Devotions:

Are You Saved?

If you were to die today are you 100% sure you would go to HEAVEN?

Things... that will NOT save your soul!

yesno

Read more about:

Assurance of Salvation.
Are you Born Again?
Hoe om Wedergebore te word.
Wedergeboorte.

How to Give Your Testimony

In this article I will lead you through some simple steps you can take to learn how to give your Christian testimony to others.
READ HOW...

Aan wie behoort jy?

Deur Frikkie Osborne

Liewe leser, wat sal u antwoord op hierdie eenvoudige, dog dringende en eerlike vraag wees? “Aan wie behoort u?” U antwoord hierop is van kardinale belang, want u ewige bestemming hang daarvan af.
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The Backslider in Heart

Charles G. Finney

I. What backsliding in heart is not.

II. What backsliding in heart is.

III. What are evidences of backsliding in heart.

IV. What are consequences of backsliding in heart.

V. How to recover from this state.

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Things that will NOT save your soul!

- Church membership
- Confirmation and Baptism
- The Lord’s communion
- Religious Ceremonial Rituals
- Prayers (Your own or any other’s)
- Almsgiving
- Keeping the “Golden Rule”
- Being good an doing good
- Good works and good character
- Dying for your country or religion
- Lodge Membership
- Half-hearted Assent to any general belief in Christian principles.

Jesus said: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
These words of Christ are final and without exception. It is therefore imperative that everyone inquire diligently, with regard to this experience.

 

You can DRIFT into Hell,
But you cannot DRIFT into Heaven!



Now, what is the food for
the inner man? Not prayer,
but the Word of God;
and here again, not the
simple reading of the Word
of God...but considering
what we read, pondering
over it, and applying it to
our hearts.

- George Muller -

Stappe van Redding
- uit die lewe van Saggeüs

Verlore in sonde
Die uitnodiging
Die uitnodiging aanvaar
Restitusie en getuienis
Belofte van redding
Voorwaarde van redding
LEES ARTIKEL...

Wysheid

Die beginsel van die wysheid is om die Here te vrees, en die vrees van die Here is om te haat wat sleg is (sonde).
LEES ARTIKEL...



If a man be not absolutely determined to give up his sins and evil companions, and have his soul saved at all hazards, and at every expense, he will surely perish everlastingly. This requires a violent earnestness.

-Adam Clarke


Volle Oorgawe

Rom 12:1 Ek vermaan julle dan, broeders, by die ontferminge van God, dat julle jul liggame stel as ‘n lewende, heilige en aan God welgevallige offer dit is julle redelike godsdiens.

Daar is twee defnitiewe voorwaardes vir ‘n lewe van oorwinning:
LEES ARTIKEL...


John 3;3: …verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God;

Nicodemus, according to the general sense of the nation, thought that when the Messiah came, and his kingdom was set up, they should all share in it, without any more ado; they being the descendants of Abraham, and having him for their father: but Christ assures him, that he must be "born again"; in distinction from, and opposition to his first birth by nature; in which he was vile, polluted, carnal, and corrupt, being conceived in sin, and shapen in iniquity, and was a transgressor from the womb, and by nature a child of wrath; and in opposition to his descent from Abraham, or being born of him, and of his seed; for this would be of no avail to him in this case, nor give him any right to the privileges and ordinances of the kingdom of God, or the Gospel dispensation; see Mt 3:9;
-Adam Clarke

GO ON

J.O. McClurkan

You will only keep the grace you now have by going on and seeking more.  There are heights, depths, and breadths in the great Father’s heart that you know but little about.  Press on to be filled with all his fullness.  (Eph. 3:19.)  If I had but one message to holiness people, it would be, Go deeper – press on to know him in all his preciousness.  Exalt him more and more until your heart is a sea of glory – a garden where all the rich graces of the Spirit bloom, a temple filled with his beauty – yea, the palace from which the royal wealth of heaven’s King shall go forth to bless this old world in a thousand ways.

What Holiness means to me
George B. Ferguson

To say with deep sincerity and out of a pure heart, that, “I praise the Lord for wholly sanctifying my heart”, covers a multitude of expressions concerning holiness. The depth of meaning in the word “holiness” goes to the core of the individual personality; cleansing every root of our being, that we might be fashioned in the image of God.
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Sin must be pardoned, and the impurity of the heart washed away, before any soul can possibly enter into the kingdom of God. As this new birth implies the renewing of the whole soul in righteousness and true holiness, it is not a matter that may be dispensed with: heaven is a place of holiness, and nothing but what is like itself can ever enter into it.

-Adam Clarke

 

VOLKOME HEILIGMAKING
‘N REIN HART GEVUL MET DIE HEILIGE GEES

Met die ondervinding van wedergeboorte (Joh. 3:3)  én die bevestiging daarvan (Rom. 8:16) deur die getuienis van die Heilige Gees, vind ‘n radikale verandering van lewenswyse plaas (2 Kor. 5:17).

Hierna volg ‘n proses van selfontdekking wat lei tot die behoefte aan ‘n dieper innerlike verlossing (vrymaking) en reiniging van die inwonende sonde asook die vervulling met die Heilige Gees.
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Press on to Sanctification
(By John Fletcher)

Entire sanctification is an instantaneous salvation – that act of the Holy Ghost, according to our faith, by which sin is entirely expelled from the soul, when the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin, and includes an instantaneous power then given, always to cleave to God.
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I AM A NEW CHRISTIAN WHAT DO I DO NOW??

When you received Christ as your Saviour, several things took place in your life.
1. YOU BECAME A CHILD OF GOD.
2. YOUR SINS WERE FORGIVEN.
3. YOU PASSED FROM DEATH UNTO LIFE.
4. YOU RECEIVED ETERNAL LIFE AS A GIFT.
5. YOU SHALL NOT COME INTO CONDEMNATION.

However, there are certain things God expects from you now.
1. YOU SHOULD BE SCRIPTURALLY BAPTIZED.
2. YOU SHOULD READ THE BIBLE DAILY.
3. YOU SHOULD PRAY DAILY.
4. YOU SHOULD CONFESS YOUR SINS DAILY.
5. YOU SHOULD TELL OTHERS ABOUT CHRIST.
6. YOU SHOULD KEEP YOUR HEART AND THOUGHTS CLEAN.
7. YOU SHOULD ATTEND A BIBLE BELIEVING CHURCH REGULARLY.
8. YOU SHOULD WORK FOR THE LORD.
9. YOU SHOULD LOOK FOR THE SOON RETURN OF THE LORD.


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PASOP VIR DIE JAKKALSE!
Helena Garratt

1.  Die jakkals van Sterk Drank.
2.  Wêreldse Vermaak
(a) Kan ek God, deur my gaan daarheen, verheerlik?
(b) Sou ek graag wil hê dat die Here my daar moet vind?
3.  Die ‘jakkals’ van ongewenste (goddelose) geselskap.

“Neem my hart, en laat dit immermeer,
Vir alles toe wees behalwe vir U, o Heer.”

 

Faith and Assurance
JC Ryle

Reader, if you really desire to go to heaven, and to go there in the Bible way, you will find the subject of this tract of the deepest importance. Believe me, your own comfort in religion, and your peace of conscience, depend exceedingly on understanding the matter about which I am going to speak.

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Complete Salvation
AW Tozer

Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. —Hebrews 7:25

READ ARTICLE...


"We are never so high as when we are on our knees..."
-Unknown Christian-

 

The Backslider in Heart PDF Print E-mail
Charles G. Finney
     __________________________________________________________________ 
   I cannot conclude this course of lectures, without warning converts
   against backsliding. In discussing this subject, I will show:
 
   I. What backsliding in heart is not. 
   II. What backsliding in heart is. 
   III. What are evidences of backsliding in heart. 
   IV. What are consequences of backsliding in heart. 
   V. How to recover from this state.
     __________________________________________________________________ 
   1. It does not consist in the subsidence of highly excited religious
   emotions. The subsidence of religious feeling may be an evidence of a
   backslidden heart, but it does not consist in the cooling off of
   religious feeling.
     __________________________________________________________________ 
   1. It consists in taking back that consecration to God and His service,
   that constitutes true conversion.
 
   2. It is the leaving, by a Christian, of his first love.
 
   3. It consists in the Christian withdrawing himself from that state of
   entire and universal devotion to God, which constitutes true religion,
   and coming again under the control of a self-pleasing spirit.
 
   4. The text implies that there may be a backslidden heart, when the
   forms of religion and obedience to God are maintained. As we know from
   consciousness that men perform the same, or similar, acts from widely
   different, and often from opposite, motives, we are certain that men
   may keep up all the outward forms and appearances of religion, when in
   fact, they are backslidden in heart. No doubt the most intense
   selfishness often takes on a religious type, and there are many
   considerations that might lead a backslider in heart to keep up the
   forms, while he had lost the power of godliness in his soul.
     __________________________________________________________________ 
   1. Manifest formality in religious exercises. A stereotyped, formal way
   of saying and doing things, that is clearly the result of habit, rather
   than the outgushing of the religious life. This formality will be
   emotionless and cold as an iceberg, and will evince a total want of
   earnestness in the performance of religious duty. In prayer and in
   religious exercises the backslider in heart will pray or praise, or
   confess, or give thanks with his lips, so that all can hear him,
   perhaps, but in such a way that no one can feel him. Such a formality
   would be impossible where there existed a present, living faith and
   love, and religious zeal.
 
   2. A lack of religious enjoyment is evidence of a backslidden heart. We
   always enjoy the saying and doing of those things that please those
   whom we most love; furthermore, when the heart is not backslidden,
   communion with God is kept up, and therefore all religious duties are
   not only performed with pleasure, but the communion with God involved
   in them is a source of rich and continual enjoyment. If we do not enjoy
   the service of God, it is because we do not truly serve Him. If we love
   Him supremely, it is impossible that we should not enjoy His service at
   every step. Always remember then, whenever you lose your religious
   enjoyment, or the enjoyment of serving God, you may know that you are
   not serving Him aright.
 
   3. Religious bondage is another evidence of a backslidden heart. God
   has no slaves. He does not accept the service of bondsmen, who serve
   Him because they must. He accepts none but a love service. A backslider
   in heart finds his religious duties a burden to him. He has promised to
   serve the Lord. He dare not wholly break off from the form of service,
   and he tries to be dutiful, while he has no heart in prayer, in praise,
   in worship, or in any of those exercises which are so spontaneous and
   delightful, where there is true love to God. The backslider in heart is
   often like a dutiful, but unloving wife. She tries to do her duty to
   her husband, but fails utterly because she does not love him. Her
   painstaking to please her husband is constrained, not the spontaneous
   outburst of a loving heart; and her relationship and her duties become
   the burden of her life. She goes about complaining of the weight of
   care that is upon her, and will not be likely to advise young ladies to
   marry. She is committed for life, and must therefore perform the duties
   of married life, but it is such a bondage! Just so with religious
   bondage. The professor must perform his duty. He drags painfully about
   it, and you will hear him naturally sing backslider's hymns:
 
   Reason I hear, her counsels weigh, 
   And all her words approve 
   And yet I find it hard to obey, 
   And harder still, to love.

   4. An ungoverned temper. While the heart is full of love, the temper
   will naturally be chastened and sweet, or at any rate, the will keep it
   under, and not suffer it to break out in outrageous abuse, or if at any
   time it should so far escape from the control of the will as to break
   loose in hateful words, it will soon be brought under, and by no means
   suffered to take control and manifest itself to the annoyance of
   others. Especially will a loving heart confess and break down, if at
   any time bad temper gets the control. Whenever, therefore, there is an
   irritable, uncontrolled temper allowed to manifest itself to those
   around, you may know there is a backslidden heart.

   5. A spirit of uncharitableness is evidence of a backslidden heart. By
   this, I mean a lack of that disposition that puts the best construction
   upon every one's conduct that can be reasonable a lack of confidence in
   the good intentions and professions of others. We naturally credit the
   good professions of those whom we love. We naturally attribute to them
   right motives, and put the best allowable construction upon their words
   and deeds. Where there is a lack of this there is evidence conclusive
   of a backslidden or unloving heart.
 
   6. A censorious spirit is conclusive evidence of a backslidden heart.
   This is a spirit of fault-finding, of impugning the motives of others,
   when their conduct admits of a charitable construction. It is a
   disposition to fasten blame upon others, and judge them harshly. It is
   a spirit of distrust of Christian character and profession. It is a
   state of mind that reveals itself in harsh judgments, harsh sayings,
   and the manifestation of uncomfortable feelings toward individuals.
   This state of mind is entirely incompatible with a loving heart, and
   whenever a censorious spirit is manifested by a professor of religion,
   you may know there is a backslidden heart.
 
   7. A lack of interest in God's Word, is also an evidence of a
   backslidden heart. Perhaps nothing more conclusively proves that a
   professor has a backslidden heart, than his losing his interest in the
   Bible. While the heart is full of love, no book in the world is so
   precious as the Bible. But when the love is gone, the Bible becomes not
   only uninteresting but often repulsive. There is no faith to accept its
   promises, but conviction enough left to dread its threatening. But in
   general the backslider in heart is apathetic as to the Bible. He does
   not read it much, and when he does read it, he has not interest enough
   to understand it. Its pages become dark and uninteresting, and
   therefore it is neglected.
 
   8. A lack of interest in secret prayer is also an evidence of a
   backslidden heart. Young Christian, if you find yourself losing your
 interest in the Bible and in secret prayer, stop short, return to God,
   and give yourself no rest, till you enjoy the light of His countenance.
   If you feel disinclined to pray, or to read your Bible; if when you
   pray and read your Bible, you have no heart; if you are inclined to
   make your secret devotions short, or are easily induced to neglect
   them; or if your thoughts, affections, and emotions wander, you may
   know that you are a backslider in heart, and your first business is to
   be broken down before God, and to see that your love and zeal are
   renewed.
 
   9. A lack of interest in the conversion of souls and in efforts to
   promote revivals of religion. This of course reveals a backslidden
   heart. There is nothing in which a loving heart takes more interest
   than in the conversion of souls in revivals of religion, and in efforts
   to promote them.
 
   10. A lack of interest in published accounts or narratives of revivals
   of religion, is also an evidence of a backslidden heart. While one
   retains his interest in the conversion of souls, and in revivals of
   religion he will, of course, be interested in all accounts of revivals
   of religion anywhere. If you find yourself, therefore, disinclined to
   read such accounts, or find yourself not interested in them, take it
   for granted that you are backslidden in heart.
 
   11. The same is true of missions, and missionary work and operations.
   If you lose your interest in the work, and in the conversion of the
   heathen, and do not delight to read and hear of the success of
   missions, you may know that you are backslidden in heart.
 
   12. The loss of interest in benevolent enterprises generally is an
   evidence of a backslidden heart. I say, "the loss of interest," for
   surely, if you were ever converted to Christ, you have had an interest
   in all benevolent enterprises that came within your knowledge. Religion
   consists in disinterested benevolence. Of course, a converted soul
   takes the deepest interest in all benevolent efforts to reform and save
   mankind; in good government, in Christian education, in the cause of
   temperance, in the abolition of slavery, in provision for the needs of
   the poor, and in short, in every good word and work. Just in proportion
   as you have lost your interest in these, you have evidence that you are
   backslidden in heart.
 
   13. The loss of interest in truly spiritual conversation is another
   evidence of a backslidden heart. "Out of the abundance of the heart the
   mouth speaketh" (Matthew 12:34). This our Lord Jesus Christ announced
   as a law of our nature. No conversation is so sweet to a truly loving
   heart, as that which relates to Christ, and to our living Christian
   experience. If you find yourself losing interest in conversing on heart
   religion, and of the various and wonderful experiences of Christians,
   if you have known what the true love of God is, you have fallen from
   it, and are a backslider in heart.
 
   14. A loss of interest in the conversation and society of highly
   spiritual people, is an evidence of a backslidden heart. We take the
   greatest delight in the society of those who are most interested in the
   things that are most dear to us.
 
   Hence, a loving Christian heart will always seek the society of those
   who are most spiritually minded, and whose conversation is most
   evangelical and spiritual. If you find yourself wanting in this
   respect, then know for certain that you are backslidden in heart.
 
   15. The loss of interest in the question of sanctification is an
   evidence of a backslidden heart. I say again, the loss of interest,
   for, if you ever truly knew the love of God, you must have had a great
   interest in the question of entire consecration to God, or of entire
   sanctification. If you are a Christian, you have felt that sin was an
   abomination to your soul. You have had inexpressible longings to be rid
   of it forever, and everything that could throw light upon that question
   of agonizing importance was most intensely interesting to you. If this
   question has been dismissed, and you no longer take an interest in it,
   it is because you are backslidden in heart.
 
   16. The loss of interest in those newly converted, is also an evidence
   of a backslidden heart. The Psalmist says: "They that fear Thee will be
   glad when they see me; because I have hoped in Thy word" (Psalm
   119:74). This he puts into the mouth of a convert, and who does not
   know that this is true? There is joy in the presence of the angels of
   God, over one sinner that repenteth, and is there not joy among the
   saints on earth, over those that come to Christ, and are as babes newly
   born into the Kingdom? Show me a professor of religion who does not
   manifest an absorbing interest in converts to Christ, and I will show
   you a backslider in heart, and a hypocrite; he professes religion, but
   has none.
 
   17. An uncharitable state of mind in regard to professed converts, is
   also an evidence of a backslidden heart. Charity, or love, "believeth
   all things, hopeth all things" (1 Corinthians 13:7), is very ready to
   judge kindly and favorably of those who profess to be converted to
   Christ, and will naturally watch over them with interest, pray for
   them, instruct them, and have as much confidence in them as it is
   reasonable to have. A disposition, therefore, to pick at, criticize,
   and censure them, is an evidence of a backslidden heart.
 
   18. The lack of the spirit of prayer is evidence of a backslidden
 heart. While the love of Christ remains fresh in the soul, the
   indwelling Spirit of God will reveal Himself as the Spirit of grace and
   supplication. He will beget strong desires in the soul for the
   salvation of sinners and the sanctification of saints. He will often
   make intercessions in them, with great longings, strong crying and
   tears, and with groanings that cannot he uttered in words, for those
   things that are according to the will of God. Or, to express it in
   Scripture language, according to Paul: "Likewise the Spirit also
   helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we
   ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings
   which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what
   is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the
   saints according to the will of God" (Romans 8:26, 27). If the spirit
   of prayer departs, it is a sure indication of a backslidden heart, for
   while the first love of a Christian continues he is sure to be drawn by
   the Holy Spirit to wrestle much in prayer.
 
   19. A backslidden heart often reveals itself by the manner in which
   people pray. For example, praying as if in a state of
   self-condemnation, or very much like a convicted sinner, is an evidence
   of a backslidden heart. Such a person will reveal the fact, that he is
   not at peace with God. His confessions and self-accusations will show
   to others what perhaps he does not well understand himself. His manner
   of praying will reveal the fact that he has not communion with God;
   that instead of being filled with faith and love, he is more or less
   convicted of sin, and conscious that he is not in a state of acceptance
   with God. He will naturally pray more like a convicted sinner than like
   a Christian. It will be seen by his prayer that he is not in a state of
   Christian liberty that he is having a Seventh of Romans experience,
   instead of that which is described in the Eighth.
 
   20. A backslidden heart will further reveal itself in praying almost
   exclusively for self, and for those friends that are regarded almost as
   parts of self. It is often very striking and even shocking to attend a
   backsliders' prayer meeting, and I am very sorry to say that many
   prayer meetings of the Church are little else. Their prayers are timid
   and hesitating, and reveal the fact that they have little or no faith.
   Instead of surrounding the Throne of Grace and pouring their hearts out
   for a blessing on those around them, they have to be urged up to duty,
   to "take up their cross." Their hearts do not, will not, spontaneously
   gush out to God in prayer. They have very little concern for others,
   and when they do, as they say, "take up their cross and do their duty,"
   and pretend to lead in prayer, it will be observed that they pray just
   like a company of convicted sinners, almost altogether for themselves.
   They will pray for that which, should they obtain it, would be
   religion, just as a convicted sinner would pray for a new heart; and
   the fact that they pray for religion as they do, manifests that they
   have none, in their present state of mind. Ask them to pray for the
   conversion of sinners, and they will either wholly forget to do so, or
   just mention sinners in such a way as will show that they have no heart
   to pray for them.
 
   I have known professed Christian parents to get into such a state that
   they had no heart to pray for the conversion of their own children,
   even when those children were under conviction. They would keep up
   family prayer, and attend a weekly prayer meeting, but would never get
   out of the rut of praying round and round for themselves. A few years
   since I was laboring in a revival in a Presbyterian Church. At the
   close of the evening sermon I found that the daughter of one of the
   elders of the Church was in great distress of mind. I observed that her
   convictions were very deep. We had been holding a meeting with
   inquirers in the vestry, and I had just dismissed the inquirers, when
   this young lady came to me in great agitation and begged me to pray for
   her. The people had mostly gone, except a few who were waiting in the
   body of the church for those friends who had attended the meeting of
   inquiry. I called the father of this young lady into the vestry that he
   might see the very anxious state of his daughter's mind. After a short
   personal conversation with her in the presence of her father, I called
   on him to pray for her, and said that I would follow him, and I urged
   her to give her heart to Christ. We all knelt, and he went through with
   his prayer, kneeling by the side of his sobbing daughter, without ever
   mentioning her case. His prayer revealed that he had no more religion
   than she had, and that he was very much in her state of mind under an
   awful sense of condemnation. He had kept up the appearance of religion.
   As an elder of the Church, he was obliged to keep up appearances. He
had gone round and round upon the treadmill of his duties, while his
   heart was utterly backslidden. It is often almost nauseating to attend
   a prayer meeting of the backslidden in heart. They will go round,
   round, one after the other, in reality praying for their own
   conversion. They do not so express it, but that is the real import of
   their prayer. They could not render it more evident that they are
   backsliders in heart.
 
   21. Absence from stated prayer meetings for slight reasons, is a sure
   indication of a backslidden heart. No meeting is more interesting to
   Christians than the prayer meeting, and while they have any heart to
   pray, they will not be absent from prayer meeting unless prevented from
   attending by the providence of God. If a call from a friend at the hour
   of meeting can prevent their attendance, unless the call is made under
   very peculiar circumstances, it is strong evidence that they do not
   wish to attend, and hence, that they are backsliders in heart. A call
   at such a time would not prevent their attending a wedding, a party, a
   picnic, or an amusing lecture. The fact is, it is hypocrisy for them to
   pretend that they really want to go, while they can be kept away for
   slight reasons.
 
   22. The same is true of the neglect of family prayer, for slight
   reasons. While the heart is engaged in religion, Christians will not
   readily omit family devotions, and whenever they are ready to find an
   excuse for the omission, it is a sure evidence that they are
   backslidden in heart.
 
   23. When secret prayer is regarded more as a duty than as a privilege,
   it is because the heart is backslidden. It has always appeared to me
   almost ridiculous, to hear Christians speak of prayer as a "duty." It
   is one of the greatest of earthly privileges. What should we think of a
   child coming to its parent for its dinner, not because it is hungry,
   but as a duty. How would it strike us to hear a beggar speak of the
   "duty" of asking alms of us. It is an infinite privilege to be allowed
   to come to God, and ask for the supply of all our wants. But to pray
   because we must, rather than because we may, seems unnatural. To ask
   for what we want, and because we want it, and because God has
   encouraged us to ask, and has promised to answer our request, is
   natural and reasonable. But to pray as a duty and as if we were
   obliging God by our prayer, is quite ridiculous, and is a certain
   indication of a backslidden heart.
 
   24. Pleading for worldly amusements is also an indication of a
   backslidden heart. The most grateful amusements possible, to a truly
   spiritual mind, are those engagements that bring the soul into the most
   direct communion with God. While the heart is full of love and faith,
   an hour, or an evening, spent alone in communion with God, is more
   delightful than all the amusements which the world can offer. A loving
   heart is jealous of everything that will break up or interfere with its
   communion with God. For mere worldly amusements it has no relish. When
   the soul does not find more delight in God than in all worldly things,
   the heart is sadly backslidden.
 
   25. Spiritual blindness is another evidence of a backslidden heart.
   While the eye is single the whole body will be full of spiritual light,
   but if the eye be evil (which means a backslidden heart) the whole body
   will be full of darkness.
 
   Spiritual blindness reveals itself in a lack of interest in God's Word,
   and in religious truth generally. It will also manifest a lack of
   spiritual discrimination, and will be easily imposed upon by the
   insinuations of Satan. A backslidden heart will lead to the adoption of
   lax principles of morality. It does not discern the spirituality of
   God's law, and of His requirements generally. When this spiritual
   blindness is manifest it is a sure indication that the heart is
   backslidden.
 
   26. Religious apathy, with worldly wakefulness and sensibility, is a
   sure indication of a backslidden heart. We sometimes see persons who
   feel deeply and quickly on worldly subjects, but who cannot be made to
   feel deeply on religious subjects. This clearly indicates a backslidden
   state of mind.
 
   27. A self-indulgent spirit is a sure indication of a backslidden
   heart. By self-indulgence, I mean a disposition to gratify the
   appetites, passions, and propensities, to "fulfill the desires of the
   flesh and of the mind" (Ephesians 2:3).

   This, in the Bible, is represented as a state of spiritual death. I am
   satisfied that the most common occasion of backsliding in heart is to
   be found in the clamor for indulgence of the various appetites and
   propensities. The appetite for food is frequently, and perhaps more
   frequently than any other, the occasion of backsliding. Few Christians,
   I fear, apprehend any danger in this direction. God's injunction is:
   "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the
   glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31). Christians forget this, and eat
   and drink to please themselves, consulting their appetites instead of
   the laws of life and health. More persons are ensnared by their tables
   than the Church is aware of. The table is a snare of death to
   multitudes that no man can number. A great many people who avoid
   alcoholic drinks altogether, will indulge in tea and coffee, and even
   tobacco, and in food that, both in quantity and quality, violates every
   law of health. They seem to have no other law than that of appetite,
   and this they so deprave by abuse that, to indulge it, is to ruin body
   and soul together. Show me a gluttonous professor, and I will show you
   a backslider.
 
   28. A seared conscience is also an evidence of a backslidden heart.
   While the soul is wakeful and loving, the conscience is as tender as
   the apple of the eye. But when the heart is backslidden, the conscience
   is silent and seared, on many subjects. Such a person will tell you
   that he is not violating his conscience, in eating or drinking, or in
   self-indulgence of any kind. You will find a backslider has but little
   conscience. The same will very generally be true in regard to sins of
   omission. Multitudes of duties may be neglected and a seared conscience
   will remain silent. Where conscience is not awake, the heart is surely
   backslidden.
 
   29. Loose moral principles are a sure indication of a backslidden
   heart. A backslider in heart will write letters on the Sabbath, engage
   in secular reading, and in much worldly conversation. In business, such
   a person will take little advantages, play off business tricks, and
   conform to the habits of worldly business men in the transaction of
   business; he will be guilty of deception and misrepresentation in
   making bargains, will demand exorbitant interest, and take advantage of
   the necessities of his fellow-men.
 
   30. Prevalence of the fear of man is an evidence of a backslidden
   heart. While the heart is full of the love of God, God is feared, and
   not man. A desire for the applause of men is kept down, and it is
   enough to please God, whether men are pleased or displeased. But when
   the love of God is abated, "the fear of man," that "bringeth a snare"
   (Proverbs 29:25), gets possession of the backslider. To please man
   rather than God, is then his aim. In such a state he will sooner offend
   God than man.
 
   31. A sticklishness about forms, ceremonies, and nonessentials, gives
   evidence of a backslidden heart. A loving heart is particular only
   about the substance and power of religion, and will not stickle about
   its forms.
 
   32. A captiousness about measures in promoting revivals of religion, is
   a sure evidence of a backslidden heart. Where the heart is fully set
   upon the conversion of sinners and the sanctification of believers, it
   will naturally approach the subject in the most direct manner, and by
   means in the highest degree calculated to accomplish the end. It will
   not object to, nor stumble at, measures that are evidently blessed of
   God, but will exert the utmost sagacity in devising the most suitable
   means to accomplish the great end on which the heart is set.
     __________________________________________________________________ 
   The text says, that "the backslider in heart shall be filled with his
   own ways." 
   1. He shall be filled with his own works. But these are dead works,
   they are not works of faith and love, which are acceptable to God, but
   are the filthy rags of his own righteousness. If they are performed as
   religious services, they are but loathsome hypocrisy, and an
   abomination to God; there is no heart in them. To such a person God
   says: "Who hath required this at your hand?" (Isaiah 1:12). "Ye are
   they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts:
   for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight
   of God" (Luke 16:15). "I know you, that ye have not the love of God in
   you" (John 5:42). 
   2. He shall be filled with his own feelings. Instead of that sweet
   peace and rest, and joy in the Holy Ghost, that he once experienced, he
   will find himself in a state of unrest, dissatisfied with himself and
   everybody else, his feelings often painful, humiliating, and as
   unpleasant and unlovely as can be well conceived. It is often very
   trying to live with backsliders. They are often peevish, censorious,
   and irritating, in all their ways. They have forsaken God, and in their
   feelings there is more of hell than of heaven. 
   3. They will be filled with their own prejudices. Their willingness to
   know and do the truth has gone. They will very naturally commit
   themselves against any truth that bears hardly upon a self-indulgent
   spirit. They will endeavor to justify themselves, will neither read nor
   hear that which will rebuke their backslidden state, and they will
   become deeply prejudiced against every one that shall cross their path,
   who shall reprove them, accounting him as an enemy. They hedge
   themselves in, and shut their eyes against the light; stand on the
   defensive, and criticize everything that would search them out. 
   4. A backslider in heart will be filled with his own enmities. He will
   chafe in almost every relation of life, will allow himself to be vexed,
   and to get into such relations with some persons, and perhaps with
   many, that he cannot pray for them honestly, and can hardly treat them
   with common civility. This is an almost certain result of a backslidden
   heart. 
   5. The backslider in heart will be full of his own mistakes. He is not
   walking with God. He has fallen out of the Divine order. He is not led
   by the Spirit, but is walking in spiritual darkness. In this state he
   is sure to fall into many and grievous mistakes, and may get entangled
   in such a way as to mar his happiness, and, perhaps, destroy his
   usefulness for life. Mistakes in business, mistakes in forming new
   relations in life, mistakes in using his time, his tongue, his money,
   his influence; indeed, all will go wrong with him as long as he remains
   in a backslidden state. 
   6. The backslider in heart will be filled with his own lustings. His
   appetites and passions, which had been kept under, have now resumed
   their control, and having been so long suppressed, they will seem to
   avenge themselves by becoming more clamorous and despotic than ever.
   The animal appetites and passions will burst forth, to the astonishment
   of the backslider, and he will probably find himself more under their
   influence and more enslaved by them than ever before. 
   7. The backslider in heart will be filled with his own words. While in
   that state, he will not, and cannot, control his tongue. It will prove
   itself to be an unruly member, full of deadly poison. By his words he
   will involve himself in many difficulties and perplexities, from which
   he can never extricate himself until he comes back to God. 
   8. He will be full of his own trials. Instead of keeping out of
   temptation, he will run right into it. He will bring upon himself
   multitudes of trials that he never would have had, had he not departed
   from God. He will complain of his trials, but yet will constantly
   multiply them. A backslider feels his trials keenly, but, while he
   complains of being so tried by everything around him, he is constantly
   aggravating them, and, being the author of them, he seems industrious
   to bring them upon himself like an avalanche. 
   9. The backslider in heart shall be full of his own folly. Having
   rejected the Divine guidance, he will evidently fall into the depths of
   his own foolishness. He will inevitably say and do multitudes of
   foolish and ridiculous things. Being a professor of religion, these
   things will be all the more noticed, and of course bring him all the
   more into ridicule and contempt. A backslider is, indeed, the most
   foolish person in the world. Having experimental knowledge of the true
   way of life, he has the infinite folly to abandon it. Knowing the
   fountain of living waters, he has forsaken it, and "hewed out to
   himself cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water" (Jeremiah
   2:13). Having been guilty of this infinite folly, the whole course of
   his backslidden life must be that of a fool, in the Bible sense of the
   term. 
   10. The backslider in heart will be full of his own troubles. God is
   against him, and he is against himself. He is not at peace with God,
   with himself, with the Church, nor with the world. He has no inward
   rest. Conscience condemns him. 
   God condemns him. All that know his state condemn him. "There is no
   peace, saith my God, to the wicked" (Isaiah 57:21). There is no
   position in time or space in which he can be at rest. 
   11. The backslider in heart will be full of his own cares. He has
   turned back to selfishness. He counts himself and his possessions as
   his own. He has everything to care for. He will not hold himself and
   his possessions as belonging to God, and lay aside the responsibility
   of taking care of himself and all that he possesses. He does not, will
   not, cast his cares upon the Lord, but undertakes to manage everything
   for himself, and in his own wisdom, and for his own ends. Consequently,
   his cares will be multiplied, and come upon him like a deluge. 
   12. The backslider in heart will be full of his own perplexities.
   Having forsaken God, having fallen into the darkness of his own folly,
   he will be filled with perplexities and doubts in regard to what course
   he shall pursue to accomplish his selfish ends. He is not walking with,
   but contrary to God. Hence, the providence of God will constantly cross
   his path, and baffle all his schemes. God will frown darkness upon his
   path, and take pains to confound his projects, and blow his schemes to
   the winds. 
   13. The backslider in heart will be filled with his own anxieties. He
   will be anxious about himself, about his business, about his
   reputation, about everything. He has taken all these things out of the
   hands of God, and claims them and treats them as his own. Hence, having
   faith in God no longer, and being unable to control events, he must of
   necessity be filled with anxieties with regard to the future. These
   anxieties are the inevitable result of his madness and folly in
   forsaking God. 
   14. The backslider in heart will be filled with his own
   disappointments. Having forsaken God, and taken the attitude of
   self-will, God will inevitably disappoint him as he pursues his selfish
   ends. He will frame his ways to please himself, without consulting God.
   Of course God will frame his ways so as to disappoint him. Determined
   to have his own way, he will be greatly disappointed if his plans are
   frustrated; yet the certain course of events under the government of
   God must of necessity bring him a series of disappointments. 
   15. The backslider in heart must be full of his own losses. He regards
   his possessions as his own, his time as his own, his influence as his
   own, his reputation as his own. The loss of any of these, he accounts
   as his own loss. Having forsaken God, and being unable to control the
   events upon which the continuance of those things is conditioned, he
   will find himself suffering losses on every side. He loses his peace.
   He loses his property. 
   He loses much of his time. He loses his Christian reputation. He loses
   his Christian influence, and if he persists he loses his soul. 
   16. The backslider in heart will be full of his own crosses. All
   religious duty will be irksome, and, therefore, a cross to him. His
   state of mind will make multitudes of things crosses that in a
   Christian state of mind would have been pleasant in a high degree.
   Having lost all heart in religion, the performance of all religious
   duty is a cross to his feelings. There is no help for him, unless he
   returns to God. The whole course of Divine providence will run across
   his path, and his whole life will be a series of crosses and trials. He
   cannot have his own way. He cannot gratify himself by accomplishing his
   own wishes and desires. He may beat and dash himself against the
   everlasting rocks of God's will and God's way, but break through and
   carry all before him he cannot. He must be crossed and recrossed, and
   crossed again, until he will fall into the Divine order, and sink into
   the will of God. 
   17. The backslider in heart will be filled with his own tempers. Having
   forsaken God, he will be sure to have much to irritate him. In a
   backslidden state, he cannot possess his soul in patience. The
   vexations of his backslidden life will make him nervous and irritable;
   his temper will become explosive and uncontrollable. 
   18. The backslider in heart will be full of his own disgraces. He is a
   professor of religion. The eyes of the world are upon him, and all his
   inconsistencies, worldly-mindedness, follies, bad tempers, and hateful
   words and deeds, disgrace him in the estimation of all men who know
   him. 
   19. The backslider in heart will be full of his own delusions. Having
   an evil eye, his whole body will be full of darkness. He will almost
   certainly fall into delusions in regard to doctrines and in regard to
   practices. Wandering on in darkness, as he does, he will, very likely,
   swallow the grossest delusions. Spiritism, Mormonism, Universalism, and
   every other ism that is wide from the truth, will be very likely to
   gain possession of him. Who has not observed this of backsliders in
   heart? 
   20. The backslider in heart will be filled with his own bondage. His
   profession of religion brings him into bondage to the Church. He has no
   heart to consult the interests of the Church, or to labor for its
   up-building, and yet he is under covenant obligation to do so, and his
   reputation is at stake. He must do something to sustain religious
   institutions, but to do so is a bondage. If he does it, it is because
   he must, and not because he may. Again, he is in bondage to God. If he
   performs any duty that he calls religious, it is rather as a slave than
   as a freeman. He serves from fear or hope, just like a slave, and not
   from love. A gain, he is in bondage to his own conscience. To avoid
   conviction and remorse, he will do or omit many things, but it is all
   with reluctance, and not at all of his own cordial goodwill. 
   21. The backslider in heart is full of his own self condemnation.
   Having enjoyed the love of God, and forsaken Him, he feels condemned
 for everything. If he attempts religious duty, he knows there is no
   heart in it, and hence condemns himself. If he neglects religious duty,
   he of course condemns himself. If he reads his Bible, it condemns him.
   If he does not read it, he feels condemned. If he goes to religious
   meetings, they condemn him; and if he stays away, he is condemned also.
   If he prays in secret, in his family, or in public, he knows he is not
   sincere, and feels condemned. If he neglects or refuses to pray, he
feels condemned. Everything condemns him. His conscience is up in arms
   against him, and the thunders and lightnings of condemnation follow
   him, whithersoever he goes.
     __________________________________________________________________ 
   1. Remember whence you are fallen. Take up the question at once, and
   deliberately contrast your present state with that in which you walked
   with God.
 
   2. Take home the conviction of your true position. No longer delay to
   understand the exact situation between God and your soul.
 
   3. Repent at once, and do your first works over again.
 
   4. Do not attempt to get back, by reforming your mere outside conduct.
   Begin with your heart, and at once set yourself right with God.

   5. Do not act like a more convicted sinner, and attempt to recommend
   yourself to God by any impenitent works or prayers.
 
   Do not think that you must "reform, and make yourself better" before
   you can come to Christ, but understand distinctly, that coming to
   Christ, alone, can make you better. However much distressed you may
   feel, know for a certainty that until you repent and accept His will,
   unconditionally, you are no better, but are constantly growing worse.
   Until you throw yourself upon His sovereign mercy, and thus return to
   God, He will accept nothing at your hands.
 
   6. Do not imagine yourself to be in a justified state, for you know you
   are not. Your conscience condemns you, and you know that God ought to
   condemn you, and if He justified you in your present state, your
   conscience could not justify Him. Come, then, to Christ at once, like a
   guilty, condemned sinner, as you are; own up, and take all the shame
   and blame to yourself, and believe that notwithstanding all your
   wanderings from God, He loves you still--that He has loved you with an
   everlasting love, and, therefore, with lovingkindness is drawing you.
     __________________________________________________________________ 
          
 
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