Are you a backslidden Christian, or do you know someone who is? Here are some must-read Scriptures for backsliders, along with a couple of simple steps to get you on the right path toward returning to God.
I recently wrote a post offering a Bible verse of hope for backsliders. From the comments left on the post and the emails I received in reply, it’s clear that many Christians can identify with being backslidden, either because you’re currently backslidden (at least to some degree), or you’ve been there before and can relate to what I shared with you.
It seems like it would be helpful to share some important Scriptures for backsliders.
These might be useful to you now, right where you’re at, in the nitty-gritty of real life and smack dab in the middle of a mess.
Or perhaps the Lord will bring them to your mind during some future season of struggle.
Or maybe He’ll lead you to encourage someone else with these words.
Scriptures for Backsliders
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:38-39
God loves you as you are. He is love (1 John 4:8), and He demonstrated this love very tangibly by sending Christ to die for you while you were still a sinner far away from Him, and in fact His enemy (Romans 5:8; Ephesians 2:13; Romans 5:10). Nothing in all of creation can separate you from His love. Not even yourself.
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me.Philippians 1:21-22a
God hasn’t given up on you. If you are alive on the earth, it is for a particular, unique, divine purpose involving some kind of fruitful labor. You aren’t saved by good works, but you are saved for good works that God prepared for you before you were even born (Ephesians 2:8-10). So as long as you have breath, there is hope of restoration, growth, and victory.
For this is the will of God, your sanctification.1 Thessalonians 4:3
God loves you too much to let you stay as you are. His will for you is sanctification, separating you from sin and the world and setting you apart for His purposes and His glory. The stunningly beautiful thing is that He commands obedience for your good (Deuteronomy 10:12-13). One of Satan’s greatest lies is to convince you that this isn’t true. To persuade you that God’s purpose in setting boundaries is to keep something good from you. When that’s the furthest thing from the truth.
You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.Psalm 16:11
Intimacy with God is what you were made for, and (whether you realize it or not) it’s what you most long for. Do you believe God when He says that there’s fullness of joy in His presence? (Psalm 16:11) As a Christian, you have at one time or another (and probably a great many times) tasted and seen that He is good (Psalm 34:8). You have experienced the wonder and rapture of communion with Him. But sometime along the way, you have settled for cheap substitutes, believing the lie that there’s greater pleasure to be found elsewhere.
Though it may seem difficult to turn back to God, it’s actually quite simple:
How to Return to God After Backsliding
1. Confess your sin and repent. If you confess your sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Spend some time with God, asking Him to reveal the ways you’ve sinned against Him so you can bring them to Him and be cleansed.
2. Receive God’s forgiveness and do what He says to do. Once you’ve confessed your sin, believe that God has forgiven you as He promised. Don’t wallow in it any longer, and don’t continue to shame yourself for sins God has removed. Instead, receive His forgiveness, and then do whatever He tells you to do. Here are some possibilities:
- Ask for forgiveness from someone you have wronged.
- Eliminate a source of temptation
- Testify of His work in your life
- Recommit to a life of obedience and holiness.
Whatever He wants you to do, do it.
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