  He got her pregnant and then sent her husband to the front line of war so he would be killed.  David was a true man of God that did backslide and walked the way of the flesh, not the spirit.  He repented and went on to do great things for the Lord.

King Saul was friends with David but when David became popular King Saul was afraid David would become king.  Saul got jealous and tried to kill David.

You can see from these two men that we all sin and come short of the glory of God, but we should always strive for righteousness.

Can A Backslider be Restored?


We would all be in serious trouble if we could not be restored. The key to true restoration is complete surrender and repentance for our sins. God is gracious enough to have sent Jesus to die for our sins so that we could be forgiven when we mess up.

Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for our sins but that doesn’t mean we should simply eat, drink, and be merry!  As Christians, we are to follow God as closely as we can and strive to be a better Christian each day we remain on this earth.

My true belief is that if you are truly saved you will always come back to the Lord because you won’t be able to stay in sin very long.  It would eat away at you and cause you much grief.  The bible says we are not to grieve the Holy Spirit of God and sin does that.

Pray daily for God to help you stay strong and ask for wisdom.  We can all rise above our circumstances with Jesus by our side!  Stay close to God and you will never backslide!


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