By   •   June 1, 2004   •   Topics: ,


What does it mean for a Christian to backslide?


The Old Testament uses the term “backsliding” to speak of those who have been near to God but have allowed sin to take them away from Him.

The prophet Jeremiah said, “Our backsliding is great; we have sinned against you” (Jeremiah 14:7). Backsliding in Scripture is always seen as a very serious matter: “‘Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the Lord your God and have no awe of me,’ declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty” (Jeremiah 2:19, NIV).

Backsliding can be caused by many things. However, whatever the sin might be that leads us away from God, it must be dealt with honestly and brought before Him in repentance. God loves us and wants us to be close to Him. Even when we sin against Him, He promises to forgive. “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them” (Hosea 14:4).

We must always fight against backsliding, but if we do backslide, we know that when we renounce our sin and return to God, there is forgiveness and reconciliation. The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

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  1. Daniah Greenberg says:

    Thank you for reminding us to stay close to God. Wayward = backsliding
    Forward and onward is the way to follow God! Bless you!

  2. Minister Antoinette Holland says:

    Thank you. God bless you.

  3. Pamalee F Hodges says:

    Very insightful and helpful.

  4. Billie Lee says:

    Love this text page and very informative in regards to my question about backsliding.

  5. Shawn Necoleon Thompson says:

    I believe in the father, the Son and Holy Spirit. I have fallen short at times. I have repented for my sins. I am weak for a woman. God knows this. I’m unemployed, failed my school, feel like God isn’t talking to me at times. I’m fighting to hold on. God bless you all.

  6. Delaney says:

    How far can a person backslide until they are not saved anymore? With all truth and honesty answer this question please. I was baptized as a baby, never went to church but I went to a Christian preschool, and prayed and loved God. My parents then took me out after preschool and sent me to a public school. I am now in 7th grade and for the first time confessed my sins and told God I was truly and wholeheartedly sorry for them. But, I backslid soooo much. Was it possible to be forgiven again?

    1. BGEA says:

      Delaney, we are so happy you found our site and left us your question. God is always willing to forgive you. We all sin, even after we are saved. The difference is that we don’t WANT to sin and try not to. But still, as imperfect people, we will sin until the day we die. That’s why we need Jesus! Only He is perfect and can take our place for our sins.

  7. Rev p m samuel says:

    Thanks for your service