Backsliding, Divine Chastisement
and the Divine Agreement
Part 1

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Authored By  :
Bill Kochman

Published On :
September 22, 2009

Last Updated :
May 6, 2022

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 From The Lord, A Lifelong Walk Of Faith, Watch Out For The Devil's Subtle Snares And Devices

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. Following is another example where we see this:

"I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire . . . I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him . . . Until the ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom."
Daniel 7:9, 13, 22, KJV

At any rate, that Moses would even make such a statement in Numbers 23:19 should come as no surprise to those of us who are Bible-believing Christians. After all, as I have pointed out before, on one occasion, Jesus did say the following 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 by this verse:

"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 reveal to us, 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, with the shed blood of 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."
Psalm 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 articles such as "Message to the World", "Is the Message of 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 likewise clearly informs 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 unbelief, and accept Christ. That is it. These are the only conditions by which we are bound -- believe in Christ and accept Christ. 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 can determine by these two verses:

"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 what the Apostle Paul actually wrote. He makes the point rather clear:

"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 particular part of the Divine Agreement, through an act of true repentance, belief and acceptance, 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 the following group of 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 not the Testator. Jesus is. 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 13:5, 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 Babylonian 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 of the Old Testament era, to the point that He promised that a remnant of the Jews would eventually be saved, 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 point for a moment. 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 actually saved by the Grace of God in the first place. Rather, we would have to conclude that we were saved by our own "good" works. Thus, the minute that our own 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 with you earlier regarding this same 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 a clear 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 to Eternal Life. While they will not lose their Salvation -- simply because God is bound by His own word and won't take back His Gift -- sadly, 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. This is NOT the outcome that God desires in our lives whatsoever. Furthermore, I believe that He does everything within His power to prevent it from happening, 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 we even do it a few times. 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 is not 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 snares and devices, and to not fall for his many traps, but to resist them, as we see by this set of verses:

"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

"Neither give place to the devil."
Ephesians 4:27, KJV

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

⇒ Go To The Next Part . . .

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