When someone first becomes a Christian, there is early enthusiasm, and even recent and longtime believers can see a waning of commitment and dedication to Christ. Some tips for preventing backsliding in the Christian faith.
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
– Romans 10:17
Staying strong in the Christian faith is not a one-time deal. It is often called “a walk with God” because it is a daily, lifelong work in progress and commitment.
A good parallel example is exercise. You don’t go to the gym once or just a few times and you’re perfectly fit and never have to go again. Instead, fitness requires a weekly, if not daily, regimen.
Faith is the same way. If you want to stay strong in your Christian faith, you need to continually hear God’s word, read the Bible, and keep your mindset on Christian principles.
You must keep your mind focused on God’s word and the teachings of Christ. Jesus taught:
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
If you have your mind set on other things, they can take you away from your Christian faith.
The apostle Peter wrote:
“You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.”
–2 Peter 3:17
The formula for not backsliding in your Christian faith is to read the Bible, receive instruction from knowledgeable theologians, and do so on a consistent, regular basis, if not daily.
In the Gospels of Matthew 13, Luke 8 and Mark 4, Jesus warns us against the possibility of backsliding in our Christian faith in what is commonly known as “The Parable of the Sower.”
Jesus gives the example of sowing seeds in the ground and what kind of crop yield comes of it. Jesus said some seeds fell upon rock, others among thorns, and others in good soil.
The disciples asked Jesus to explain the parable. Jesus explained…
“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.”
– Luke 8:11
Seeds sown on rocky ground = backsliding faith
“The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away.”
– Luke 8:12-13
“And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.”
– Mark 4:18-19
“As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.”
– Luke 8:15
“Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
– Mark 4:20
The pulpit commentary at Bible hub explains it this way: “The good ground represents the heart which receives the Word of God with joy and desire, and true devotion of spirit, and which steadfastly retains it, whether in prosperity or in adversity.”
Biblical scholar Ellicott explains the meaning of the 30/60/100 times reference, stating: “There are different degrees of the holiness which is symbolized by ‘bearing fruit’ … varying according to men’s capacities and opportunities.”