Suggested further reading: Matthew 13:18-23
What an old sin backsliding is! We read that when our Lord
had explained what he meant by `eating and drinking his flesh
and blood', `from that time many went back and walked no more
The true grace of God no doubt is an everlasting
possession. From this men never fall away entirely when they have once
received it. `The foundation of God standeth sure' (2 Tim.
2:19). `My sheep shall never perish' (John 10:28). But there is
counterfeit grace and unreal religion in the church, wherever there is true,
and from counterfeit grace thousands may and do fall away. Like
the stony-ground hearers in the parable of the sower, many `have
no root in themselves, and so in time of temptation fall away'. All
is not gold that glitters. All blossoms do not come to fruit. All are
not Israel which are called Israel. Men may have feelings, desires,
convictions, resolutions, hopes, joys, sorrows in religion and yet
never have the grace of God. They may run well for a season and bid
fair to reach heaven and yet break down entirely after a time, go
back to the world and end like Demas, Judas Iscariot and Lot's wife.
It must never surprise us to see and hear of such cases in
our own days. If it happened in our Lord's time and under our
Lord's teaching, much more may we expect it to happen now. Above all,
it must never shake our faith and discourage us in our course. On
the contrary, we must make up our minds that there will be
backsliders in the church as long as the world stands. The sneering infidel
who defends his unbelief by pointing at them must find some
better argument than their example. He forgets that there will always
be counterfeit coin where there is true money.
For meditation: Machines that are never serviced prove
inefficient and break down. Christians that neglect their
relationship with God decline and grow cold.