Take time to read 1 Samuel 15:1-11.
I have often heard Christians stand and testify and say, “Praise God, I’m not what I used to be!” What a blessing it is to realize that when Jesus saved us He exalted us from the pits of hell to the palaces of Heaven; He ransomed us from the family of the devil to the household of faith; we went from lost to found, from broken to made whole, from sinners to saints! I’m glad when it comes to my sin, “I’m not what I used to be!”
But, far too often I’m afraid some Christians could stand and testify and say the exact same thing, “I’m not what I used to be,” but rather than being a positive statement, it could be a very negative indictment! “I used to be…a soul winner, separated, on fire for God,” etc.
When a person is biblically born again, he or she is instantly and eternally saved, sealed, and set for Heaven! Once saved, it is absolutely impossible for a child of God to lose his or her personal salvation; BUT every child of God is more than able to fall away from the perfect will of God for his life. Every believer can backslide!
Sins of varying types and sizes daily tempt you and me as Christians and draw us away from the blessings of position, fellowship, and usefulness that God desires us to enjoy. They attempt to tow us BACK to bondage, emptiness, brokenness, and powerlessness.
Sir Isaac Newton once made a statement that is very significant, not just for the science class, but also for our spiritual life. He stated, “To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” There cannot be movement by one object, without it adversely, negatively, detrimentally affecting another object.
It reminds me of the poem, “My life will touch a thousand lives before the day is done, and leave a mark for bad or good ere sets the setting sun.”
The heartbreaking truth concerning Christians who wander from the Father’s house and find themselves in the far country is that without fail, when we backslide it impacts, it affects, it BOTHERS somebody else.
We see this truth displayed in the effects of Saul’s disobedience upon Samuel. Samuel loved Saul. He had invested in him. When Saul did wrong, it broke Samuel’s heart.
Verse 11 reads, “And it grieved Samuel.” Notice, it wasn’t Samuel that sinned, it was not Samuel who messed up, it was not Samuel who backslid; but yet, at the very moment the prophet received the news that Saul had sinned and slipped up, it was Samuel who was obviously, directly, deeply impacted by Saul’s disobedience! Let’s strive to obey God. Let’s stay in His will. Our lives ought to motivate others to be better Christians, not make them bitter or give them a broken heart.
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Justin Cooper, Assistant Pastor
Since 2006, Pastor Cooper has served as an evangelist and as a pastor, traveling across the nation holding revival meetings and preaching in Bible conferences. Pastor Cooper moved to join our staff in 2019 and is building the Tabernacle Bible Class. He and his wife, Desarae, are an incredible blessing to both the college and church families. Pastor and Mrs. Cooper have one son, Lincoln.
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