555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

350. Is There Any Hope for the Backslider?

See Heb. 10:26-29; John 6:37; Heb. 64-6, and I John 1:9. The passage in Heb. 10 refers to those who sin after receiving "full knowledge" of the truth (see I Tim. 2-4), and who after having been "enlightened" and tasting a certain measure of .grace and the spirit of truth (see John 14:17-29), apostatize to Judaism or infidelity. Such is not a sin of ignorance or error, but the result of moral wickedness or a deliberate sin against the Spirit—a presumptuous sin against Christ's redemption for us and the spirit of grace in us. Having fully known the one sacrifice for sin, and having a certain experience of the efficacy of that sacrifice, they have now rejected it In Heb. 6:4, 6, the same idea is emphasized. Such sinners crucify Christ anew, instead of crucifying the world (see Gal. 6:14). The passage in John 6:37 expresses the glorious certainty of eternal life to those who believe and stand firm—those who are given him of the Father and come to him with full surrender. Not the simply willing, but the actually faithful; not the waverers, but the true and abiding, are to realize the promise. In the backslider there has been no complete dedication, otherwise there would be no apostasy. I John 19 emphasizes the assurance of forgiveness and acceptance of the faithful ones. Concerning the possibilities of a return to Christ on the part of a backslider, we can only assert that what to man may and often does seem impossible, is possible with God, and that his grace is boundless. Peter backslid in a most grievous way, and yet was forgiven. By a miracle of divine grace, the backslider, although beyond human hope of recall, may in God's abundant mercy find refuge and forgiveness.