This is an Internet definition of ‘backsliding’ :
Backsliding, also known as falling away, is a term used within Christianity to describe a process by which an individual who has converted to Christianity reverts to pre-conversion habits and/or lapses or falls into sin, when a person turns from God to pursue their own desire. In Christianity, within denominations which teach Arminianism, such as the Methodist Church and Pentecostal Churches, as well as in the Roman Catholic Church, backsliding is a state in which any free willed believer can adopt, which is a doctrine rejected by Calvinists. In these denominations, it is taught that the backslidden individual is in danger of Hell if he does not repent (conditional security). Historically, backsliding was considered a trait of the Biblical Israel which would turn from the Abrahamic God to follow idols. In the New Testament church, the story of the Prodigal Son has become a representation of a backslider.
I have read, re-read, then read again the arguments about Calvinism vs Arminianism, ‘once saved always saved’ vs ‘you can lose your salvation’, and ‘unconditional eternal security’ vs ‘conditional eternal security’. Frankly, I have come to the point to realize that when it comes down to when every single human being has to stand before the LORD, what you think will not change how the LORD will judge you. Every single individual will be judged according to the LORD’s intent, not according to one’s interpretation.
I am not a gambler in any way, shape or form. I will always rest (very peaceably I must say) in guarding the salvation and eternal life I have in Jesus Christ. I will not be fooled into thinking I can’t lose my salvation. If I am wrong, oh well ! At least I have nothing to lose on this earth or in heaven. I rest and I am at peace in the LORD on this earth and I will be with Him in eternity in heaven. But if I was to count on the fact that I can’t lose my salvation and become a little like the man who filled his barns (Luke 12:16-21), I could lose everything if I am wrong. I do not want to be a ‘fool’ as the LORD literally calls the man.
Scripture is filled to overflowing of warnings and action words. The LORD appeals to everyone on every level. Whether it is referred to as ‘backsliding’ in the Old Testament or ‘falling away’ in the New Testament. Even though the LORD uses many diverse words to describe the condition, it all comes down to one condition of the soul, ‘backsliding’. Only the LORD knows at what point your name will be blotted out of the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Let’s not forget that the bible was not just to be read by geniuses. It was also made to be read by the common man. I find it amazing how people who are proponents of certain doctrines get into elaborate explanations to explain away certain verses.
I have listed numerous verses below that are only the tip of the iceberg concerning backsliding. These verses are filled with action words that must be put into practice. The ‘Our Father’ contains a very important instruction ‘give us this day our daily bread’. This tells me that my walk with the LORD is a daily endeavor. I must be continuously seeking Him everyday. If not, backsliding is something that can creep in ever so gradually. Remember, it takes a freight train traveling at full speed many many miles to first stop before it can even begin to move in reverse, let alone go full speed in reverse.
There is no rhyme or reason as to the order of the verses I have a sampling of below. This is to go along with the fact that ‘backsliding’ is woven into the very fabric throughout the bible:
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! (1 Corinthians 10:12)
If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all. (Isaiah 7:9)
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)
We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. (Hebrews 3:14)
Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. (Proverbs 4:25)
Return, faithless people; I will cure you of backsliding. Yes, we will come to you for you are the LORD our God. (Jeremiah 3:22)
“Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the LORD your God and have no awe of me,” declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty. (Jeremiah 2:19)
Can papyrus grow tall where there is no marsh? Can reeds thrive without water? While still growing and uncut, they wither more quickly than grass. Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless. (Job 8:11-13)
Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. (Mark 4:15)
Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. (Mark 4:16, 17)
Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. (Mark 4:18-19)
So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Luke 14:33-35)
Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD. (Jeremiah 17:5)
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. (Psalm 51:12)
Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you. (Psalm 51:13)
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 7:21)
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 10:22)
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? (Galatians 5:1,4,5,7)
Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end. (Hebrews 3:12-14)
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. (Hebrews 4:11)
Once people have seen the light, gotten a taste of heaven and been part of the work of the Holy Spirit, once they’ve personally experienced the sheer goodness of God’s Word and the powers breaking in on us– if then they turn their backs on it, washing their hands of the whole thing, well, they can’t start over as if nothing happened. That’s impossible. Why, they’ve re-crucified Jesus! They’ve repudiated him in public! (Hebrews 6:4-6)
My dear friends, if you know people who have wandered off from God’s truth, don’t write them off. Go after them. Get them back and you will have rescued precious lives from destruction and prevented an epidemic of wandering away from God. (James 5:19)
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall. (2 Peter 1:10)
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. (2 Peter 2:20-22 )
They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. (Luke 8:13)
If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us. (2 Timothy 2:12)
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. (2 John 9)
For some are already turned aside after Satan. (1 Timothy 5:15)
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. (Hebrews 12:1)
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition. (2 Thessalonians 2:3)