by James Merritt

The Way Forward Is Backward
James Merritt
Genesis 35:1-15


1. Sometimes when I am out speaking, especially to a predominantly Baptist group, I will play a little trick on my audience. I will get them to raise their hands by asking a question, ''How many of you are Baptist?'' As they raise their hand I will quickly add, ''who are backslidden?''

2. Now that never fails to get a laugh because most people who raise their hands do not really believe they are backslidden at all, even though they very well be. You see, we tend to think that a backslider is someone who is living in unconcerned, unconfessed, unconcealed sin, and obviously needs to get right with God. But if the truth were known and told, far more of us are backslidden than we would like to admit.

3. Consider this statement: If you find yourself loving any pleasure more than your prayers; any book better than the Bible; any house better than the House of God; any person better than the Lord Jesus Christ; or any place on earth better than your home in heaven, you are backslidden.

4. If there has ever been a time when you loved Jesus more than you love Him now; a time when you were more excited about God than you are right now; a time when you were close to the Lord than you are right now, you are backslidden. If you are not as close to God as you have been at some time in the past, it is your fault, for ''if you draw near to God, God will draw near to you.''

5. I remember the story about a farmer and his wife who were driving to town in their pickup truck. The farmer was sitting behind the wheel in silence. His wife was sitting over against the door, as far from her husband as she could get. After several miles she said, ''You know, when we were first married we didn't sit this far apart.''

6. Her husband simply replied, ''I ain't the one that moved.'' If you are not as close to God as you once were, guess who moved.

7. Do you know what a Christian has to do to backsli ...

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