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Is There Hope for Backslidden Christians?

Robert is not a theologian; even so, he has a love for God's word and finds great joy in sharing what God reveal's to him through His word.


What Consequences Does Un-repented of Sin Hold for the Christian?

It is almost impossible to live through a single day without sinning in one form or another. We may become angry and lose our tempers. We may covet something belonging to a neighbor, such as their 1976 ford pickup. We may thoughtlessly treat another inappropriately. We may even catch ourselves speeding down the highway on our way to work, well over the posted speed limits. However, these daily transgressions can quickly be dealt with by taking them to the cross where they have already been paid for. Simply repent, and if you have offended anyone make amends and sin will enjoy no power over you.

There are, however, times when a Christian may find themselves in bondage to sin. There is that sin which has such power over the Christian they cannot seem to turn from it, even though they know they must. It is this sin that robs the believer of any joy they might otherwise experience as a result of their salvation, as well as a close relationship with the Father. It is this sin that destroys the believer’s credibility with the world, wrecks their families, alienates them from fellow believers, and may even cost the believer their life. It is this sin that causes the believer to fall into a pit so deep, desperate and dark that they feel God has completely forsaken them and there is no hope of restoration in sight. But there is hope!

What Were the Effects of Sin in the Apostles Peter’s Life, and How Was it Dealt With?

The Apostle Peter once found himself in such a situation. In Matthew 26:33, Peter boldly states “Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.” To which Jesus replied “Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice” (vs. 34). Of course we know that after Jesus’ arrest Peter did in fact deny Him three times, and as John wrote, upon Peter’s denial “immediately the cock crew” (John 18:27).

I can’t really think of anything that could possibly cast a darker shadow over the life of a Christian than to know that one has denied the Lord at such a critical hour. We learn from scripture that even after Peter learned of the Lord’s resurrection he remained in a bad way. Peter had forsaken everything he had witnessed over the previous three or so years and returned to his old life as a fisherman. But, Jesus was not through with Peter.

How Did the Man after God’s Own Heart Deal with Sin in His Life?

In the Book of Psalms we find King David in much the same state as Peter found himself; David’s joy was gone and he was floundering in despair; but, David knew where to turn to make things right. In Psalms 51 David cries out to God, “Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit” (vs. 8-12).

What Were the Differences in the Ways Peter and King David dealt with Sin?

The difference in the way that David and Peter dealt with their sins is that David had the presence of mind, or spirit, to seek out the Lord. In Peter’s case, the Lord sought Peter out and when He found him he asked Peter three times, “lovest thou me?” Three times Peter replied in the affirmative, “Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love Thee” (John 21:15-17). Three times Peter denied knowing Jesus; and three times Jesus afforded Peter, probably unbeknown to Peter at the moment, to make up for those rejections. Jesus restored Peter! Holy Spirit inspired Hosea to write, “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely” (14:4). All Peter had to do was turn around and walk back into the Savior’s arms.

Final Thought from the Prince of Preachers.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon once wrote, “It is blessed to know that the Grace of God is free to us at all times, ‘I will love them freely.’ These words invite backsliders to return; indeed, the text was especially written for such . . .” As a Christian, if you find yourself in such a seemingly hopeless situation, just turn around, repent, and run back to the loving arms of Jesus.

© 2020 Robert Henry Ditmore MA MEd