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Forgiveness After Backsliding
And Returning to the Lord

This is a response to a letter we received from a man who had backslidden and was concerned that there was now no way back to the Lord for him.

Dear Brother,

In response to your questions in your last letter: Yes. I did have a very clear experience of repentance and faith, water baptism, baptism in the Spirit, speaking in tongues and other gifts of the Spirit. I had a very powerful experience with the Lord as you know from my testimony, and I accepted the Lord as my Savior with great joy. When I went to Texas to join the ministry I saw on a regular basis the power of the hand of God and the move of His Spirit.

But for the three years I was in Texas there were two things I found lacking in my relationship with God: a true revelation of God's love and mercy and my less than full commitment to the Lord. I was like the seed sown among thorns and when the cares and troubles of the world came, I allowed them to choke out the Word of God within me. Because of that, I never took responsibility for my walk and ended up becoming bitter and blaming others. As a result, I walked away from the Lord.

During the years I was backslidden and in horrendous sin, I never completely lost site of the fact that God was truly righteous and holy, and that I was not where I needed to be. In God's mercy, He allowed me to come to the point where I could see my lack of commitment. I also realized that only when I was serving Him was there any joy, love and peace in my life. I had accepted Jesus' salvation but had not given myself to Him to be Lord of my life. I denied Him by not giving up my life totally so that His will could be worked out in me. Just saying you accept Jesus as your Savior is not enough. You must be born again, which means you die and now He lives in you.

You mentioned in your first letter your terror and condemnation over your past sins and questioned if there was a way back. The answer is emphatically – YES! Because of my condition when I backslid, I was concerned about these scriptures as well, yet here I am today! The Lord has more than restored my walk with Him, my ministry, and I have new faith and commitment to walk with God.

Let's take a look at some of the scriptures you mentioned:
“For as touching those who were once enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come, and then fell away, it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” Hebrews 6:4-6 (NASB).

Renew: the Greek word, anakainizo. The specific meaning of this word is found only once in scripture, in this passage, and it means to have a qualitatively different repentance, a different form. You cannot have a new or different repentance. It is impossible for you to be brought back by someone else or to repent in a different way. You must go back to where you left your repentance from sin. Take the case of the prodigal son. He was not brought back to his father, he went back of his own accord to repent to his father. We must do the same.

“But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place-unless you repent.” Revelation 2:4-5 (NASB). Praise God! He gives us the chance to go back and start again!

Brother, you can never count out the mercy of the Lord. If you see the errors of your ways and truly want to recommit your life to the Lord 100%, there are no holds barring you from it. Jesus said, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” John 6:37.

Paul was very clear in Romans that we should not use God's forgiveness as a license to continue to sin…but if we do sin and we confess our sin and truly REPENT, (not just say we're sorry but truly change,) He is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Once you have confessed your sins and truly repented, (make a 180 degree turn around,) there is NO condemnation. This is when we must trust God and know that our heavenly Father, (not the one we had on earth,) wants to work His will in us so we can be renewed in our minds and manifest His will on earth – which is His purpose for us.

“To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy - to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” Jude 24-25.

I pray this will be of help to you and as you search the scriptures that you will receive the revelation of God's love, mercy and compassion towards you. Rest assured that He is not waiting with a big stick to hit you upside the head if you make a mistake, but His love for you is so great that He will move heaven and earth on your behalf to help you to stand in faith.

In the love of Christ,
Your brother in the Lord

Some scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible.

 
Everyone must die sometime.
"...it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment..." Hebrews 9:27

 
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