So many times I come across people who are in total despair because they have backslidden from God and feel now they have blown all chance of being saved.
My encouragement is to take some time out and listen to this sermon because you have an amazing hope laid out before you. It is not too late for you my friend. God loves you and the entire Bible story is about rescueing backslidden people just like you.
Listen to the hope for the backslider sermon
Transcription of this sermon
Today I’m going to talk about Hope for the Backslider. Hope is extremely important and we know the scripture that says these three things are the most important things for us to hold onto. They are faith, hope, and love.
For the love of God. And when you think about it. Faith can do all things. Faith is an amazing thing. If you just have faith the size of a mustard seed. Jesus said you could say this mountain go jump into the sea.
So how powerful is faith?
But you can’t have faith if you don’t have hope.
If you don’t hope for something, you can’t have faith in it so they all tie together.
Hope is so important.
And then, of course, you will lose hope if you don’t realize the love of God.
The overriding and all-encompassing love of God. We will see in the scriptures today. This amazing love of God. It says the love of God knows no bounds.
And the scriptures I’m going to read from today are mostly in the Old Testament where we will see how the love of God is demonstrated in such wonder.
And we read how wonderful this is it is from the Old Testament… remember it says in the New Testament, we’ve come to a better covenant.
So how much more in our time? You have just gotta appreciate, love, and understand the love of God.
And then that will bring you to hope, and that will bring you to faith.
Backsliding is an interesting thing…
I guess our preaching over the years for most people is designed to try and teach people to avoid things. It’s easier to avoid a problem than get out of a problem.
But that probably doesn’t help someone that’s actually found themselves in a problem.
Yeah, once you’ve done the wrong thing, and once you’ve hit the skids it is important to know there’s a way out.
And It’s A Simple Way Out
We read terms in the New Testament and they seem like religious terms such as repent – but it simply means… turn back.
We will see that theme through all these scriptures we are going to read today – come back.
We think of Backsliders as perhaps those who have left the church and backsliding is going back into the world. In the Old Testament, they wanted to head back to Egypt and that was backsliding?
Backsliding means you are going backward. God wants us to grow.
But you can be in the church and backslide.
Or struggle at least struggle a little bit. There is hope for the backslider.
I was thinking a couple of weeks ago.
When I first came to the Lord? I don’t think I would have even hesitated if something came up and I had to die for the gospel but thinking about it the other the day I wasn’t so keen and it wasn’t so instant.
Well, that’s sort of a sign of where I’m at now in comparison to where I was when I first came along. I know there is no condemnation and so forth.
Do we pray as often as we once did? We probably don’t witness to people as often and there are all sorts of areas in our life where we might have stopped growing.
And here’s the talk. There is hope for the backslider and some people might think you just don’t know how bad my situation is but I’m hoping… well the first thing I hope is that I can adequately present the incredible hope there is for you.
I got these thoughts ready on Friday night and my pattern for giving a talk is I think about something for a while and then I start getting scriptures around it. So when I say I got it ready Friday night, I’ve been thinking about for quite some time and already had a dozen or so scriptures.
And then Friday night I’m piecing it together. It’s culling time, there’s stuff now you have to leave out otherwise the sermon will go for four hours. You cut out this one and then you cut out that one. Then you start reading more stuff and so on.
But Friday night was a WOW night. The sermon was there on Friday night and I basically scrapped it because it was just amazing… astonishing what I read and what came out and I just hope that I can do it justice and at least a part of that can be portrayed today.
Please Understand How Far God Is Willing To Go
To understand just how far God is willing to go and I’m hoping this talk reaches those who are struggling and they get to hear it. I hope it gets into the hands of someone that’s not here anymore, maybe.
And I hope they can realize just how easy it is to just turn back to God.
Let’s get the book of Hosea and I’m gonna read the first three chapters. It is an unusual thing to do, but they’re not long chapters.
We’re setting the scene here. Israel is divided into two. A lot of people in the world don’t realize that… there was the northern House of Israel and there’s the southern Kingdom of Judah.
And the reason they separated was that at the time of Solomon’s death, Solomon had previously got a bit carried away, and he taxed his people very heavily. They were overtaxed.
Then the next guy comes up. And he gathers people around. He’s got the old fellows who have been around for a while and he’s got the young fellows.
And he says the people are complaining about how much they are being taxed and the old fellows said. For peace in the Kingdom… their wisdom was to back it off a bit.
However, the young fellows. Tax them more to show who is boss and he listened to the young fellows.
So he taxed them more and the 10 tribes of Israel said we’ve had enough and you’re not getting our money and they became a divided kingdom. So they set up their own King and they became two separate entities.
Then because that King was then worried about them returning to Judah (because they used to still go to Jerusalem to the temple and so forth). So the new King kicked out all the Levites who were the priest’s and then the northern 10 tribes of Israel set up their own gods and their own false worship.
So that was a sign of the end and so you have got the two kingdoms and God had made a covenant with Israel, and it was a marriage covenant if you like.
And Israel had backslidden and was now doing all sorts of abominable, terrible, and horrible things. And the book of Hosea is dealing with this issue and if you get the chance to do so… read the entire book. It is amazing.
But we are just going to set the scene by reading the first three chapters and point out some things.
- The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel. (The two kingdoms) The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD. (Hos 1:1-2)
Amazing. I don’t know Lord it wasn’t quite what I had in mind when I was going to get married and meet someone and so forth.
But his is an example. In the life of Hosea and in the relationship with his wife of whoredoms is the relationship between God and Israel.
- So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son. And the LORD said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel. (Hos 1:3-4)
Talk about writing on the wall, this child represented that God was going to cut off the 10 tribes in the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
- And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel (strength) in the valley of Jezreel. And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And God said unto him, Call her name Loruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away.
That’s a whole new story, which is something we need to cover in the coming this year, how the tribes of Israel were taken away out of that land and dispersed throughout the world, and regathered later on.
But he will show no more mercy and will utterly take them away out of his land.
- But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen. Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God. (Hos 1:7-9)
What a horrible situation to be in. I’m talking today… before anyone loses hope that might be listening. I’m talking about hope for the Backslider.
But don’t take backsliding lightly. Don’t think it’s a light thing to backslide from the Living God. Don’t think that sin is a light thing.
But with the love of God, there is always a chance. While ever you’re breathing, while ever there is breath in your life there is a chance for you to be right with God and God’s love and Mercy can bring you back into the fold. But don’t take it lightly.
But he said… I will not be your God!
- Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. (Hos 1:10)
So he has cut the northern house of Israel off and will disperse them yet even in God’s judgment he says… It shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, You are not my people. There it shall be said unto them… You are the sons of the living God.
Along with the judgment, there is straight away a way of escape – a chance for redemption or mercy. And we’re going to read in these Scriptures how what God does here and how amazing it is.
- Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel. (Hos 1:11)
And as I’m talking of these things, think about the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Think of Jesus Christ who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He’s the one that’s going to bring everybody together.
So in Chapter 2.
- Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah. Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts; (Hos 2:1-2)
- Ammi means – My people
- Ruhamah means – My loved one, mercy is shown, or compassion.
So the first word is simple and it just means my people. But that second word means my beloved. The ones I show mercy upon, the ones that I have compassion upon.
Plead with your mother… Plead with your mother.
For she is not my wife. Neither am I her husband. Let her, therefore, put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adultery from between her breasts.
- Lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst. And I will not have mercy upon her children; for they be the children of whoredoms. (Hos 2:3-4)
Just put yourself in the natural. This is God’s relationship with Israel.
What if you were in such a relationship and the person you were with just slept around all the time with other people and the children they are bringing up are not even your children. And you supposed to be in this marriage bond.
This is God pleading. It’s just amazing. This is what Israel did to God… this is backsliding.
- For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink. (Hos 2:5)
This is what happens with backsliding. I’ll go after them. They give me all of these things, I’ll go out for a good time. This is where the good times can be found and are gonna happen. This is where I find happiness.
This is where we’re going to find fulfillment in life. This is what we can do and go after things that are not of God.
- Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths. And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now. (Hos 2:6-7)
Oh, you think happiness can be found somewhere and you go and pursue it, but you won’t find it… you won’t overtake it. You will always be chasing and you will never be satisfied.
- For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal. (Hos 2:8)
God was giving all the good things. God was doing or giving all the blessings and they thought it was their lovers. They thought it was going this way and going that way, but it was God giving them this stuff. And they were turning the stuff given to them by God into idol worship.
Committing adultery. I don’t know about you but in the human… in the natural, I’d be very, very hurt.
This is where the love of God knows no bounds. That would be the end of the story without the love of God.
But with the love of God, he is different.
- Therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, and will recover my wool and my flax given to cover her nakedness. And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of mine hand. I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts. (Hos 2:9-11)
When you backslide. When you turn your back on God… When you try to do go through life some other way. This is literally what happens to you.
Mirth, laughter, joy, happiness it goes.
At first, you think you’ll find it in these things, at first you think, yeah, I want to be like the rest of the people in this world. They look like they’re happy.
It might start off with what’s a few drinks? What’s a bit of drugs? What’s a bit of gambling? What’s a bit of whatever? You could insert anything. There are a million things you could pick from.
And you continue on that road but on that road there’s no happiness. The joy goes, your feast days go, there’s no celebrating… your life becomes a mess. Make no mistake about it. That’s the road of backsliding. Your life becomes a mess.
- And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said, These are my rewards that my lovers have given me: and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them. And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the LORD. (Hos 2:12-13)
Don’t forget the Lord. Don’t go chasing after all these things that just lead to misery.
But in amongst all of this, I want you to put yourself in God’s shoes. You have just been betrayed by the one you love. Not only betrayed but over and over and over again. Israel is committing adultery with multiple lovers.
Not past tense. It is happening right now as God is speaking. She is committing whoredoms. And in amongst this hurt and this pain. If God was a man of course.
And his judgment. These judgments are not to wipe them out as we will see here in the next scripture.
- Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. (Hos 2:14)
So far away from how a human would respond. Who would just want to take them to court and get every cent they could out of them. The wilderness experience is for her benefit.
The first thing people hear is the word judgment. People are scared of Judgement however judgment is a good thing in our life from God.
He’s looking after us. It produces the peaceable fruit of righteousness.
- And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. (Hos 2:15)
So the vineyards are going to spring forth from this hard time. The vineyards are going to come from the wilderness experience.
I had this thought the other day about pride. I know that I’ve had this attitude in my life at times and I’m sure others have as well. That I want to show God I love him and I’m stuck in this problem but I’ll overcome the problem first just to show him I’m not turning to God just because I’m in dire straits.
Know what I mean? I don’t want to just turn to you Lord because I’m having a hard time I wanna turn to you because I love you. At first, you think that’s not a bad attitude but it is. The Lord is giving you a hard time to get rid of your pride. Your only part to do is turn back to God.
I heard from my parents that they knew someone who had come to the Lord a long time ago and they saw them at the club playing the Pokies. Great example…
And they said that this person thought they were better than them because they wouldn’t talk to them and would play the pokies by themself. If only they knew that just sounds so weird because playing the pokies for a start is not being better than anyone.
However, that was their perception and perhaps people think that we think we’re better than them when we’re not.
We need a savior. We need a helping hand. And this is the thing I think in essence it is the other way round.
If you think you can do it without a helping hand from Jesus, you think you’re perfect.
When you know you’re not perfect, you know you need a helping hand to get over that wall. You need a helping hand to get out of the mire. You need a helping hand to get out of the problem that you’re in, whatever it is.
The Valley of Acor For A Door Of Hope
And this is a marvelous thing that from the wilderness I will give her, her vineyards from thence and listen to this and the Valley of Acor for a door of hope.
- And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali. (Hos 2:16)
This is the treacherous adulterous.
And this is God’s judgment upon her, that he will do everything he possibly can to win her back.
Now the Valley of Achor was the first place they went to in the promised land. It was the first place just before the walls of Jericho fell near.
If you’re, if you’re backsliding, if you got problems with anything, never ever give up.
The answer is the same as when we first come along to the Lord. The door… Jesus is the door.
And your hope is in the same hope that we had in the beginning.
It’s in Jesus Christ.
It is the same. He will lure you into the wilderness and if you turn back to him he will put you back to where it all started.
And get this… This is still in the midst of their backslidings. He’s giving this promise. There you will sing again.
When you go down the backsliding road, as I said, there’s no joy, and there’s no happiness, but you can turn back to God. You will come to that door hope and when you come through that door of hope back to where it all started… You start singing again.
As in the days of your youth is when you first come along. As in the day when you first come out of the land of Egypt… as the day you first come into the world.
There’s always hope in the Scriptures.
Go through the whole New Testament it talks about people in trouble and we are told to restore them in the spirit of meekness. And we read about the Prodigal Son and all these things.
Never give up hope. Never stop trying. If something has somebody. Someone’s in the grip of turmoil turned back to God.
It’s as simple as that. Turn back to God.
Let’s read on it gets even better…
- And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali. (Hos 2:16)
- The word Ishi means… my husband.
- The word Baali means… master.
You won’t call me master anymore… you will call me… my husband.
You call me husband? What a relationship? When you come to the Lord people think you just joined some cult. You just come along because you like the doctrines of this Church. You know it’s just a load of rubbish.
If there wasn’t power… if it wasn’t for the Holy Spirit and power. Of having a personal relationship with Christ that is an extraordinary circumstance.
What’s so appealing about the doctrine? Think about it. We come out of the world, and we look over here and with these people, there is no more drinking no more smoking. No more swearing. What’s so appealing about that?
That’s not gonna pull me out of the world.
We are not here because we like the philosophy of the place and the doctrine of the place. We are here because of the power and the relationship that we have with Jesus Christ.
And then our lives changed. People try to put the cart before the horse. I did before I come along. I knew they didn’t smoke. I knew they didn’t gamble, I knew they didn’t drink and if I go there I can’t do those things.
That held me up for a long time. I used to like doing those things.
But you gotta get to know Jesus first, meet Jesus first… experience Jesus first, then see if you still like those things. Give up those things before you know Jesus.
How can you?
But when you know Jesus, you want to.
Don’t put the cart before the horse. People are out there telling everyone you shouldn’t do this and you shouldn’t do that. And there is truth in that but that can’t give it up until they know Jesus.
And it’s not some vain philosophy or sitting here listening to doctrines. It is the power of God. We can call him… My husband, not my master, my friend.
Not my master. A relationship… this is amazing. Remember these words were coming out of God while he’s still dealing with someone who’s betrayed him… while we were yet sinners he died for us.
How much more? That scripture goes on. Now that we’ve been made righteous.
- For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name. And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely. (Hos 2:17-18)
This is full restoration folks!
Sometimes you sit there and you think no one is as bad as me, you don’t know what I’ve done. Hello… read what Israel did… It’s pretty bad. And actually, read what the Prodigal son did.
The King James Version puts it very mildly. You go and look up some of those words. He was exactly like Israel actually is probably talking about Israel figuratively. He went and wasted his substance. The stuff that God gave him on whoredoms.
As bad as you think you might be God’s love knows no bounds.
Is your wickedness greater than God’s love?
No, it’s not but your wickedness will get you in trouble if keep going the wrong way. Turn to God.
- And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. (Hos 2:19)
What compassion and mercy. And that was all done through Jesus Christ. It was all done through Jesus Christ.
There’s a bigger picture here than sometimes we realize. Jesus Christ came to fulfill all these scriptures. This is how they could find mercy again this is where they could find their love.
- I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD. And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel. And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God. (Hos 2:20-23)
This is the backslider saying this. This is the backslider saying, thou art my God! If they turn to God, God says one day you will say to him… thou art, my God.
There is plenty of hope.
Go through this entire book and it gives the journey of a backslider and as the book unfolds it goes into more detail.
- The first thing that happens when you backslide is you become God-forsaken. God forsakes you first up, he puts up with you for a while, and then he says enough is enough and lets you go into the world until you see that you caused your own problems.
- You become desolate.
- You become oppressed.
- You start telling falsehoods and lies.
- You become inconsistent, it talks about Ephraim being like a cake left in the oven, and not turned. He might appear to be nice and juicy on the outside but burnt like a crisp on the bottom. You know you become. You become inconsistent.
- You become foolish and cowardly. Oh, it’s a lot to look forward to. Go down that path, isn’t it?
- You become selfish.
- You become unsatisfied. Nothing satisfies no matter what you get in the worldly sense it cannot satisfy, you are never full and you are never happy.
- And you become vainglorious. For Vanity, you just want to look good. You just want to play the part. It all becomes just superficial.
This is a journey of a Backslider. It’s not a good journey. To be avoided if you can. But if you know someone that has gone down that path or if you are having problems in areas you need to know it can be turned around.
I was just thinking, we come to the Lord, and we think we should be giving our all to the Lord, and we should tithe, should give him give of our money.
Anyway, tithing is not actually in the New Testament, it says to give cheerfully, and willingly. What you’re willing to give cheerfully of a good heart give.
But Abraham tithed in the Old Testament in faith and sometimes you think oh, I can’t afford to tithe, I can’t afford to give my money to Lord. Ah, give my all? I don’t have time read, I don’t have time to fellowship, how will I find the time for this?
But here’s the thing.. when you start backsliding you tithe every single cent you’ve got to the devil. You might go down the drug’s path… drugs have gotcha. You are giving drugs you’re all. Every cent you got you’re giving, all your time you are giving to it, all your thinking you are giving to it, all your worship and all of your money to the devil.
You gamble or whatever else. You actually end up giving and it is so easy to give your all to the devil… so easy for you to give extra money to the devil.
It should be easy to do it for the Lord. It should be so easy to do it for the Lord that it becomes just part of your life.
And the devil doesn’t give you any blessings, he just takes your money. He’s come to the rob and to steal.
To kill and to destroy. Yeah, sure here devil… have some more money. Have some more my time. It is the journey of the backslider. The Devil isn’t going to give you any joy.
He might give you enough happiness to start with just to get you hooked or addicted to something. It doesn’t lead to joy. It leaves devastation at the end of the day.
Give to the Lord… give to the Lord. And it could be so easy compared to just laying it down to the old Devil.
Stop allowing the other side to win.
- O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. (Hos 14:1)
Your sin makes you fall.
- Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.
Now there’s a strange saying, calves of our lips… Botox!
No, it’s not. Just checking if you’re awake. It means the sacrifice of our lips or the praise of our lips.
God is sying take with you words of confession or words of repentance.
Lord, just take me back.
If your struggling, Lord just take me back.
And if you are struggling in something… if someone listening to this talk is struggling with something. You know what… if you fail then get down and pray to the Lord and say you’re sorry and go again… and if you fail again get down and pray to the Lord.
Now, human nature is all… I’m hopeless. I’ll give up and I’ll go and you’re gonna let Satan win.
No Lord… I know where my bread’s buttered from… I know who gives me all the good things. You keep turning to the Lord.
There’s something marvelous that happens. We’re going to read in this chapter. Something marvelous happens if you keep seeking the Lord.
- Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy. (Hos 14:3)
We keep looking for the solution to our problems elsewhere. Asshur was Egypt and Egypt is not going to help us out. We keep looking for someone else to bail us out.
We ask the Lord to fix our problem and then we go I’ve got an idea I might try this just in case. Get another job or do something else just in as a backup. We come before the Lord and say, Lord, I want a solution and then we get impatient, 5 minutes later I’ll come up with a solution of my own.
Other things aren’t going to help us. God is our help. This is what he’s saying.
- I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. (Hos 14:4)
I will heal their backsliding
Really, take hold of that. I will heal their backsliding, not forgive… he is treating it like a sickness… I will heal their backslidings.
Come back to the Lord, turn back to the Lord. Keep seeking the Lord. Have your hope and your trust in your love and your faith in the Lord.
And he will heal your backslidings and he’ll restore what the Devil took from you.
The Locust and the Canker, that came and ate everything and destroyed everything… God will restore it all. When you turn back to him. I will heal their backsliding and I will love them freely. For my own anger is turned away from him.
- I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. (Hos 14:5-6)
He will reestablish you where you were. In the story of the Prodigal Son, the brother got his nose out of joint because he had served his Father all this time and now the one who had gone out and done all this bad stuff was reinstated as nothing had happened.
I used to be like that. How can someone just come back after doing all these bad things? How can they have their cake and eat it too?
Until you realize it’s not joy, there is no life where they have been… my son that was dead is now alive, it’s death out there.
And here it is. He’s saying if you were a backslider, and you walk back through that door he will re-establish you. You’ll start singing again and here he is saying… You’ll be routed again ss the roots of Lebanon.
Lebanon used to have these huge cedar trees. It was famous for theses huge cedar trees and that’s where they used to get all the wood to build things from. You’ll come back and you’ll be established. You’ll be rooted in the things of the Lord again.
The Lord will give you dew… the good dew… the moisture that you need. You will be established, your branches will grow and spread. You shall grow as a Lily.
You’ll Be Beautiful Again
He’ll give you beauty for Ashes. You’ll be beautiful again. You’ll be re-established again. You’ll be strong in the Lord again. This is what it is saying because you will like the roots of the trees… you’ll be strong in the Lord again.
You might think it’s impossible in the position you might be in, but you can turn to the Lord and he will heal your backslidings and he’ll reestablish you again like it never happened.
Turn to the Lord. Come Back to the Lord.
- Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found. Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein. (Hos 14:8-9)
You’ll say what have I to do with idols anymore? When you come back you will say, why did I go down that track?
You will be like the green fir tree… you will start bearing fruit again. You go from being a backslider to being reestablished, your joy is back and now you start to bear fruit again.
- They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD. (Jer 3:1)
You say it’s not right in your life but this is what you are doing to me says the Lord.
- Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness. (Jer 3:2)
All of these false gods show me one of them you haven’t slept with. This is what he is saying to Israel… you have slept with the whole lot of them.
- Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed. (Jer 3:3)
Does this show you the world today?
A whore’s forehead, that sounds pretty bad but you are not even hiding it. You are blatantly displaying it, you are doing all of these terrible things against your husband, and you are not even ashamed you are doing it. Therefore, the showers stop… the end of the blessings.
- Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My father, thou art the guide of my youth? Will he reserve his anger for ever? will he keep it to the end? Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest. The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot.(Jer 3:4-6)
- And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. (Jer 3:7)
Despite all these things and this wickedness God still pleaded with Israel to return to him. Turn thou unto me… I don’t who is going to be listening to this talk in the future but whatever you’ve done, despite all of these things, Turn thou unto God.
- And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks. And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the LORD. (Jer 3:8-10)
To matters worse her treacherous sister Judah who saw what Israel did also went and played the harlot but with treachery. They did not return to the Lord with their whole heart but feignedly.
It is not those who call me Lord, Lord, who will enter the Kingdom but those who do the will fo my Father. This is Judah now… Oh, yes Lord, we love you Lord, and then go and make their bed with someone else.
- And the LORD said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah. Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever. (Jer 3:11-12)
Do you see the theme going here?
- Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD. (Jer 3:13)
This is the advice to the backslider… Acknowledge your iniquity.
- Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more. (Jer 3:14-16)
Turn… you are going the wrong way… turn.
- Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD. A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the LORD their God. Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the LORD our God. (Jer 3:20-22)
Ezekiel talks about the soul that sins shall die. The son won’t die because of what the father has done and the father won’t die because of what the son has done… it is the individual that will be held accountable. But if an evil man shall turn from his evil do good he will live. Christ came to save the ungodly.
- Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. (James 5:19-20)
If someone were to wander from the truth and therefore backslide and you bring them back you will help them to cover a multitude of sins. Wonderful forgiveness and you have played a role in saving someone from death.
How was that soul saved from death? By turning… coming back!
We have just been reading how the Lord is going to heal backsliding Israel and it was all done through Jesus Christ.
- Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. (1 Pet 2:24-25)
I hope you see this scripture in a different light and this is a well-known scripture that we use for healing. And of course, we can be healed, Paul would preach the gospel and would perceive someone in the crowd had the faith to be healed and they were healed. Healing is the children’s bread, so on and so forth.
However, sometimes I think this scripture is used out of context because this scripture shows the fulfillment of everything we have just read today about healing Israel’s backsliding.
As sheep have gone astray (backsliders) they returned. This is what Jesus came and died for… to heal backsliding Israel.
God loved Israel so much he purchased the entire world so he could redeem them. He bought the entire field to get back the pearl of great price.
In Isaiah 53 when it says he has borne our iniquities, he has borne our griefs, he is talking about fulfilling those scriptures we read today in Hosea and Jeremiah. About healing backslidden Israel.
The door is Jesus Christ and they still won’t come through the door, they’re still in their backslidden state, but the answer is through that door. There was a door in the valley of Achor and now there is a door set in heaven.
Jesus is that door. Come through that door. Turn back. If you are hearing this and you have left the church come back. Return and watch the Lord Take care of you again from that day forward.
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