Here’s a question we would almost never ask somebody. And what an incredible question it is. “Are You Backsliding?” It’s not a question to condemn. It’s a question to ponder. As ministers of the gospel, some would never want to ask their congregations this question as it might offend. How many however, might still be saved today if only someone would have asked them this simple question while there was still time to correct their path?
We ask people all the time, “Are you ok?” “Is everything alright?” And why not? We are genuinely concerned about the welfare of the other person. True concern however, causes one to ask the deeper questions. It forces us to enter into a conversation on uneasy ground. Barbara Walters is renown because of her ability to ask interviewees the probing questions that often times bring those she interviews to tears. They never expected her to ask “That” question.
We oftentimes don’t like to ask the hard questions. We rarely enter into conversation with someone where we don’t feel comfortable. Yet, here is the place where a person is most vulnerable. Here is a place where they are searching for answers. Here is a place where they often times feel lost. Hard questions demand hard answers. Hard answers lead to a right way of living.
A person who is “off track” seldom realizes it before it is too late. Recently, the news has read like this…
Aug 6 – A hiker fell to his death from a cliff near a waterfall in the Angeles Forest in Eaton Canyon early Saturday, the second fatality in the…
Aug 1 – A 26 year old woman fell to her death Sunday while descending from the summit of Half Dome within Yosemite National Park.
July 27 – A Hiker fell to his death in Buckskin Gulch.
July 19 – A hiker died on Monday morning after sliding between 50 and 100 feet on a steep snow field along the Grinnell Glacier Trail.
June 25 – Officials say that a woman fell to her death while hiking on Mount Evans Saturday.
And most recently a heartbreaking news report tells us of 3 hikers who fell to their deaths at the Yosemite falls. Each one trying to help the other from falling. Hormiz David, Ninos Yacoub and Ramina Badal all three perished simply because they ignored the warning signs along the path that cautioned hikers to stay within the walkways designated as safe. When it was noticed that they were going over the falls, it was too late for anyone to help them.
“Are you backsliding?” It’s a tough question to ask, but we need to ask it. “Are you getting too close to danger?” “Are you too far from the church?” “Is your heart right with the Lord?” “Is something wrong?” “Why have you been missing so much church lately?” The news reports all tell of people who watched in horror as these three were swept to their death. But how many of them asked the question, “Should you cross that line?” “Are you supposed to be over there?” “Aren’t you putting your life at risk and those who might try to save you?” while there was still time for them to correct the path they were taking.
But we don’t want to offend do we? Neither do we want to create a scene. I wonder though how many of those who witnessed the deaths of all the people mentioned above wished to God that they would have left their comfort zone and screamed to the person to get off of the path they were on because they were about to fall. Many of them tell of the nightmares they had for days because of the event.
Pastor Philip Harrelson has recently contributed a phenomenal sermon entitled, “Are You Backsliding” to the PreachIt.org database of sermons. His message explores not only the paths of a backslider and what causes them to wander in areas of spiritual danger, but he also challenges the listener to allow their life to account for something great in God’s Kingdom. Many are the lives that could have accomplished unparalleled things for their fellowman and the Kingdom of God had they not fallen to backsliding.
Is this a question that you need to ask a few in your congregation? Is it time to ask the hard questions?
We truly hope that should you need some direction putting that message together that is going to ask the hard questions that you would consider becoming a member to www.PreachIt.org. You will find thousands of soul stirring and provoking sermons and bible studies contributed by hundreds of Pentecostal Pastors and Ministers from all over the world. It’s easy to join and the cost is very minimal especially when you compare it to other sites out there that do not have nearly the helps for preachers.
Go to www.PreachIt.org and click the Join Now button on the right side of the page to join.
Have a great Bible Study this week!