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Monthly Archives: August 2016

Hole In The Roof – Tracy Leigh

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Hole in the Roof”
By Tracy Leigh
Women’s Huron Valley Correctional, Ypsilanti, MI

Read: Luke 5: 17-26

The men knew and they made a plan, took action. Rumors of this Jesus Man had spread throughout the Country. Multitudes followed Him daily watching Him heal the sick and tell stories. He is so different from the others and He did miracles. No one else could do those.

Who in their right mind would think to get on a roof where there is a crowd and tear it apart so they can lower a bedridden man down in front of Jesus to be healed? Did they have faith? Faith didn’t walk past the sick man, faith devised a plan, faith took action and tore open a perfectly good roof without fear of being arrested. Faith lowered the man down with no concern of angering Jesus for the interrupting of His message, faith rolled up his bed and walked away as Jesus instructed although he hadn’t walked in years.

No one cares how the mess got cleaned up or if anyone got dust in their eyes or if Jesus’ speech was altered or finished. They saw a sick man be healed and saved. They saw the glory of God through the whole procedure. They knew if they could get the man to Jesus he would be healed and taken care of. They’d seen it before and because of faith, they saw it again.

In love, show God your faith walk today.

Conclusion – Richard Wiseman

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“Conclusion”
By Richard Wiseman
Newberry Correctional Facility, Newberry, MI

The road to spiritual maturity and sanctification runs directly through the tunnel of testing and temptation. We have to run the gauntlet to receive the prize. God wants to develop our character for eternity. He tests us and allows us to be tempted to produce this development. “Many are called but few are chosen.” (Mt 22:14)

The line between “backslidden” Christian and false Christian can only be defined by God as to whether the “backslider” has truly turn to God with his whole heart. All evidence I’ve found in scripture points to “backslider” = false Christian = deceived.

Some false Christians don’t understand or accept the truth, yet they claim to be Christians (everybody wants to go to heaven). There are others who are liars and people pleasers and for pretense only give an appearance of godliness (Christianity) but their heart is not in it. These people do what they have to do to get whatever their selfish desire is driving them to. In secret they have no scriptures to tell us about not do they care if you pass them. Some are deceived by false teaching that excuses deliberate sin and selfishness.

This lesson is designed for self-examination and shedding light on deceptive teaching. To be deceived is to believe a life. What is your motive? What are your intentions? There are only two entities in existence who can answer these – you and God. Do you love God? God promised the crown of life to those who love him (James 1:12).

To those who examine themselves and find they’re outside the boundaries of the Christian category, to those who think they found a backdoor into heave, a way around the tunnel of testing and temptation, escaping judgment without putting in the hard work and endurance the scriptures define you as deceived. Self-deceived or deceived by someone else but believing a life nonetheless.

If you have not turned to God with your whole heart you are not saved. It really is that simple. There are no loopholes, no backdoors, no cheat codes. We must repent – change our minds and actions. Mercy is for those who repent and become the new “daily sacrifice.” (Acts 26:20b; Ps 51:13; Ezek 3:19)

If I told a group of people that I was going to take a bus full of people to a paradise location all expenses paid and everything coordinated by me and that they were all invited with the condition that they satisfy certain requirements. Meet me back in one year and if the requirements are met you will go! One year later the people meet me and I take their word they did what they were supposed to these is no check system to confirm whether they did or not. I trust them and let everybody on the bus and we go.

There are some people on the bus who lied to me. They sit in the back and mock me and discuss how they got over on me. Some sit quietly hoping no one will notice that they lied and mock me by their deceit. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked, for whatever one sows will he also reap.” (Gal 6:7) The day of judgment will come and those who fail the test will not be going to paradise.

I am neither scared or confused anymore. Beloved I pray that God richly blesses you. I have begged on your behalf for you to be filled with love and a passion for God. for you to understand. I love you and God loves you. Amen.

Psalm 25:14 “The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him and he makes known to them his covenant.”

Christian – Richard Wiseman

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“Christian”
By Richard Wiseman
Newberry Correctional Facility, Newberry, MI

“Though we speak in this way yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things that belong to salvation…work and love you have shown for his name…serving…earnestness…full assurance of hope until the end so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Heb 6:9-12)

First, “in your case” does not refer to everyone reading this. It is those who do the work and preserve their souls because “we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.” (Heb 10:39)

What is this preservative? Imitate who? We’re supposed to imitate Jesus and the saints. (1 Pet 1:5; Col 1:21-23).

For our purposes here “if” may be the most significant work [from the previous scripture reading]. There are conditions that must be satisfied. We learn and conform to what scripture commands, we endure, our faith will stand the tests of time, suffering, blessings etc. We grow in understanding and wisdom and love. We “study to show thyself approved unto God” (KJV), “rightly handling the word of truth” (ESV).

We confidently stand on verses like John 10:27-29. We become the new “daily sacrifice.” For more on “daily sacrifice” please see “A Gift for You part 1, 2 and 3.” Through our lifestyle and practice of repentance, prudence and repeated daily obedience/faith we resemble scriptures like Eph 1:4-5, John 6:40, Romans 8:31-39, Philippians 1:6, 1 Peter 1:3-5, Eph 2:8 because we’ve turned to God with our whole heart and we know it!

We live obediently conforming to the diving expression of Christ and the revealed word of God found in the Bible. We grow and mature in godliness! If we sin we will not be comfortable in it and like Peter, as soon as we realize what we’ve done wrong we are sorry and confess and repent. We are not defiant or rebellious any longer praise God!

It is important to understand these terms as well: redeemed and point of conversion. The moment we turn to God with our whole heart we are converted and can rest in his redemption. This calls for discernment. I know I’m a Christian now because I have turned away from sin, I have crucified the old me, I crucify my sinful nature daily, the old Rich Wiseman has been utterly destroyed, I have turned to God with my whole heart! Thus I am reborn in Christ!

I am not saved because of what I don’t do. I am not saved because of my good deeds. These are both a result of my conversion into Christianity. My salvation and faith are evidenced by my speech and actions. I don’t need to ask anybody if they think I’m saved anymore! I know I am! Learning to think like a servant and act like one, grow in godliness and righteousness and wisdom will take the rest of my life along with hunting down and purging sin I haven’t recognized yet and growing in humility.

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion of the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

Testing – Richard Wiseman

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“Testing”
By Richard Wiseman
Newberry Correctional Facility, Newberry, MI

Hopefully by this point you feel the need to examine yourself, as we should regularly, to see whether you are in the faith. (2 Cor 13:5). “Unless you be reprobates” KJV. Vines heading “reprobate” – standing the test, rejected, disqualified… (the great test as to whether Christi is in a person…whose moral sense is perverted and whose minds are clouded with their own speculators.)

So what is the test? What are the conditions we must meet to inherit this great salvation? Words like trials, temptations, refining and testing are used hundreds of times in the Bible. All of life is a test and God is watching everything always. (Ecc 12:14)

If we love Jesus we’ll keep his commandments (Jn 14:15), which commandments? All of them. The ones we don’t know we search out and learn because we love him, we want to know everything about him. When we make love as much of a priority as God does we stop sinning deliberately and hunt down and dispose of any unintentional sin we can find (sanctification).

Being in prison I’ve asked many people this question. “If you knew you’d be released in 1 month if you could quit cussing right now til then, could you do it?” with a smile, and confidence the answer has been “yes” every time and sometimes “no problem” or “of course” added to it. So then it’s not that we can’t, rather, how much of a priority we place on it.

How much priority and effort tdo you place on your own spiritual maturity. Is it more of an “I’ll do it when I want and how I want. I’ll stop these sins but those others are my favorites so I’ll hold onto them and say it’s just too hard.” Is that not doing what I want when I want i.e. defiance and rebellion.

Satan petitioned for permission to go after Simon Peter and Job (Luke 22:31 and Job 1:6-12, 2:1-7) and no doubt countless others and if you don’t think he’s got his sights on you too you’re leaving yourself in a very vulnerable position.

We could site numerous passages about how we should rejoice at every opportunity to prove our faith to ourselves, God and others (1 Peter 1:6-7; Romans 5:3-5 are a couple).

This nice lady had a small pond on her property in St. Charles, Missouri where I lived. She had some catfish and other small fish in it. She liked to bring out little pieces of dog food and scraps and feed them. She’d toss the food out not too far and she’d watch the fish come up and eat in a frenzy. She told me to could fish if I wanted to. I’d put a little piece of the same food she fed them with on a hook and toss it out. The fish would just look at it and not go after it (made me mad). I changed my strategy. I’d toss out a handful of food along with the baited hook all together. Surely a stupid fish can’t tell the difference in a frenzy. The fish would frenzy and eat the food and my baited hook would be left there untouched. Only one or two times did one of the smallest fish fall for the trap. My aunt Vere used to tell me, “Be smart Richard.” We’re told the baited hook is coming. Can we not be as smart as a stupid, little fish? What is our downfall? Selfish desire and misplaced priorities.

Now for the Christian category!

Scary and Confusing – Richard Wiseman

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“Scary and Confusing”
By Richard Wiseman
Newberry Correctional Facility, Newberry, MI

“Great indeed, we confess is the mystery or godliness.” (1 Tim 3:16 ESV)

[This lesson is the first of a series. The first lesson is “Scary and Confusing” followed by “Apostate” then “False Christian” then “Backslider” then “Testing” then “Christian” and finally “Conclusion.” It would be of most benefit to read these lessons in order to get the full effect of the teaching being presented.]

I was involved in a local church. I went on visitation. I taught Sunday school for a while. I even led music in church services a few times. I can honestly say now that I wasn’t saved at all.

I would also “backslide.” I’d quit going to church sometimes and live in my same old sinful ways. It was like I had a split personality – the church me and the worldly me. I definitely spent time back and forth from one end of the spectrum to the other.

I was confused about whether I was saved and going to heaven or not. I had lived some levels of repentance. I had said the sinner’s prayer (a few times). I lived some levels of repentance. I believe part of my confusion came from the “sinner’s prayer” philosophy: “Say a prayer and if you meant it you’re saved and going to heaven.”

This philosophy never sat well with me and brought me no small amount of confusion and anxiety. I spoke about this in another lesson on this site titled “Deceived” pt 1, 2, and 3. I encourage you to read it.

I see three categories people who call or have called themselves Christians fall into: Christian, false-Christian and apostate. I hope and pray that when we’re done you’ll search yourself and do what is necessary to make sure you are or become labeled Christian by God.

First I’d like to bring your attention to three sections of scripture that were Hebrews 6:18, 2 Peter 2:20-22 and 1 Timothy 4:1-2, hope is that you’ll have your bible here as we go through this and read around the sections I quote.

These sound very similar. Also scary for the person living in sin and knowing better. As a man who questioned my salvation and spent more time at the sinful worldly end of the spectrum aka backslidden, these verses scared the stuffing out of me. As I speculated and reason within myself about these verses I found myself more and more confused…until recently.

Thankfully there is a God in heaven who reveals the mystery of the gospel to men. I feel comfortable now with my understanding of these scriptures and I pray you will too.

I believe in studying scripture in context. Nowadays “in context” to me means everything from Genesis 1:1 – Rev 22:21. As I searched the scriptures this is what I learned…

In Matthew 13:1-23, Mark 4:1-20 and Luke 8:4-15 are the parable of the interpretation of the parable of the sower. We also find similar terminology to the other sections of scripture we looked at. Please take a moment and read these in your bible if you have time.

Now let’s dig into the explanation.

In reference to Mt 13:18-23, Rick Warren in the “Purpose Driven Life” book describes three of these soils this way: path – “hard soil – a closed mind”; rocky – “shallow soil – a superficial mind”; thorns – “soil with weeds – a distracted mind” [Chapter 24, 12 paragraph]. He then adds a follow up verse – Luke 8:18 “consider carefully how you listen” (NIV).

In each example of soil and every scripture we’ve looked at so far in this lesson the people have “heard the word,” they have come in contact with the “word of truth,” the gospel message. Additionally in the rocky soil and seed that grows among the thorns, there is both growth and endurance for some period of time, three of the four soils never produce salvation.

Somebody says, “I acknowledge I am a sinner and I confess the penalty for sin is death. Jesus paid that penalty me. Jesus is my Lord and Savior and I believe God raised him from the dead. I asked Jesus to come into my heart and save me. Since I said that and got baptized I’m going to heaven.”

James 2:14-26 deals with this deception. In vs 19 it says, “even the demons believe and shudder.” Verse 20 says, “Do you want to be shown you foolish person that faith apart from works is useless?”

If a verbal profession of faith in Jesus, confession of sin, and knowing in one’s heart that God raised him from the dead and inviting him to come into our heart was all we needed for salvation, why would we be warned so often about falling away, turning back, shrinking back, etc.?

John 3:36 tells us that if we aren’t obedient we won’t see life, rather, we will be judged and punished. Earlier in Luke 6:46 Jesus asks why we would call him Lord and not obey him.

Let’s get into the three categories: Apostate, False Christian, Christian…

Apostate Part 1- Richard Wiseman

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“Apostate part 1”
By Richard Wiseman
Newberry Correctional Facility, Newberry, MI

Let’s look at apostate first. Merriam Webster Dictionary defines apostasy as “a renunciation or abandonment of a former loyalty (as to religion).”

In Luke 14:25-33 is a parable that teaches us that we should calculate the cost of discipleship before making a vow to God. it also identifies some individuals who are disqualified from discipleship (being a Christian as defined by God).

The word disciple means to be a learner, a pupil, an imitator and a person who adheres to Jesus’s teaching. We can exchange the word disciple with Christian. Also in John 8:31, “If you abide in my word you are truly my disciples.” This does not mean being nose deep in your bible all day every day. It means learning who Jesus is, imitating him, obeying his commands and enduring to the end.

Have you ever committed to something you really hadn’t thought through? Seemed to be right thing to do at the time. When you said it you meant it.

The seed in rocky soil and among the thorns grew for a while and then was: choked, withered away, fell away, fruit didn’t mature. In searching the Greek words I found these definitions – to stifle, to strangle completely, and one is used to describe an animal choked to death. Again they did endure for a while.

Like the verses said in Heb 6:4-6, they were “enlightened.” This could mean: attending church and hearing the gospel, recognizing a need for Jesus, maybe they realized they’re a sinner and that Jesus is their only hope that Jesus came to save them.

“Tasted the heavenly gift” – this could refer to making a confession of sins and feeling some relief, a profession of faith and being welcomed into a local church family, maybe being baptized (baptism itself doesn’t save), living a life of repentance for a period of time (hours, days, months, years, decades) and realizing less sin equals more peace and happiness.

“Have shared in the Holy Spirit” – literally, have become a partaker of. This could mean experiencing healing either as a person in need of healing or being a part of a prayer group who prayed for someone who was healed, maybe was a witness to or recipient of a miracle. Being involved in church ministry or revival. Witnessing true conversions or receiving a blessing.

No place in the last three paragraphs and phrases from Heb 6:4-6 is there evidence of both repentance and endurance to the end. The decision and commitment to Jesus gets abandoned. Endurance and faith that leads to lasting repentance and bearing good fruit are gone. They were never converted.

The apostate has learned the truth of the gospel to some level. Life happens and the person decides they are happier or better off without all this Christian stuff. The Holy Commandments make their life uncomfortable or maybe they get angry with God for something. They might think they found another or better religion. They shrink back, fall away, wither away, depart, turn back, etc.

In the next section we’re going to look at a very interesting and commonly twisted scripture passage about God being married to the backslider.

Apostate Part 2- Richard Wiseman

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“Apostate part 2”
By Richard Wiseman
Newberry Correctional Facility, Newberry, MI

Old Testament apostasy vs New Testament apostasy:

Another commonly misused/misinterpreted scripture is found in Jeremiah 3:6-14. This is where the saying “the Lord is married to the backslider” comes from. All through this passage the words backslider and apostate are interchangeable.

God divorced Israel. God offers her to repent and he will apparently dismiss the divorce and be joined with her again. As with the rest of the Old Testament, God begs his people to repent. Even after divorce God still shows steadfast love and hope and mercy.

He gives us this way of looking at it in Hosea 3. God instructs Hosea to go redeem (purchase) his wife who sold herself. He bought her for “15 shekels of silver, an homer and lethech of barley” and told her she “must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man, so will I also be to you.” Hosea represents God in this story and the payment to purchase the whore (Israel then and now anyone who will choose to turn to God with their whole heart).

In the O.T. the apostate/backslider still has hope through repentance and the coming Messiah. Jesus is the promised hope, our Savior, our only hope.

The scriptures like Heb 6:4-6 that say it is “impossible to restore” are talking about people who reject Jesus after learning the truth. Some reject Jesus by adding requirements to the gospel as if what Jesus did wasn’t enough.

There is no other way to receive salvation from God than through the man, the Son of God Jesus Christ. The N.T. apostate has no hope.

Nobody is locked into salvation as a result of: one prayer, being baptized, attending church regularly or church membership, not by calling themselves Christian, going out on visitation or volunteering at church functions, not by leading music or teaching Sunday school, preaching, evangelism or being a deacon. At any point in our lives we have the freedom to reject the gospel. This is our God given right. Anybody can quit anytime they want and God will accept their decision but it is not his will. No one who has been converted could ever do such a thing. It is impossible to lose one’s salvation. Apostasy is concrete evidence that person never was a Christian.

“But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” (Mt 10:22b)

The apostates spoken of in Heb 6:4-6, 1 Tim 4:1-2 and 2 Peter 2:20-22 never were converted, never obtained salvation. They never were Christians, even though they sounded like one or called themselves Christian. Very very sad.

Next we’re going to look at the false-Christian and the modern day backslider. After that we’ll look at a self-test then the Christian category and finally we’ll tie it all together.

False Christian Part 1- Richard Wiseman

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“False Christian part 1”
By Richard Wiseman
Newberry Correctional Facility, Newberry, MI

Does calling myself a Christian and believing I’m one make me a Christian? Absolutely not! If it sounds too good to be true it usually is.

Cheap beachfront property sounds really good until you arrive at the property to find it’s a barren wasteland, swampy and uninhabitable. No wise person would look at a photo of a paradise property, or worse, listen to someone tell them about it and base a decision to purchase said property on that alone.

It is sad that many professing Christians and church-goers do exactly that with their soul. 2000 years ago, or so, a man named John wrote this warning, “do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 Jn 4:1).

Many professing Christians are seduced into a false sense of security, believing they’re saved when they’re not. You’re never more vulnerable than when you feel most secure. Somebody might say, “the best way to keep your people from salvation is to convince them they already have it.”

“They profess to know God but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work” (Titus 1:16). When we look at the context (vs. 5-16) we see this passage is about qualifications for elders – leaders in the church. This saying is trustworthy for all false-Christians. Don’t believe everything you hear, not even in church.

There are many scriptures to warn us to look for and beware of false-teachers, preachers, deacons, evangelists, church members, Christians. Here are a few I hope you’ll take the time to write down and study: Mt 7:15; Is 28:7; Rev 2:20; Acts 13:6; Deut 13:1-3; 2 Tim 2:14-26; 1 Tim 3:1-9; Titus 1:10-16; Mt 24:11 & 24; 2 Peter ch 2; 1 Tim 1:3-11, 4:1-4, 6:2-10; 2 Peter 3:15-16; 2 Jn 10-11; Jude 4-16 and there are more.

“No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest nor is anything secret that will not be made known and come to light. Take care then how you hear, for the one who has more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks he has will be taken away.” (Luke 8:16-18) Any question what Jesus is referring to here?

“Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many I say to you will seek to enter and will not be able” (Luke 13:24). Strive – struggle, agonize, competing for a prize, to content with an adversary, to endeavor, to accomplish something (Strongs #75). Some false Christians think they have eternal life (salvation). Some are simply liars using Christianity as a means to a selfish end.

This calls for discernment. Some false Christians think they’ve found a loophole, a back door, a cheat code to get into the kingdom of heaven without purging sin from their life. Some label themselves as such for some kind of gain or profit, maybe socially, physically or monetarily or whatever.

Immediately start searching the scriptures. Read and write your thoughts down. Pray for the Holy Spirit to teach you the truth. Questions what you’ve been told and see if you can find it in the Bible (start with this lesson and my lesson “Deceived pt 1, 2 and 3). Look for verses to show every angle of the subject. Ask questions as you read like: who, what, when, where, why, how do I apply this? Do not be deceived. Do not deceive yourself.

I wanted to graduate school, not doing my work or studying and skipping school. Is this how salvation works? Certainly not! Was I saved before when I had this attitude toward Christianity? No way! In fact he Bible described me as more disgusting to God when I’d turned to Him half-hearted in pretense and falsehood than when I was whoring myself openly to the sinfulness of this world. (Jer 3:10 and Rev 3:15). “Would that you were hot or cold.”

(To be continued… )

False Christian Part 2- Richard Wiseman

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“False Christian part 2”
By Richard Wiseman
Newberry Correctional Facility, Newberry, MI

I asked many people, over the years, questions trying to get assurance that I was saved. The problem with that is that nobody knows my heart but me and God. We can fool all of the people some of the time and most of the people most of the time. We can fool ourselves. We can’t fool God ever.

This is where some confusion comes from – I wanted to figure out how to continue in my favorite sins and still get into heaven. I wanted salvation and an excuse to keep on sinning (at least my favorite ones). Just like most everything in my life, I tried to figure out how to barely get by, doing as little as possible. I wanted to keep my job and get promoted while only doing the bare necessities, missing days, calling in sick, coming in late and breaking the rules.

What is your motive? What are your intentions? You and God are the only ones who know. It really doesn’t matter what other people think or what we can convince them of by what we say or do in pretense.

Here are the expanded paraphrases of 1 Cor 6:9-10 and Gal 5:19-21 respectively “Do not be deceived…” people who yet continue in sex with anyone but their spouse from the opposite sex, worshipping idols, apostatize, engaging in homosexuality, steal, are greedy, get intoxicated (as in an alcoholic or drug addict), are mischievous, are abusive (physically or verbally), use foul or abusive language, are pan-handlers or consumed with wanting what others have, live off people who are), defenseless (physically or mentally or any other way); (Gal) people who watch or engage in pornography; practice things that weaken or pollute themselves or others; ignore the commandments or laws to please their senses and lack legal or moral restraints and especially disregarding sexual restraints and dislike correction; seek spiritual experiences through the use of drugs and or magic; are hostile and or disagreeable, are argumentative; desire to cause pain, injury or distress; those who do or intend to commit an unlawful act or cause any harm without legal justification or excuse; won’t control their temper; do things to disrupt unity; are out of control, are spiteful and distract others from what is good, are “loose” in though word or deed and especially sexually – will not be saved and go to heaven. Not those who did, elsewise we’d all be disqualified. This is talking about those who do these things currently and won’t repent.

If you didn’t know…now you know! Just in case there’s anything close and not on this list Gal 5:21 covers anything like these. Simple. Not necessarily easy but simple. All I did is define the words used in our Bibles in these sections. How could I have read these passages and not understand all this? My heart was hard. I loved my sins more than God.

If you have a minute please read Hebrews 10:19-39. There’s similar terminology to other passages we’ve looked at. In vs 35-36 confidence and endurance are tied together.

So somebody asks about the backslider. Please continue as we dive in head first into the deep end of this ever-controversial issue…

Backslider Part 1- Richard Wiseman

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“Backslider part 1”
By Richard Wiseman
Newberry Correctional Facility, Newberry, MI

So, somebody asks about the backslider. Tricky subject, let’s dig in!

My understanding and explanation of backsliding all through my life until this lesson/study has been: “to fall back into a rut of deliberate sin that I know I shouldn’t be doing for prolonged periods of time (months, years or longer), feeling convicted through said time knowing I need to repent, never losing faith or rejecting Jesus, sometimes asking forgiveness during the period, praying that I wanted to stop and eventually going back to God when I got done because once saved always saved.” I’ve heard many other people describe backsliding this way.

The more I study my Bible the more error I notice in the way I thought and misunderstood salvation. It’s so obvious to me now. I need to get my answers directly from scripture and not speculation (either my own or somebody else’s) of how I think things should be (Prov 3:5-6). I realize there’s no way I could’ve come up with what I thought and said by studying the Bible with an open mind and receptive attitude.

To the deceived (believing a lie and thinking there’s no way you’re wrong): everything I write is to provoke thought in you and get you to question what you believe and why you believe it, to get you to search your Bible with an open mind and a receptive attitude to find the truth. I pray God will grant you understanding and repentance.

I tried to get assurance of my salvation from other people when I was or had been deliberately living in sin after saying the sinner’s prayer (backsliding). I wanted to feel ok about the deliberate sin I intended to continue, hold on to, and or go back to at some point. This is not discipleship (salvation, being a Christian).

I looked in the Bible to find answers and I thought Romans 7:15-20 and Hebrews 10:26 contradicted each other. Now I see they complement each other. One speaks of practiced, deliberate sin and the other unintentional or a random unpracticed deliberate sin (i.e. bad decisions that we will all make here and there). Fascinating, like I had bad eyesight and then put on a pair of glasses for the first time and everything becomes clear.

I believe in the infallibility of the Bible no matter what language it’s translated into. That being said the more I study my Bible along with my Strong’s Concordance, Vine’s Expository Dictionary and regular dictionary the more the phrase “lost in translation” means to me.

2 Peter 2:20-22 covers the backslider, while the specific topic is about false teachers and prophets the same is true for those who learn and understand the truth and then are entangled again. Also 1 Tim 4:1-2 as it talks about people who will listen to deceptive teaching that excuse deliberate sin.

1 Tim 4:10 “For Demas in love with this present world has deserted me.” The fact that he was “with” Paul and deserted him alludes to them working together in ministry (appearance of godliness) and then turning back or “backsliding.” This also alludes to Demas never actually being converted at any point up to that writing. Friendship with the world is enmity with God (James 4:4). 1 Jn 2:15b “If anyone loves the world the love of the Father is not in him. We don’t know if he ever gets converted/saved?

“For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life and those who find it are few” Mt 7:14. “Everyone who goes ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ does not have God. Whoever abides in his teaching has both Father and Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting.” (2 Jn 9-10)

I have searched my Bible earnestly for this philosophy of backsliding and found it to be another deception. There is no place in heaven for people who disagree with God and want to live in and practice sin.

God is so good! Let’s glorify Him some more as we continue our study together…