As followers of
Christ, He never promised there would be no hardships or difficulties. But He did promise never to leave or forsake us if we only believe and call upon His name and be brave and strong in the Lord (Deu 31:6). Therefore, we must trust and have confidence in the Lord, for it is what He desires of us as his children. Consequently, we are to believe in ourselves and God to overcome the pitfalls of this life.
We are in precarious times and sometimes have little or no direction. In such times we need to seek the Savior in prayer. Look to the heavens for guidance and advice, as God is the best source for such times.
We are a time of judgment. Prophecy is fulfilling each day God allows us to see another day. So, I firmly believe that the world offers little or no source of guidance, but God offers us everything needed for these times of uncertainty.
Expectation Of Society
Society sets bars that are too high for most.
I am sure you have sometimes felt that the world is against you in everything you do!
Let me reassure you this is not the case. God loves us and is ready to hold and comfort us even when it seems we are alone.
Humans often feel unworthy of anything other than hell and the grave! Yet, God smiles upon us with love and mercy as we stumble through life, making the wrong choices. As God’s children, we must never choose to give up or admit failure. For when we choose defeat, there is no way left but down!
Obedience, Fear, And Faith
The Book Deuteronomy is a call to obedience against great adversity during much hardship.
We are experiencing a time unlike any we have ever seen. Yet, we must remember God’s promise to go before us, always be with us in tough times, and never be discouraged, for He will never forsake or leave us. Therefore, he advises us to have no fear (Number 23:19).
You can trust God always to be faithful, for He can not lie. But unfortunately, unlike humans, we lie most of the time and often break promises.
God’s character resonates throughout the Scriptures, such as 1 Kings 8:57, a good example of the faithfulness of our Savior, which reaffirms our faith in the Lord.
You must learn to trust God to keep every promise. For without our Lord, there is nothing to live or desire.
In the 21st Century, we are witnessing the greatest falling away of the Church due to COVID. However, even before the pandemic, many Churches were experiencing a decline in numbers.
You may ask why? Because this event has been foretold in the scriptures long before it occurred.
Revelation tells us the mark of the Beast is where we will find the apostate Church changing and beginning to accept pagan worship in ceremonies and beliefs; the Church gladly agrees with new rituals casing off the One True God.
And True followers of Christ will be judged and cast off with oppression and persecution of the false Church of this Dark Age, slated to last 125 years as prophesied in Rev. 12:6,14-16.
We are now witnessing such a time and a world where anything goes. The Great Apostasy has begun to consume and control our Churches and the World we currently reside.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 substantiates the Great Falling away of God’s Church. However, some Christians believe an enormous resurgence will come before the Rapture, but Scripture does not support this belief.
Hebrews 6:4-6 tells us that those like Judas closely associated with Christ and the people of God but never truly embraced Christ as Lord.
The meaning of Hebrew 6:4-6 for any lacking understanding is that there are people much like Judas who knew Jesus but never believed in His teachings though they claimed to have followed Him. But this does not include those who once had faith but lost it. So the warning in Heb. 2:1 is for us all! The verse says, have truly received it. “Truly saved people cannot lose their salvation if they“
Before moving on, I would like to discuss the differences between backsliding and Apostasy.
Backsliding between God and the Church does not just happen! It is a gradual process that occurs over time. Though once the process happens, it rapidly takes place in the life of a so-called once-Christian individual.
On the other hand, Apostasy is more extreme than backsliding and is a total rejection of Jesus and the Church!
Backsliders can be restored to the Church as referenced throughout the Bible. Forgiveness is bestowed on all choosing to return to Jesus and the Church. Even God taught that backsliders must be restored to the fold and forgiven (Luke 15:11-32). A prime example is the Prodigal Son, who returned to his father’s home after squandering his inheritance to ask his father’s forgiveness.
Some may ask why the Church forgives backsliders. The answer is a simple one; God delights in showing his children love and mercy, which is what God offers to backsliders who return to the fold of Christ.
When a person returns to Christ, he should rededicate himself to the Church and Jesus. But how can a person rededicate himself to Christ?
First, he must show that he is willing to become humble. Secondly, he must confess his sins against the Lord and return to God with a humble heart, soul, mind, and Spirit.
For this is what Scripture tells us the rededication and prayer should look like,
If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 19).
A Rededication Prayer To The Lord:
I want to confess my sin and thank you for hearing this prayer and helping me return to your love and mercy.
Lord, you know I have been haunted and trying to work out my pain and suffering. But Lord, I cannot do it on my own and have come to seek your mercy and guidance to accomplish your will and dedication for my life. Lord, I place my faith in you and everything you hold dear.
Lord, you are the only one who freely gives love to all who ask with a simplicity that astounds me.
I seek your forgiveness and direction in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen!
As followers of Christ, we should Seek God First!
For it is only in The Lord that we find a purpose for our backslider life within the Church. The Lord will help us be converted to change our attitude and focus on the service of the Lord.
Through prayer, meditation, and Church attendance, we must discover God and our devotion to the Savior. We must also dedicate time to reading and studying the Bible by believing and asking our Savior or clergy questions.
We must remain focused and dedicated to the Lord as followers of Christ!
King David is a great example in these passages of 2 Samuel 12, about the adulterous affair of Bathsheba and David and the ramifications of their behavior. David prays for forgiveness for his unjust behavior. I will share the text mentioned above to help you to understand these events better.
(These are excerpts of David’s Prayer for cleanliness and rededication from Psalm 51:2-12.)
Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion, it haunts me day and night. I have sinned against you alone; I have done what will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is;
David goes on to ask God’s forgiveness by saying:
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Please give me back my joy again; you have broken me — now let me rejoice.
Don’t keep looking at my sins. Instead, remove the stain of my guilt and create a clean heart, O God. Renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Instead, restore the joy of your salvation and make me willing to obey you.
As followers of Christ, we should be willing to pray before the Lord to confess our shortcomings and ask for forgiveness.
Though not everyone can ask forgiveness, I have met many people who have refused to admit they are even wrong. So, how can you seek God’s forgiveness if you cannot accept being wrong?
When you are unsure you have sinned, you can still seek the forgiveness of the Savior by praying these words, which will lead to the forgiveness of others and your forgiveness which is a bold step!
You must not just say these words without meaning, for empty words are as bad as no words!
Lord, help me forgive those who
have hurt me, and I ask forgiveness
for the hurt I have caused to others
in my knowledge or with my understanding.
Lord, I seek and ask forgiveness in the name of Jesus.
If you desire prayer, please email pat @ pastoralteachings.com or phone:(318) 737- 0180. if no one is available, please leave us a message, and we will return your call or email ASAP. www.pastoralteachings.com