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I am a Christian counselor located in Lake Mary, Florida. I am a licensed psyhchologist and have been providing Christian Counseling for over 30 years. I have just written two new books: "Christlike: Walking the Walk," and "Godly Counsel: Scriptures for Today's World." I will be posting newsletters here with content from "Godly Counsel." You can also download a PDF version of each book chapter and download two free audio recordings entitled: "Overcoming Anxiety," and "Overcoming Depression." Please visit me at my website and Facebook. To receive the newsleters once a week, please enter your email below. Talk to you soon......... Dr. Brian Campbell

Friday, December 9, 2011

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                                                                        "So, if you think you are standing firm,
                                                                      be careful you don't fall!"
                                                                      (1 Corinthians 10:12)

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Hello Everyone!
Welcome to the 6th issue of my newsletter. The topic today is BACKSLIDING. If your faith is not as strong as it used to be, of if you are falling into sin, this issues for you. Brian Small Picture
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LESSON #6
BACKSLIDING
"So, if you think you are standing firm,
be careful you don't fall!"
(1 Corinthians 10:12)
Backslide: to regress; to slip backwards or revert to a
previous, worse state
Has your faith become dull and lacking in enthusiasm? Have you drifted out of the habit of reading the Bible, praying, attending church, helping others, and witnessing to those who do not know Christ? Are you lazy, undisciplined, and lacking in self-control? Are you trapped in life-dominating sins? Is your con-science seared to the point that you no longer experience godly sorrow when you sin?
"Backsliding" is a recurring theme throughout the Bible-God's people falling away from their faith and belief in him and falling back into sin. The process can be slow and gradual, or sudden; unfortunately, the result is always the same. We fall away from our close personal relationship with God and fall into spiritual dullness or outright sin and disobedience.
God deplores our backsliding and desires that we return to our former relation-ship with Him. He personally appeals to us to return, and He disciplines those who do not.
If you feel that you are starting to backslide, stay alert and remain self-controlled. If you feel you are already in a state of spiritual dullness, or if you feel trapped in sinful behavior, turn your heart back to God and His love. He is waiting for you with open arms.
Please read on...


SYNOPSIS
Most people are "on fire" for the Lord when they first become Christians-when they are "born again." However, slowly over time, their enthusiasm can begin to grow cold as they live out their lives in a fallen and sin-filled world.
Sometimes the process of backsliding is largely a "passive" pro­cess, whereby the believer gradually drifts away from a Spirit-filled relationship with God. The Bible uses a variety of terms to de­scribe this process:

  • Forgetting God1
  • Heart Turning Away From God2,3
  • Forsaking Your First Love4
  • Turning Away From the Gospel5
  • Wandering From The Faith6,7
  • Becoming Lazy8
  • Being Complacent9
  • Being Lukewarm10
Other scriptures suggest that backsliding can take the form of a more conscious and "active" role in the decision to turn to evil and disobey God. The end product of this decision can be slavery to sin.
  • Turning To Follow Satan11
  • Becoming Slaves To Sin12
  • Being Taken Captive By Satan13
  • Turning to Evil14
The Bible also describes the condition of "backsliding" metaphorically, as:
  • Salt Losing Its Saltiness15
  • Being Asleep16
  • Serving Two Masters17
  • Grass Without Water18
  • Seed Sown Among Thorns19
  • A Dead Branch20
  • Building A House Without a Firm Foundation21
  • Being Taken Captive Through Hollow and Deceptive Philosophy22
All Christians backslide temporarily at one point or another in their lives; however, remaining in a state of indifference, or sinful sepa­ration from God, can have serious outcomes. As time pro­gresses, our hearts may become hardened through backsliding23 and our consciences may become "seared."24
That's one reason why God recommends that we examine our­selves to see if we are living fully in the faith.25 We can undertake this self-evaluation by looking at the fruit that our lives are bearing.26 Are we reaching others for Christ? Are we helping to change lives? If not, then we are almost certainly backsliding.
In the end, backsliding always has negative and bitter conse­quences.27 God wants us to return to Him.28 He wants us to be alert and self-controlled.29 He wants us to repent30 and do the things we did when we first knew Him.31
Because God loves us so much, He disciplines His children when they drift away from Him or fall back into sin.32,33 Everyone who sins is disciplined. If you are not disciplined, then you are not true children of God.34 No discipline seems pleasant at the time we receive it, but later on it produces a "harvest of righteousness and and peace" for those who are trained by it.35 Bottom line, consider yourself blessed if you are being disciplined for your back­sliding.36
Be prepared!37 Our time on earth is short and Christ will be re­turning soon. We need to have our lives in order when He comes, for He will come "like a thief in the night-at a time when we do not expect Him.38,39 We need to wake up from our slumber and turn back to God, for He is coming soon.40,41


God's Guidance
Human beings are weak but God is strong.42 He stands knocking at the door, and wants us to return to Him.43 Through the power of God, we have been given everything we need to live a life of godliness,44 and to escape backsliding and the corruption of the world that is caused by evil desires.45 The Lord knows how to res­cue godly men from trials.46 Repent! And turn back to God.47 Come back to your senses and stop sinning.48
If you think you are standing firm in your faith, be careful you don't fall.49 If you don't stand firm in your faith, you won't stand at all.50 Let nothing move you; always give yourself fully to the Lord.51 Hold on to the confidence and enthusiasm you had when you first knew God.52
Don't swerve to the left or to the right; keep you feet from evil.53 Sow righteousness.54 Keep growing spiritually. Make every effort to add to your faith: goodness; knowledge; self-control; persever­ance; godliness; brotherly kindness; and love.55 Aim for perfec­tion; don't settle for "good enough."56 God doesn't like lukewarm Christians.57
Resist the devil and he will flee from you.58 Just as Satan tempted Jesus when He was weak,59 he will tempt us when we have our guard down and are distracted by the world.60 Pray to God for strength and protection from the evil one.61 In fact, devote your­self to prayer, being watchful that you do not backslide, and thankful that you know our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.62
Read the Bible on a regular basis, and study the scriptures.63 Do not neglect God's Word.64 Hide the Word of God in your heart, so that you don't slip away from Him and fall into sin.65
In the end, make every effort to live holy and godly lives.66 Con­duct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.67

Scriptures
If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods
and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you
today that you will surely be destroyed.
(Deuteronomy 8:19)1
The LORD became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had ap-
peared to him twice. Although he had forbidden
Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon
did not keep the LORD'S command.
(1 Kings 11:9-10)2
This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who
trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away form the LORD.
(Jeremiah 17:5)3
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.
Remember the height from which you have fallen!
Repent, and do the things you did at first.
(Revelation 2:4-5)4
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one
who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning
to a different gospel-which is really no gospel at all.
Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion
and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.
(Galatians 1:6-7)5
They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the
way of Balaam son of Boer, who loved the wages of wickedness.
(2 Peter 2:15)6
Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the
faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
(1 Timothy 6:10)7
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to
the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not
want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through
faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
(Hebrews 6:10-12)8
The complacency of fools will destroy them.
(Proverbs 1:32)9
So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I
am about to spit you out of my mouth.
(Revelation 3:16)10
Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.
(1 Timothy 5:15)11
They promise them freedom, while they themselves
are slaves of depravity-for a man is a slave to
whatever has mastered him.
(2 Peter 2:19)12
Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
(2 Timothy 2:25-26)13
Do good, O LORD, to those who are good, to those who are
upright in heart. But those who turn to crooked ways
the LORD will banish with the evildoers.
(Psalm 125:4-5)14
You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness,
how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for
anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
(Matthew 5:13)15
So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep,
but let us be alert and self-controlled.
(1 Thessalonians 5:6)16
No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the
one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and
despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
(Luke 16:13)17
Can papyrus grow tall where there is no marsh? Can reeds
thrive without water? While still growing and uncut, they
wither more quickly than grass. Such is the destiny of
all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless.
(Job 8:11-13)18
Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.
(Mark 4:18-19)19
If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is
thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up,
thrown into the fire and burned.
(John 15:6)20
But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.
(Matthew 7:26-27)21
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and decep-tive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
(Colossians 2:8)22
You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be
ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people's heart
has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
(Matthew 13:14-15)23
Such teachings come from hypocritical liars, whose
consciences have been seared with a hot iron.
(1 Timothy 4:2)24
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith;
test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus
is in you-unless, of course, you fail the test.
(2 Corinthians 13:5)25
This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit,
showing yourselves to be my disciples.
(John 15:8)26
"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)27
"Return, faithless people; I will cure you of backsliding."
"Yes, we will come to you, for you are the LORD our God."
(Jeremiah 3:22)28
So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep,
but let us be alert and self-controlled.
(1 Thessalonians 5:6)29
He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish,
but everyone to come to repentance.
(2 Peter 3:9)30
Repent, and do the things you did at first.
(Revelation 2:5)31
You rebuke and discipline men for their sin.
(Psalm 39:11)32
Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the
discipline of the Almighty. For he wounds, but he also
binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.
(Job 5:17-18)33
If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline),
then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.
(Hebrews 12:8)34
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later
on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness
and peace for those who have been trained by it.
(Hebrews 12:11)35
Blessed is the man you discipline, O LORD,
the man you teach from your law.
(Psalm 94:12)36
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved,
a workman who does not need to be ashamed and
who correctly handles the word of truth.
(2 Timothy 2:15)37
The day of the Lord will come
like a thief in the night.
(1 Thessalonians 5:2)38
You must be ready, because the Son of Man will come
at an hour when you do not expect him.
(Luke 12:40)39
The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber,
because our salvation is nearer now than
when we first believed.
(Romans 13:11)40
Behold, I am coming soon!
(Revelation 22:7)41
Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.
(Psalm 105:4)42
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone
hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in
and eat with him, and he with me.
(Revelation 3:20)43
His divine power has given us everything we need for life
and godliness through our knowledge of him who called
us by his own glory and goodness.
(2 Peter 1:3)44
Through these he has given us his very great and precious
promises, so that through them you may participate
in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the
world caused by evil desires.
(2 Peter 1:4)45
The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to
hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment.
(2 Peter 2:9)46
Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
(Isaiah 55:7)47
Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning.
(1 Corinthians 15:34)48
So, if you think you are standing firm, be
careful you don't fall!
(1 Corinthians 10:12)49
If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.
(Isaiah 7:9)50
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because
you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
(1 Corinthians 15:58)51
We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till
the end the confidence we had at first.
(Hebrews 3:14)52
Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
(Proverbs 4:27)53
Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the
LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.
(Hosea 10:12)54
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith
goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge,
self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to
perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly
kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
(2 Peter 1:5-7)55
Aim for perfection.
(2 Corinthians 13:11)56
I know your deeds. You are neither hot nor cold.
Because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor
cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
(Revelation 3:15-16)57
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
(James 4:7)58
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted
by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was
hungry. The tempter came to him and said, "If you are
the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."
(Matthew 4:1-3)59
Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.
The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.
(Matthew 26:41)60
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen
and protect you from the evil one.
(2 Thessalonians 3:3)61
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
(Colossians 4:2)62
When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty.
(Jeremiah 15:16)63
I will not neglect your word.
(Psalm 119:16)64
I have hidden your word in my heart that
I might not sin against you.
(Psalm 119:11)65
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of
people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives
as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.
(2 Peter 3:11)66
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner
worthy of the gospel of Christ.
(Philippians 1:27)67
Please don't forget to join our email to receive your weekly newsletter. Also, please download the free audio recordings and enjoy listening to God's word.

Sincerely,

Brian

Brian Campbell
New Life Christian Counseling Center

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