What Saith the Scripture?
How To Deal With Backsliders
"The LORD is my Shepherd... He restoreth my soul"
by Tom Stewart
Actions: What to Do
- 1.Restore. "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. Bear ye one another's burdens, and
so fulfil the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:1-2).
- 2.Withdraw and admonish. "Now we command you,
brethren, in the name of our LORD Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from
every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received
of us... And if any man obey not our word by this Epistle, note that man, and have
no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish
him as a brother" (2Thessalonians 3:6,14-15).
- 3.Deliver to Satan. "And ye are puffed up,
and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away
from among you... To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh,
that the spirit may be saved in the day of the LORD Jesus... But now I have written
unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator,
or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with
such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without?
do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore
put away from among yourselves that wicked person" (1Corinthians 5:2,5,11-13).
- 4.Treat as a heathen. "And if he shall neglect
to hear them, tell it unto the Church: but if he neglect to hear the Church, let
him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican" (Matthew 18:7).
- 5.Mark and avoid. "Now I beseech you, brethren,
mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have
learned; and avoid them" (Romans 16:7).
- 6.Admonish but twice. "A man that is an heretick
after the first and second admonition reject" (Titus 3:10).
Warnings: What to Watch for
- 1.Godly sorrow. "For godly sorrow worketh repentance
to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death"
- 2.Actions consistent with repentance. "Bring
forth therefore fruits meet for repentance" (Matthew 3:8).
a. Carefulness not to offend Christ. "For behold
this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought
in you" (2Corinthians 7:11).
b. Completeness of self-condemnation for offending Christ. "Yea, what
clearing of yourselves" (2Corinthians 7:11).
c. Anger against self for offending Christ. "Yea, what indignation"
d. Strong respect for the person of Christ. "Yea, what fear" (2Corinthians
e. Strong desire to please Christ. "Yea, what vehement desire" (2Corinthians
f. Intense desire to promote Christ. "Yea, what zeal" (2Corinthians
g. Willingness to see Christ avenged for all offenses. "Yea, what revenge!
In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (2Corinthians
Promises: What to Expect
- 1.We shall reap [restore, in this case]. "And
let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not"
- 2.They shall be saved. "To deliver such an
one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in
the day of the LORD Jesus" (1Corinthians 5:5).
- 3.They shall be corrected and reproved. "Thine
own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee"
- 4.They shall be given a right heart. "A new
heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take
away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh"
"He will turn again, He will have
compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins
into the depths of the sea"