What Is Wrong With People Jer. 6:10 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
What is wrong with people? It is not surprising to me that Christians can become backslidden. I was there myself. I had gotten so backslidden in my twenties that, when the Lord finally caught me and brought me out of all that, I thought I couldn’t have been saved during that time. I really believed that I must have gotten saved in September of 1986, the night I read Ps 119. The change in my life was so profound after that night that, by comparison, my life after “praying the prayer” to receive Jesus in 1970 looked more like a religious exercise than the new life in Christ.
In spite of the fact that I was “backslidden” I never doubted that the Bible was God’s book and I never doubted the existence or the presence of God. I was just being willfully disobedient. So, the night that I read Ps 119, I knew that I was reading God’s words and that he was speaking to me through them. He showed me my life from his perspective and he showed me my need to repent and his willingness to extend mercy. He literally gave me a brand new life and I have thanked him for this life nearly every day since then till now.
Today, though, something seems very different about many of the “backslidden” Christians I know and have seen. Maybe it’s due to the fact that I am so far removed from the sin of my past that I can’t remember how far gone I was. But I don’t think so. Many backslidden Christians today may not even be as wicked as we were back then. However, they manifest three things in their lives that we didn’t do and these three things make me believe that many of these backslidden Christians, if they really are Christians, aren’t ever going to turn around. What is wrong with people? What’s wrong with them is:
They don’t believe the Bible – Jer 6:10 – they may know what it says about the sin in their life, about God’s judgment, about salvation, about the need for repentance and so forth – they may have believed it when they were younger – they may have read it and they may have memorized many of its verses – but they don’t believe it – “the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach.”
In other words, somewhere along the way someone talked them out of faith in God’s words just like the devil did to Eve in Gen 3 – they do not recognize the authority of God’s words [the KJV is called the Authorized Version, where the word of a king is there is power] – they do not believe that these are God’s words – to them the Bible is just another religious book or a fabrication of man – so they are completely comfortable living in disobedience to these words because the word of God has no rule over their lives – “they have no delight in it.”
From the time I received the Lord in 1970 till the time I got turned around in 1986, I was not a Bible reader – and I argued ignorantly with someone about something it said – but when I picked it up to read it there was no question in my mind about it’s author, it’s verity or it’s judgment in my life – this is God’s book and I was out of line with it – that old book has been straightening me out ever since – and it still has plenty of work to do – praise the Lord, he’s getting the work done.
A backslidden Christian is never going to get turned around unless he comes to the place that he believes that book and that he is accountable to God to do what it says – if he doesn’t see that book as the judge of everything in his life [Jn 12:48] he will never live in a right relationship with God – and today many of the Christians I see who grew up in church and who have now fallen into sin are living in absolute defiance of God’s words – they could care less and are not the least bit concerned that the Bible is against them [Prov 13:13].
They do not fear God – Jer 5:22-24 – like Rom 1:28 says, they do not “like to retain God in their knowledge” – when I was backslidden, I certainly turned my back on God and, in a desire to fulfill my lust, I didn’t want to think about God – I’m pretty sure that’s true of most backslidden Christians – but I never quit believing in him – I never thought Jesus was a myth or a fairy tale or that God didn’t exist – but today we find more and more professing Christians who had some evidence that they were saved living with the attitude that God isn’t real – that eternity isn’t real and that everything they do is for today without any consequence in the hereafter.
Listen, when you deny the existence of God, when you lose your fear of God, there is nothing anyone is going to do to turn you around – you don’t have anyone to turn around to – the way you’re going is just fine with you – parents, when you try to deal with a child who has concluded that this God “stuff” isn’t for them, when they could care less about God, you aren’t going to turn them – their problem is deeply rooted in the fact that they are out of line with the supreme authority in the universe – well if they are out of line with him is it any wonder that they are out of line with you or out of line with the law? Of course not!
They want preachers who lie to them – Jer 5:31 – if they do still recognize that the Bible, to some degree, has something to do with God and something to do with them and if they recognize that God is “’up’ or ‘out’ or ‘in’ there somewhere,” but they still want to live in their sin then they will look for a church that accepts them in their sin – you can find all kinds of backslidden or professing Christians today who will accept you in your sin as if everything between you and God is A-Okay, even if you are living absolutely contrary to God’s word.
When we were backslidden back then we never even thought for a minute that God had somehow changed his mind about our sin and that what we were doing was now okay with God – we didn’t get straightened out until we acknowledged the truth, repented and recovered ourselves out of the snare of the devil [2 Tim 2:26] – but today’s backslidden Christian wants to continue to live in his sin and in the snare of the devil and yet he wants the church to love him just the way he is AND he wants God to love him just the way he is without any need to change – he wants his sin and his church, too – Paul would have never gone along with that [1 Cor 5]. When you go to a modern church that will not preach the truth and that will not preach against sin then you can live comfortably out of fellowship with God. You will never turn. God forbid that we are ever a church like that.
Conclusion: I pray and beg God for many of the backslidden “Christians” I know – thankfully, a few of them have begun to turn back to righteousness – but I must say most of them haven’t and at times it looks well nigh hopeless – we will continue to pray and hope that God will one day meet them like he met Balaam and that the fear of God and the holiness of God’s words will stop them in their tracks – we pray they will reconcile with God, bypass the lying preachers and find their way back to a church that will nurture them lovingly back to spiritual health in the Lord and away from their sin that caused them to stray.