Monday, April 1, 2013

Backsliders... Can We Regain Our Salvation?

So, I started off this morning with my post, What a Wonderful Easter, and that slowly merged into me getting on the path of searching the truth on backsliders. Wanting to know if backsliders can regain salvation. Ultimately, wanting to know what my future might hold since I just turned away from backsliding. 

I had never heard the term before, and to be honest with you, I'm not even sure how I got on that thought this morning, though my day has been fully wrapped around it. As you can see it is 4pm now and I have am just now getting around to posting this post that I have been  editing in my word processor all day. I would write what I was feeling which lead me to searching for more, then finding more, wanting more and then coming back to rewrite more...

  Anyways, I began my day, trying to get a good start on the day by reading the Bible and making sure I start my day with Him so that I will be sure to end it with Him. Yes, I have always believed in Jesus and knew that He died so that we could be forgiven of our sins. I have always tried to do right. But I know that trying is not enough. I can’t just try, I have to do it! I am going into the second week of my new renewed walk with Jesus. Wihle I never purposely left Him, I just never made an effort to stay with Him, and after a few weeks of being out of church and being away from my church friends, I was quickly back in my old ways. 

  The last time I got this close to Jesus I was doing so good. I know He was pleased with me- back then. I ate, slept and breathed Him, and man, let me tell you- it was the most peaceful time of my life. I will admit that I have a bad temper and it doesn't take much to get me fired up but, when I was letting Him be in control, I was so at peace that even the biggest things didn’t bother me. I mean it, you could have walked up to me and spit in my face and I would have just smiled and prayed for you. Even Jeremy, my husband, will tell you I didn't get fired up like I used to. I felt at peace no matter what I was doing because I knew He was with me and He was in control.

  Along with that great peace, there wasn’t a time when the church doors were open that I wasn’t there. I longed for Him, I thirsted for Him, I wanted HIM!  I got baptized and did everything I knew to do so that I would be living the right life and following Him.

  Jeremy didn’t go to church with me but did supported me in every step of the way. He encouraged me, listened to everything I felt I needed to say, and never once tried to talk me into staying home. I just knew eventually he would go with me. And, while I never pressured him to go, I always made sure I asked if he would like go. When he said no, I would just leave it at that and then pray that one day, he would join me. (I don’t think pressuring someone to find Jesus is worth a penny. I think it’s something they, themselves, have to want. I can however, lead by example, show them how great our God and Lord Jesus is, and always be encouraging. I find there to be a BIG difference in encouragement and in pressure.)

  Unfortunately, while life was grand and I was at peace, I let myself slip away. My work schedule changed, I was put on midnight shift and I found 10,000 reasons why I couldn’t get up and go to church. I didn’t want to fall asleep in church, I needed rest before working a 12 hour shift that night as a 911 dispatcher, I didn’t have time to rest between church and work,  I missed last week so one more week won’t hurt…. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

   One week slowly turned into almost 3 years. I think I might have gone to church maybe 3 times in the last three years. The excuses just kept piling up, everything from having a baby, long hours at work, working every other weekend, to tons of other excuses… regardless of what excuse I came up with, it was just an excuse.  The longer I waited, the further away from Jesus I become, and the harder it was to get back. Every week I would say, I’m going to church next Sunday… but that next Sunday never came. Yes, dozens of Sundays came and went like any other but ‘next Sunday ‘never seem to come. Thank God I did not get hit by a bus or else I would have died without salvation. Yes, I said my prayers every night before going to bed, I helped when someone needed help, and I didn’t go out robbing, killing and prostituting, but,I still wasn’t living for the Lord. I didn’t wake up with Him on my mind, I didn’t go to bed with Him on my mind… and honestly, I rarely thought of Him throughout the day, unless of course, I was needing something. I put the world ahead of Him- when I should have been putting Him ahead of the world! I got so caught up in Stephanie, that I forgot about who really mattered. Jesus!

  The worse part of it all, after walking so close to Jesus and then walking away from Him, I think I was worse off than before I started. I don’t mean my sins were worse, but that it was MUCH, MUCH harder to get back on the straight and narrow path with Jesus. Praise God for being so merciful on us because if He didn’t have mercy the majority of us would all have a prepaid ticket straight to hell.

  Someone correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t it say somewhere in the Bible that if we backslide then it will be seven times harder to get back on the right path? Not in those exact words but something along those lines? I’m pretty sure I remember reading that somewhere in the few times I tried to get back on the straight and narrow. I, by no means, have read the entire Bible, and a lot of which I have read I don’t understand but, I am diligently trying. I do remember reading that somewhere and thinking “wow, this is so true. I try so hard but fail time after time. It was so much easier before.”  

  After a while it all became routine.  I would say I was going to church but would never go. I would pick up the Bible to read it before bed and say that this time I was going to read the entire Bible once and for all… then the next night my Bible reading/study would never come. It is always so easy to say “I’m gonna” but so much harder to do it!

  Yes, I know it has only been a few weeks since I have turned my life around again, so please don’t think I’m being a hypocrite coming on here talking about my renewed walk with Jesus, for that is not what I am trying to accomplish. I know that I still have many ill habits to break, many good Words left to read, and many questions to ask of myself and learn the truth for which it is written.

  What started of just being a journal post this morning has ended up in me searching for a lot of answers about being a backslider. With that said, I found some sites that said I was doomed to hell because backsliders can’t come back to God again because turning from God is turning from the Holy Spirit and that backsliding is blasphemy.  Then I found a few that said I could come back to God and seek salvation once again… and I am! 

   For those of you who are reading this and wondering why I am even talking about this, I am posting it for anyone else who may come along wanting to know can a backslider be saved again? From what I understand from studying this morning I believe that a backslider CAN be saved again.

   A backslider has no salvation because he has turned from God. But, a backslider that turns back to follow God, technically is no longer a backslider since that would be past tense, right? Doesn’t Jesus state many times that He forgives us for our sin if we ask? So, someone who backslides and goes back to being a follower, repents and asks for forgiveness, can he not regain salvation, or should I say earn it back? Please put forth your comments on this one? I am seriously asking. I want to know whole heartedly.

   After reading that I was doomed for hell, I kept reading a few more sites and they all became more hopeful in telling me that I have a chance to earn my salvation back. Just as with my first chance at salvation, it’s not something I get by simply wanting it. It’s something I have to earn by following Jesus, trusting in Him and doing His work. I pray with all my heart that I do only things that are pleasing to Him and never fall back,  ever again.

   For those of you who are still reading this post, haven’t gotten bored and still care to know, I would like to encourage you to read one such page that has given me hope that even the backsliders can regain salvation. I found it at Backslider God Wants You Back! It's not a fancy site and it has no special bells and whistles. It does have a few videos at the top, which I didn't watch, but I scrolled on down to find the scripture on backsliders. I would love to hear your thoughts on backsliders and if you agree. If you have any more scripture to add to this please, post it below. Both for myself, and those who come hear with the same questions I have. 

Before I leave you with this post, I do think it is worth mention

It was hope and faith that brought me back to the Lord. Hope for getting my life back on track to become a better Christian, hope that Jeremy and I would become a better Christian family and raise Katelynn with good, Christian values and not fall victim to this wicked world, hope that I can always do the right thing and be pleasing to God…. Hope and faith for salvation so that one day I will hear “you may enter”. 

It was on my first day back to church two weeks ago that I came home and was looking for an encouraging post for my Facebook page that I found Isaiah 40:31.

 ...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. -Isaiah 40:31
I believe that I can once again find hope in the Lord and know that He will forgive me for being a backslider and renew my strength.

To those who would like to offer you input on this, please feel free to do so. I do ask that you respect other’s posts and do not make hatred comments. By all means, voice what you believe in but, be respectful to all that may read this and keeping with Christian faith.

Hope you all have a blessed day…

What a Wonderful Easter!

What a beautiful Easter we had this year! From enjoying the wonderful  ‘Our Great God – A Passion Play’ at my new church on Saturday evening, to a great Sunday Service, then home with family for a wonderful Easter dinner and hunting eggs with Katelynn. 

 This year our family dinner consisted of Jeremy (my husband), Katelynn (my daughter), me, my dad and my step-mom, Kim. Obviously, family was pretty scarce this year, as everyone was kind of doing their own thing this year. Regardless, we had a great time and regardless of who was with us, I know that Jesus, our Lord and Savior, and God was with us- therefor the only Ones that mattered were there! Praise God!