To slide is to move smoothly on a surface. However, to believers the smoothness in moving on a surface connotes worldly enjoyment which unfortunately slides or glides them out of relationship with God. A step backward is more than two lost in following Jesus because life is not static. It is obvious that no one has ever been able to wind back the clock of life. The backslider is out of contention in the race or efforts made to seek the righteousness of Jesus. Proverb 14: 14 says “The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, but a good man will be satisfied from above”. In early days of having been saved , it is the nature of man to be on fire for Christ. At such times, prayers will be fiery or firebrand and fasting days will exceed days for eating. Holiness will be pursued with vigor and one will always attend all assemblies of ardent worshippers. Sadly, as soon as this type of people receives spiritual power, rather than using it for rescuing the perishing and caring for the dying they will start having pleasure in using it to exploit those in need. In plain language, they commercialize the spiritual gift until they get recompensed for their work of iniquity. Matthew 24: 12 says “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” Such that have started backsliding would become impediment to up and coming believers.
Paul in 1Timothy 1:18-20 says “The charge I commit to you Timothy, according to the prophesies made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, having faith and in good conscience which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck; of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blasphemy”. Paul also commented on another backslider in 1 Timothy 4: 10 “For Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed to Thessalonica”. Work of salvation demands dedication to the cause of Christ’s good news. Draw to Christ, He will lighten your burden. Christ never preached that it would be all bed of roses to his followers rather he enjoined his disciples to forego all worldliness and follow Him.
Paul remains an example of those who suffered for the cause they believed in. He was flogged, imprisoned, shipwrecked and divinely escaped the plot to kill him. Backsliding from spiritual progress is, at mundane level a quitter that can never win a race or ever become a champion. However, the backslider can still retrace his steps back to Jesus like the prodigal son. In Hebrew 10: 38 -39, there is a warning to those contemplating drawing back from following Christ. “Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul”