Hands on the Plough – Part 3 by Pastor Joshua-Digging Deep
INTRODUCTION: In our previous studies on “Hands on the plough”, we have discovered that it is a dangerous thing indeed to backslide because God does not regard backsliding as a light thing. We also discovered as we began to study the story of the prodigal son in details that some people backslide for different reasons like a desire to have sudden wealth, pleasure or freedom from the narrow way of truth and self-sacrifice. Today, we continue our in-depth study of the story of the prodigal son. May we never backslide in Jesus Name.
1) SOME PEOPLE NEVER LEARN THE EASY WAY:
a) Some people never learn their lessons the easy way. They prefer to suffer first before realizing that God is truly the Lord and Master of all. When a person deserts God, the only true source of all good things and instead of spending his substance on programmes other than those approved by God; God has a way of bringing such a person to his knees. The so-called “enjoyments” they went after turn sour, and an insatiable hunger will develop within. However, when the hands of God are heavy upon some people, for their transgression, they make matters worse by going farther and farther away from God. II Cor. 33:9-13, Ezek. 16:27, Hos. 2:8-14, Amos 8:9-12, II Chronicles 28:19-23.
b) GOD HAS A TIME LIMIT WHICH HE EXPECTS BACKSLIDERS TO REPENT: If a backslider shows a true sign of repentance, God moves in quickly to the rescue. However, he is not interested in mere words of mouth but a genuine heartbroken repentance. Once the backslider realizes the errors of his ways and is determined to forsake his sins, the mercy of the father will become available to him. But God will not wait forever. When the time limit He sets for a backslider to repent is exceeded, judgment falls. Isaiah 1:4-5, 9, Isaiah 67:15-21, Jeremiah 5:2-3, 8:4-6, 31:18-20, Proverbs 28:13, II Tim. 2:25-26, Rev. 2:21-22.
2) DIVINE JUDGMENT ON BACKSLIDERS ARE EXECUTED FOR ALL TO SEE:
a) Invariably, when someone falls, he takes other people along with him. Consequently, when God judges a backslider, He turns him to a public spectacle of shame. Those who refuse to mortify the flesh should not blame God when His wrath hits them because those who follow the fashions of this world must share in the wrath of God reserved for the world only – Malachi 2:8-9, Romans 1:24-32, Rom.1:24-32, Ephesians 2:2-3, I Corinthians 6:9-10, Ephesians 4:17-19, Colossians 3:5-7.
b) ONE OF THE HORRORS OF BACKSLIDING IS THAT IT REDUCES A MAN FROM KING TO BEAST: One of the borrows of backsliding is that those who used to feed on the Living Bread now feed on ashes. They that used to partake of the King of kings table now eat beside the gutters amidst the stench of human and animal refuse. They become a shadow of their former glorious self, like a beast without wisdom or knowledge. Isaiah 44:20, Lamentation 4:5, Hosea 12:1, Ps. 73:22, Rom. 6:19-20.
3) WHEN A BACKSLIDER COMES TO HIS SENSES HE WILL REALISE THAT HE IS A PRISONER: Whenever a backslider comes to himself, he would realize the following (i) he no longer has true friends (ii) those he calls friends do not really care for him (iii) he has been brought low (iv) instead of mends friends he now has enemies that are stronger than he is and (v) he has lost his freedom and is a prisoner of Satan. Ps. 142:4-5, Ps. 73:12, Isaiah 57:3, Psalms 73:16-20.