“My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20).
“Backsliders.” It is a word not found in Scripture but it is commonly used to describe someone who professes to be a Christian but currently is “not living the Christian life.”
We all know examples of Christians who continue to practice sin for extended periods of time (think of King David or Lot). Maybe we have been one of them ourselves. Just last week we discussed the tragic life of Whitney Houston, who started her life in a church singing gospel songs and was a professing Christian, but then recently died after years of living in highly publicized sin.
So is prolonged “backsliding” an indication that a person wasn’t genuinely saved in the first place? If so, how much time and what indicators would lead to that conclusion? Or is a “backslider” a true believer who is being defeated by the flesh — as every believer sometimes is — and thus, their salvation is not in doubt? And finally, what can we do to avoid “backsliding” in our own lives and to help others out of it?
I hope you’ll join us this Saturday on The Christian Worldview as we discuss this interesting and important topic.