What is Backsliding?


Hosea 14:4  I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.


What is behind backsliding and apostasy?

Why do people get discouraged and blame God?

While there are probably many things that could be said; one reason is that people expect God to do something that is actually their responsibility (like tithe, pray, obey).

When results are not forthcoming, they blame God, not realizing their responsibility to pray, obey, decree, or otherwise be part of the process.

For a long time there has been a idea that God can do anything  in the earth … He can stop wars, prevent babies from dying, or change any bad circumstance at whim.

God can do all things.  But it is in accordance with the covenants that God has set up on the earth, and those have specific requirements for both parties (God’s side and mankind’s side) or fine print as we would call it today.

The idea in the world about God is “que sera, sera”, “what will be, will be”, and if it happens, God willed it.  Then people blame God and say how could a loving God do “fill in the blank”.  But a loving God did not do it.

The extreme version of this view (which indicates its fallacy) would be that a kid too young for a driver’s license steals the family car in rebellion, gets high on drugs and/or alcohol, drives DUI or DWI, kills someone, and then people say, “It must have been the will of God” or that “God took the person/people who were killed early for some reason unknown to us” and that “We must simply accept the will of God.”

Someone in rebellion, driving DUI or DWI, causing an accident where lives are lost was not the will of God.

That was destructive. This is what Jesus said about destruction.

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.


The reason people say things like “God could (fill in the blank) if He wanted to” is because they believe that God is all powerful and therefore can do anything.

God is all powerful, but he is also a Law Giver and obeys his own laws and covenants in order to uphold the righteous throne of his kingdom.  If God could do anything, then the moment Adam and Eve fell, he could have said “time out”, let’s have a second take of that bad scene, but that was not possible.  God had already turned dominion of the earth over to mankind.  God had to work to remedy the situation by coming into the earth as Jesus, legally solving the matter of the Fall as the son of God as well as the son of man, and then Jesus ascended back to heaven to sit on the right hand of the Father.

It took time and a righteous legal process (in the eyes of heaven) according to the righteous laws of God to remedy the Fall.  God couldn’t and can’t just pop in and do anything at any time due to his covenants and also due to the fact that God has given mankind free will.

That is why God doesn’t send anyone to hell.  People send themselves to hell by refusing to receive the remedy that Jesus Christ has already provided and freely offers to mankind.  If people refuse the remedy, the default state is hell after death.  It has nothing to do with works, it has to do with either having been redeemed from the sin nature of the Fall by being born again, or not having been redeemed.

II Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.


Once in the family, works (to use a rough comparison that theologically would never be used but helps the modern mind to understand) works will help you climb the family ladder, but works will not birth you into the family.

Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.


Only through Jesus can someone come into the family of God.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.


It is important we use Biblical words so we can connect the dots. When a fire or hurricane destroys someone’s home, their lives are not “upended”, their lives or homes or livlihood are “destroyed”. We can begin to evaluate what happened if we start with Biblical vocabulary.

Jesus destroyed the works of the devil.  In Biblical understanding Jesus made it possible for mankind to pick up at the beginning what was lost, which is dominion over the earth.  By being born again through Jesus Christ, then a born again believer has access to the power of the Blood of Jesus, the authority of the name of Jesus and sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.  Then that individual can again have dominion or authority as it was before the Fall or even more so.

But Jesus is not the one to operate that authority on earth. Mankind is to use the authority of the name of Jesus as a policeman uses the authority of his badge to enforce law and order.

It is God’s authority.  It is man’s responsibility to use that authority in accordance with the will of God.

If the results are not satisfactory, mankind in general, and we all as individuals, through prayer and reading the Bible, must discern where there are sins of omission or commission and correct those things.

Imperfect obedience brings imperfect results. And that is not God’s fault.

One of the major places to start is with tithing, which existed before the law and did not go out of existence with Jesus.  Jesus did end the “stop gap” law of sacrifice that existed to temporarily cover sin until Jesus came, as Jesus was the final sacrifice for the remission of sins.  Jesus did not end tithing.

People create problems for themselves when they say tithing is Old Testament so they don’t want to tithe.  But then they can never experience the consistent blessing of consistent tithing if they don’t consistently tithe because they think they don’t have to do it.  And then they blame God for poor results.


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