THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN APOSTASY AND BACKSLIDING
Jesse M. Hendley
My text today is John 6:67, in which the Lord said
unto the twelve disciples, "Will ye also go away?" A
group of disciples at this particular point in
Jesus' life, who had been walking with Him, said to
Him, "We want to go with You, Jesus. We want to be
saved and live with You here on earth and in heaven
These disciples suddenly turned around and left
Jesus. They went away and broke His heart. They
didn't want Him. They wanted religion. They had
that. They had the Law. They believed in the Temple
worship. They went through all the rituals, but they
rejected Jesus Christ, the Son of God. They made the
mistake many people make today.
In Distress About Salvation
I was preaching in a great church on a recent Sunday
night, when, at the close of the meeting, a lady
came to me who had heard the Sunday morning message.
She was in tears as she said, "May I speak to you?"
I escorted her to one side in order that we could
talk. As she looked into my face, with agony she
said, "I accepted Jesus as my Saviour and I was
about as honest about it as I knew how to be. (She
was a young woman, just out of college.) I went into
one of the big cities to a church and served the
Lord. My heart rejoiced and I was happy in the Lord.
I was studying the Bible, praying, and having a
wonderful time serving the Lord. I had the assurance
of salvation in my heart."
"I then went off to college and became a part of the
wrong crowd. I fell into sin and got away from the
Lord. Not long ago I heard a preacher speak on
apostasy who said if you ever leave Christ and go back
into sin, you are lost forever and there is no way you
can be saved." She looked into my face with agony, as
she wanted to know what she was going to do. She said,
"Am I lost? Can I not be saved?"
I said to her, "Little lady, believe the Word of God
against any human being---any preacher, anybody or
anything else. Believe God's Word. I am going to
share with you what God's Word says. Don't believe
it because I say it, but believe because it is God's
Word. There is a difference between apostasy and
backsliding. You must understand this and you will
know your condition. Apostasy is making a profession
of faith to walk with Jesus Christ here in this
world, to trust Him as your Saviour and to really
live for Him and serve Him and then to deliberately
reject Him later and walk away from Him in rejection
of Him as your Saviour. It has nothing to do with
the sin-question, but giving up your faith in Jesus
as your Saviour." That is what the people in this
particular scripture did.
I called attention to the Book of Hebrews that
proves this. These people were Jewish people who had
come out of Judaism ...
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