Backsliding, Divine Chastisement and the Divine Agreement Part 1
Copyright 1994 - 2017 Bill's Bible Basics

Authored By  :
Bill Kochman

Published On :
September 22, 2009

Last Updated :
September 22, 2009


God The Father And Jesus Never Lie And Keep Their Word, Moses
Wrote About Jesus, A More Sure Word Of Prophecy, Stipulations
Of The Divine Agreement, A Promise Of Eternal Life, Whosoever
Believeth, Jesus Christ Paid The Full Ransom Price, Washed In
The Blood Of The Lamb, Repent And Believe, Jesus Won't Turn
Us Away, We're Only Saved By Grace, Adopted Children Of God,
Spiritually Married To Christ, What If We Fall Away?, He Will
Never Leave Or Forsake Us, Salvation Is Forever, Temptations
Of The World, God Is Married To The Backslider, The Price Of
Backsliding Is Shame And Everlasting Contempt, All Christians
Are Susceptible To Backsliding, Lifelong Walk Of Faith, Watch
Out For Satan's Subtle Devices, But Let It Rather Be Healed,
God's Rod Of Correction And Divine Chastisement Should Result
In The Peaceable Fruit Of Righteousness In Christians' Lives




In the Book of Numbers we find the following interesting
verse of Scripture:

"God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of
man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do
it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?"
Numbers 23:19, KJV

There is something very interesting about that verse. Notice
that Moses mentions BOTH God the Father, AND the Son of Man.
In other words, it is my belief that Moses is referring to
Jesus. We are given a clear indication that Moses is talking
about two distinct personalities, because he separates them
with the word "neither". This is not the only place in the
Old Testament where both God the Father and Jesus Christ are
mentioned together -- to the consternation of non-believing
Jews who claim that Jesus Christ is not mentioned in the Old
Testament.

That Moses would make such a statement should come as no
surprise to we Bible-believing Christians. After all, as I
have pointed out before, on one occasion, Jesus did say to
the unbelieving Jews in the Gospel of John:

"For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he
wrote of me."
John 5:46, KJV

But the point I wish to make is that God the Father's Word,
and Jesus' Word, are a sure thing; or, as the Apostle Peter
would later write, we have "a more sure word of prophecy",
as we see here:

"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do
well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a
dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in
your hearts:"
2 Peter 1:19, KJV

This "sure word of prophecy", which has been foreordained
since the foundation of the world, is that God the Father,
and Jesus His Son, have crafted an agreement -- a Divine
Agreement -- between themselves. This agreement involves the
fate of all of humanity. The primary stipulations of this
Divine Agreement are embodied in the words of three key
verses; that is, John 1:12, John 3:16 and John 3:36, which,
as most Christians will already know, state the following:

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to
become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his
name:"
John 1:12, KJV

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten
Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but
have everlasting life."
John 3:16, KJV

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he
that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath
of God abideth on him."
John 3:36, KJV

As these three verses clearly explain, this Divine Agreement,
which stands forever and is eternal, specifies that, as its
benefactors, we imperfect, sinful creatures of flesh can
escape the Wrath of God, obtain Eternal Life, inherit the
Kingdom of God, and become the adopted Children of God. As
Christian believers everywhere should already know, this
Royal Pact of the Kingdom was signed and sealed with the
precious Blood of the Lamb; that is, Jesus Christ. It is an
immutable -- or unchanging -- Agreement. As Numbers 23:19
clearly states, neither God the Father, nor Jesus, will ever
go back on their word regarding this Divine Agreement. As we
read in the Book of Psalms:

"LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven."
Psalms 119:89, KJV

The most wonderful part of this Divine Agreement are the two
words "whosoever believeth". These words are a clear, open
invitation to all men, regardless of race, economic status,
political leanings, or any other factors by which we humans
tend to judge each other. As I explain in such articles as
"Message To The World", "Is Salvation Meant For All Men?"
and "All Are Given A Chance . . . But", with those two key
words, God lovingly extends His arms of Mercy and Compassion
to all of us, and patiently waits for us to repent of our
sins, and embrace the atoning Sacrifice of His dear Son. As
the Apostle Peter was inspired to write:

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men
count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not
willing that any should perish, but that all should come to
repentance."
2 Peter 3:9, KJV

As I noted a moment ago, the wonderful stipulations of this
Divine Agreement are made possible due to the fact that our
Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was willing to pay a heavy
ransom price for us all; and that price was His own precious
Blood which was shed on the Cross for our sins. As the Bible
tells us:

"Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but
to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
Matthew 20:28, KJV

"Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men."
1 Corinthians 7:23, KJV

"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to
be testified in due time."
1 Timothy 2:5-6, KJV

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy
Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not
your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify
God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, KJV

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we
were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8, KJV

"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also
received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the
scriptures;"
1 Corinthians 15:3, KJV

"Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our
Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he
might deliver us from this present evil world, according to
the will of God and our Father:"
Galatians 1:3-4, KJV

"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation,
that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of
whom I am chief."
1 Timothy 1:15, KJV

"Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express
image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of
his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down
on the right hand of the Majesty on high;"
Hebrews 1:3, KJV

"So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and
unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time
without sin unto salvation."
Hebrews 9:28, KJV

"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree,
that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness:
by whose stripes ye were healed."
1 Peter 2:24, KJV

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have
fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ
his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
1 John 1:7, KJV

"And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours
only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
1 John 2:2, KJV

"And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins;
and in him is no sin."
1 John 3:5, KJV

"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved
us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
1 John 4:10, KJV

"And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the
first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of
the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our
sins in his own blood,"
Revelation 1:5, KJV

Thus, it is plain to see that Jesus fulfilled His part of
the Divine Agreement when He died a gruesome death on a
Roman cross, thereby opening the way for our Salvation. Our
part of the Agreement is a two-part process -- repent of our
sins, and believe. That is it. These are the only conditions
by which we are bound -- repent and believe. We must simply
have faith in the words of the two Agreement Makers -- God
the Father and Jesus His Son. If we do this, Jesus Himself
promises us that He will not turn us away, as we see here:

"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that
cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
John 6:37, KJV

"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never
perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."
John 10:28, KJV

What the previous verses also make clear, is that Jesus is
the only one who could ever meet the conditions of this
Divine Agreement. As the Apostle Paul explains at length in
a number of his Epistles, no other sacrifice for sin could
ever be acceptable or pleasing to God. Furthermore, he tells
us in such verses as Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 11:6, and Titus
3:5, that we are saved solely by the Grace of God through
the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and that there is absolutely
nothing that we can possibly do to save ourselves, because
in the words of the Prophet Isaiah ". . . we are all as an
unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy
rags . . ." (Isaiah 64:6, KJV). Consider Paul's words:

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of
yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man
should boast."
Ephesians 2:8-9, KJV

"And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise
grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no
more grace: otherwise work is no more work."
Romans 11:6, KJV

"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but
according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of
regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;"
Titus 3:5, KJV

Once we perform our part of the Divine Agreement, through an
act of true repentance and belief, the Bible informs us that
we are adopted into the Family of God. We become a part of
His Royal Household. Furthermore, the Scriptures inform us
that we become spiritually married to Him forever; because
unlike the children of the world, God does not believe in
divorce, and neither does He ever lose His adopted children.
Consider these verses:

"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to
fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby
we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with
our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if
children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with
Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be
also glorified together."
Romans 8:15-17, KJV

"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ
Jesus."
Galatians 3:26, KJV

"Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by
Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of
his will,"
Ephesians 1:5, KJV

"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but
fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of
God;"
Ephesians 2:19, KJV

"Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law
by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another,
even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should
bring forth fruit unto God."
Romans 7:4, KJV

Now, some people may be inclined to ask: "Well, what happens
if we stop believing for some reason? Will this cause God's
Divine Agreement to become null and void?". Personally, it's
my belief that our lack of faith, or even our departing from
the faith, will have absolutely no bearing on the integrity
of the Agreement. Why? Because we are not the actual makers
of the Agreement; we are merely signatories to it, as well
as benefactors of it. The conditions of the Divine Agreement
will still stand, simply because in spite of what we do, God
will still keep His Word to us, and Jesus will still keep
His Word to us as well. As Moses wrote so long ago "hath he
said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall
he not make it good?".

In other words, once we come to Christ and are washed in the
Blood of the Lamb, the Scriptures convince me that Salvation
is ours for all time; because whether we weaken in faith or
not, Jesus is most certainly not going to climb back up on
that Cross a second time; and God the Father, and Jesus His
Son, are not going to deny what they have promised to us, no
matter what. Thus, as the Scriptures plainly tell us:

"If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny
himself."
2 Timothy 2:13, KJV

". . . for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor
forsake thee."
Hebrews 13:5b, KJV

Of course, as I point out in other articles, if one does
choose to turn away from their faith, the Bible does inform
us that they will have a serious price to pay if they do not
come to their senses and return to the Lord. The Apostle
Peter in particular had this to say regarding those people
who turn away from the Lord, and embrace the ways of the
world again:

"For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world
through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end
is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better
for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than,
after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment
delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to
the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again;
and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire."
2 Peter 2:20-22, KJV

In my view, and contrary to what some Christians apparently
believe, the previous verses are not saying that one can lose
their Salvation. The theme of this particular chapter is not
even Salvation. It is about resisting the temptations of the
world and leading a pure life in Christ. Thus, in verse nine,
Peter clearly writes:

"The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of
temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of
judgment to be punished:"
2 Peter 2:9, KJV

In addition to the many things that Jesus taught about the
ways of the world in the four Gospels, the Apostles John,
James and Paul likewise discussed the subtle temptations of
the world, when they wrote verses such as the following:

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to
man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be
tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation
also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
1 Corinthians 10:13, KJV

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the
world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is
not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the
flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is
not of the Father, but is of the world."
1 John 2:15-16, KJV

"No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of
this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be
a soldier."
2 Timothy 2:4, KJV

"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the
friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever
therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of
God."
James 4:4, KJV

"And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the
fashion of this world passeth away."
1 Corinthians 7:31, KJV

"While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the
things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are
temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."
2 Corinthians 4:18, KJV

"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate,
saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will
receive you,"
2 Corinthians 6:17, KJV

"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which
are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the
earth."
Colossians 3:1-2, KJV

So I remain convinced that the primary emphasis of the verses
from Peter's second Epistle is backsliding from our Christian
faith, and returning to a worldly way of living. The Apostle
Peter is simply describing the sad state of those people who
become polluted by the world again, and nothing more. Nowhere
does he even remotely suggest that such Christians have lost
their Salvation.

Let's face it. There are many Christians over the centuries
who have abandoned their faith, or at the very least, who've
fallen back into a very worldly lifestyle, much like what
Jesus described in the Parable of the Sower. We all know that
this is particularly true in our modern era with all of its
creature comforts, worldly temptations, sights and sounds and
never-ending Babylonic confusion. While it is lamentable that
people backslide from the Lord, and return to their worldly
lives, based upon all of the verses that I shared earlier, I
simply do not believe that they lose their Salvation if and
when they take this route in their lives. It is clear from
the Scriptures that even when such people abandon God, or at
least become bogged down by worldliness, He still does not
abandon them. In fact, the Bible tells us that God is married
to the backslider, as we see by this particular verse:

"Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am
married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two
of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:"
Jeremiah 3:14, KJV

If, in spite of all of their constant murmuring, backsliding
and rebellion, God did not totally abandon the Israelites, to
the point that there is a Biblical promise of a remnant of
the Jews being saved during the Endtime, how then is it that
there are some Christians today who have convinced themselves
that Christians can lose their Salvation through backsliding?
Stop and think about this. If, as certain Christians suppose,
the previous verses from 2nd Peter mean that we can lose our
Salvation as a result of returning to our worldly ways, then
indirectly, this means that we were never truly saved by the
Grace of God in the first place, but rather, we were saved by
our own "good" works. Thus, the minute that our works become
inadequate -- through backsliding and returning to the world
-- we lose our Salvation. Obviously, this is not what God's
Word teaches whatsoever. We are saved by Grace, and not by
our own works. Please refer to the Scriptures which I shared
earlier regarding this topic.

So, if, as I believe, we cannot lose our Salvation, then what
happens to people who backslide, fall away from the Lord, and
return to the ways of the world? I have often said that many
of our questions can be answered simply by reading the Bible.
This question is no different; and it seems to me that we can
find an answer in verses such as the following:

"And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall
awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and
everlasting contempt."
Daniel 12:2, KJV

"Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words
in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall
the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his
Father with the holy angels."
Mark 8:38, KJV

Based on verses such as the above, it is my personal belief
that Christians who backslide into the world, and who are no
longer effective witnesses for the Lord, will still be raised
at the time of the Resurrection. While they won't lose their
Salvation -- simply because God is bound by His own word and
won't take back His Gift -- it seems that they will suffer
shame and everlasting contempt, because they failed the Lord;
and that is a terrible price to pay. However, I have become
convinced through my study of the Word, that such an extreme
eventuality is actually a worse case scenario, and that this
is not the outcome that God desires in our lives whatsoever,
and that He does everything within His power to prevent it,
while still ultimately honoring our free will and personal
choice.

The truth is, most of us eventually stumble in our walk with
the Lord sometime during our life, perhaps even a few times;
and the longer we serve the Lord, the more likely that this
is bound to happen. After all, we are all only human, and the
walk of faith isn't over until life itself is over. As the
Apostle Paul was inspired to write in his second Epistle to
Timothy regarding his own personal walk of faith:

"For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my
departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have
finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there
is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord,
the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me
only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."
2 Timothy 4:6-8, KJV

Until we each likewise arrive at that point, and the day of
our departure from this life, we will undoubtedly continue to
encounter pitfalls all along the way; because if there is one
thing that I know for certain, it is that Satan is seriously
afraid of Christians who are active and effective witnesses
for the Lord. Thus, he will take every opportunity to try to
hamper us in every possible way. The Apostles Peter, James
and Paul also admonish us to be wary of Satan's subtle
devices, and to not fall for his many traps, but to resist
them, as we see here:

"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not
ignorant of his devices."
2 Corinthians 2:11, KJV

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as
a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"
1 Peter 5:8, KJV

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he
will flee from you."
James 4:7, KJV

Speaking from personal experience, I know for a fact that it
is not always easy to remain on the path that God has chosen
for us. After all, we are weak, pitiful human flesh, and we
are simply no match for Satan. As a result, we will sometimes
fail, and we will sometimes fall. I will candidly admit that
over the decades, there have been times in my own life when I
have failed the Lord, and have fallen back into worldly ways
and habits. The good news, as I noted a moment ago, is that
when such instances occur, God prefers a much better outcome
for us, other than shame and everlasting contempt. Exactly
what does the Lord prefer? The following verses provide us
with a clear answer:

"And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is
lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed."
Hebrews 12:13, KJV

"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for
another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer
of a righteous man availeth much."
James 5:16, KJV

"I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions,
and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have
redeemed thee."
Isaiah 44:22, KJV

So as we saw earlier, and as with the ancient Israelites, it
seems that God's answer to our many failings and backsliding
is not that we should suffer shame and everlasting contempt,
but rather that we should be healed, so that we can return to
fruitful service for Him, because He is married to us. Sadly,
depending on the degree of our waywardness, the long road to
recovery may not be one which we voluntarily choose to walk.
As I point out in other articles, such as "Beholding The Evil
And The Good", "The Fruits Of Disobedience" and "Love, Mercy,
Forgiveness And Chastisement", if we foolishly and stubbornly
insist on doing things our way, instead of God's way, quite
often, the Lord is forced to pull out the Rod of Correction,
administer Divine Chastisement, and give us a good whipping.
As King Solomon was inspired to write:

"Open rebuke is better than secret love."
Proverbs 27:5, KJV

The Apostle Paul takes it a step further and informs us that
if the Lord is forced to pull out His Rod of Correction and
administer Divine Chastisement, we are not going to like it;
but in the end, if we submit to the Lord's dealings, it will
yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness in our lives, as
we see here:

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a
cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the
sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with
patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus
the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that
was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame,
and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For
consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners
against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you
as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of
the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom
the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom
he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you
as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth
not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are
partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we
have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave
them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection
unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a
few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for
our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now
no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but
grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable
fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble
knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which
is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be
healed."
Hebrews 12:1-13, KJV

Please continue to part two for the conclusion of this
article.

⇒ Go To The Next Part . . .


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