Jesus asks: “Do You Need Me to Do It Over Again?” (Part 2)

When we first get saved there is zeal, excitement, and enthusiasm for the things of God. The pastor can’t hold enough meetings and we can’t spend enough time on our knees because we are so happy to be delivered from the Kingdom of Darkness. We love the saints because they are our fellow travelers. But as we grow older in the Lord, if we are not careful, we begin to think that we’ve got it made. “We’re on our way to heaven and we’re so glad.” Before we know it, all of our love has leaked out. We can become passive, mean-spirited and even callous about our salvation. This is a good point to ask yourself the question, “Do I need Jesus to do It over again?”

This situation is similar to a marriage. The first year or so of the marriage the husband is practically carrying his new bride around. The bride looks long and lovingly into his eyes. God himself has to remind them, “Don’t love the gift that I gave you more than the Gift-Giver.” But if they are not careful, somewhere around the seventh year of marriage they begin to get used to each other. They don’t do the little things that they used to do to please each other. When they first got married he would say things like, “Are your feet cold baby? Then put your little tootsies on me. I’ll warm them up.” Now he might say, “Woman, get them hooves off of me!” The wife might begin to take her husband for granted. When they have visitors she might say to the men in the room, “Would anyone like something to drink?” But when her husband asks, “Honey, would you get me a glass of water?” her response becomes, “You’d better get it for yourself!” Careful, they are leaving their first love. On the job they might find themselves spending more time with a co-worker than each other. You might hear words like, “She just understands me.” Or the wife might say, “This relationship with my friend is platonic. We just enjoy each other’s company. We haven’t done anything wrong.” Well, if they don’t nip these extra relationships in the bud they won’t be platonic for very long.

The same is true in our relationship with the Lord. This letter to the Ephesian church was a wake-up call! What was being said to them was, “You are in a backslidden state! If you don’t repent and do your first work over, you are going to hell!” Don’t believe that the message was that strong? Let’s keep reading.

5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

 

The letter to the church at Ephesus contained ten good accolades, but the one bad thing was enough to make them lose out with God. They left their first love. The solution for the Ephesus church was the same as anyone who has left their first love: repent and do the first work over. God said that if we do not, then He will remove the candlestick or church. What is a church? It is a called out body of true believers. If He is saying that He will move the church, He’s talking about the people. How does one leave his first love or Christ? It is called backsliding. Some people have backslidden so smoothly they look like Michael Jackson doing the moonwalk.

Let’s spend a little time talking about what it means to backslide. Some people may say, “I’m not backslidden, I’ve just gotten seasoned in the way.” You are so cold in your relationship in Christ, you’re frozen…yet you don’t know that you are far from God. What kinds of things do people do when they are in a backslidden state? They begin to pick up little things that they were delivered from:

  1. Suddenly there is no harm in going to the movies or clubs, whereas, in the past, they would never have stepped inside those doors.
  2. Some may begin to have a little wine before dinner or at bedtime to, you know, help them sleep better.
  3. Some may pick up some of those old songs that they were delivered from.
  4. Others may find themselves reading the old love stories and viewing the sexy TV programs that they had put down.
  5. You’re in danger if you find yourselves sneaking over to the porn sites on the computer out of curiosity. Careful, you’re opening the wrong door.
  6. Be forewarned, if cursing in the TV shows that you listen to does not bother you anymore, you’re at risk.
  7. While you may not have picked up smoking again, watch it if you just enjoy the smell of it. When others smoke you just sniff it in.

 

Danger for the ladies exists if your dresses get shorter while those skyscraper heels get higher. Your sleeves get shorter or become see-through and your cleavage just happens to get a little deeper.

Men, be alerted if your pants get a little tighter and a little more revealing, you re-discover muscle shirts and your chest hairs suddenly are publicly displayed. You no longer enjoy spiritual things on TV because you bought the All-Sports package. If an important game happens to be on a Sunday, suddenly you wake up with a cough and you’re feeling a little under the weather. Of course you can’t go to church that Sunday. But when the game comes on at 11:00 you’re miraculously healed. You forget that God gave you a neck so that you can turn your head when a scantily clad woman passes by. You may find yourself going to a certain restaurant because of that cute new waitress.

Parents, you are backsliding if you lose your ability to control the ungodly requests of your children. No longer do you know how to say “no” when they want to start dating at 13. Instead of “NO!” it’s “welllll.”

Warning to the former prayer warriors. You’re backsliding if you no longer get up when God calls you to prayer and intercession. You just can’t do the fasting thing anymore. The dust on your Bible is so thick because you don’t want to disturb it and you stop interceding for the lost. You have no vision to help the sinner to get saved and you haven’t witnessed in so long you don’t know what to say when God tries to nudge you to tell someone about Jesus. On your job your co-workers no longer mind cursing around you and you laugh hard at their ungodly jokes. The truly saved person tries to witness to you and you find yourself offended because you say you are a Christian. But no one can see Christ in your life.

If you have found any of these things in your life, you have officially crossed over from Sainthood into “Ainthood,” and you are not on your way to Heaven. When the rapture takes place you will not be taken in the number with the Saints. True, you may be going through some of the motions of Christianity, but in your heart of hearts you know that you are not saved. You are functioning in a perfunctory (careless, dull or indifferent) fashion, but your heart is just not in it. The Bible lets us know that you have the responsibility of your soul salvation. You’re trying to coast on the things that you have done in the past, but you can’t “game” God. You are a fake and a phony and you must get right before it’s too late.

God just may have His spiritual eraser poised over somebody’s record in the Lamb’s Book of Life. He could be just minutes away from erasing your name. He’s saying to you, “Repent quickly!” He’s trying to give you one last opportunity to be saved. The Bible says, “the day you hear my voice, harden not your heart.” Why die like a fool dies? We will all be judged one day. The saints will be judged for the works that they have done, but the lost will be judged in The Great White Throne Judgment. Which line will you be in? Do you need Jesus to do It over again? If yes, repent quickly and do your first work over. Get on fire and stay on fire, lest He, as He said to the Laodicean church, spew you out of His mouth. May God bless and keep you is my prayer.

 

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Discussion

  1. Trying to get there

    If you backslide and you repent of your sin do you have to be re baptized

  2. Roxanne

    Amen, thank our might and merciful Lord for leading me here!

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