What Is A Backslider?
The backslider is described in Proverbs 21:16 as a man who strays from the path of understanding and comes to rest in the company of the dead. [Dead there refers to the spiritually dead, Ezek. 33:18; etc.] Unfortunately, there are various examples of such scattered throughout Scripture, even including King David and Solomon. NOTE the clarity of the following
Details about the backslider:
- The backslider strays, that is, he leaves and goes elsewhere. He departs from the path of understanding to go to a lesser place. In James 5:19,20, the backslider wanders from the truth to spiritual death. In other words, the backslider turns away from God, his word and sound doctrine and goes off into spiritual darkness and death. [As sound doctrine is associated with holy living, false doctrine is associated with immorality.]
- The result of turning away from God means the backslider can go to the only other place possible — to be among the dead and lost joining them in their sins. Hence, before backsliding, the backslider wasn’t spiritually dead and lost until he turned away, that is, strayed from the path of understanding.
- The path of understanding, which the backslider strays from, is called the narrow road in Mt. 7:14. It is the road to God’s kingdom and the road to life traveled on by the righteous, but it is also a hard road with trouble and persecutions. Many get off that road once they get on it.
- A backslider has not persevered under trial nor endured to the end the hatred associated with following Jesus unashamedly to be saved.
Jesus said, “All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Mat 10:22)
- Unless that backslider is brought back through repentance to where he was before he came to rest in the company of the dead, his soul will be eternally lost. Jesus’ teaching on the prodigal son brings hope to the repentant backslider, who turns from sin to serve God. He can return to salvation again (Lk. 15:24), but only through sincere repentance. If you are a real Christian guard your heart so you won’t be described in Proverbs as:
A man who strays from the path of understanding comes to rest in the company of the dead. (Prov 21:16)
If you are righteous, continue in the faith (Col. 1:23). You have the best this short life can offer because you have Jesus. If you are a backslider, turn from your sins, which are dragging you to hell. No sin or person is worth going to hell over; and don’t be a backslider!