I read a sermon from Fred E. Dennis with this title sometime ago which suggested some things we can do to prevent backsliding. Jeremiah told Israel to repent of backsliding saying, "Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings" (Jer. 3:22). We need to prevent backsliding. Here are some suggestions from brother Dennis:
Let God Say Something To Us Every Day
We need to make a study of the word of God a part of every day's activities. Through the word of God, the Lord speaks to us. So many go day after day without opening a Bible or hearing it preached. By not studying the Bible, we prevent God speaking to us.
The Bible prevents our wandering in darkness. David said, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psa. 119:105). We should delight to listen to God's word. "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night" (Psa. 1:1-2). We should search the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11).
Do you know anyone who has backslidden who made the reading and study of the word of God a part of his daily life?
Say Something To God Every Day
Not only should we allow God to say something to us every day, but we should say something to him every day as well. We should "pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. 5:17).
Someone has said, "Prayer will stop sin or sin will stop prayer." Sin has stopped prayer in many lives, but thanks be to God that prayer has stopped sin in many others. The psalmist wrote, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me" (Psa. 66:18).
We cannot pray to God while clinging to our sins. Solomon said, "He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination" (Prov. 28:9). If you will make prayer a part of your daily life, you will rid yourself of sin which causes backsliding.
Do you know anyone who has backslidden who made daily prayer a part of his life?
Say Something For God Every Day
We are too prone in our speech not to speak a word for God every day. Our speech needs to have more of God and more for God in it. God is not speaking directly to poor, lost souls today, but we are. We can tell them about the love of God.
Many have been restored to the Lord because of someone speaking a word for God. Paul wrote, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted" (Gal. 6:1). James added, "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins" (James 5:19-20). Opportunies lie about us to say something in behalf of God and his salvation. While others are busy promoting error, we should be busy talking about God.
Do you know anyone who has backslidden who was constantly working to say something for God to others?
Do Something For God Every Day
Our days are packed full of activities. Not enough of those activities are done for the Lord. Paul said, "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith" (Gal. 6:10). Jesus went about doing good (Acts 10:38). By doing good deeds, we allow our lights to shine to show those in darkness the way of life (Matt. 5:13-16). Powerful influences for God are exerted by humble and sincere Christians whose lights shine as they go about doing good.
There are a lot of things we do in life that will be meaningless, but not what is done for Christ. Jesus said, "And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward" (Matt. 10:42). "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Cor. 15:58).
Do you know anyone who has backslidden who was constantly doing things for God every day of his life?
These are some things which prevent backsliding which each of us can do. We are responsible for our own wayward condition. Let us do what we can to prevent being consumed by the Devil and conformed to the world.
Guardian of Truth XXXVII: 12, p. 2