The Forgotten Backslider

My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back…James 5:19

(H)e who is the means of the conversion of a sinner does, under God, “save a soul from death, and bide a multitude of sins,” but particular attention ought to be paid to backsliders; for in bringing backsliders into the church there is as much honor to God as in bringing in sinners. “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him.” Alas! the poor backslider is often the most forgotten. A member of the church has disgraced his profession, the church excommunicated him, and he was accounted “a heathen man and a publican.” …Now-a-days it is the fashion, if a man falls, to have nothing to do with him. Men say, “he is a bad fellow, we will not go after him.” Beloved, suppose he is the worst, is not that the reason why you should go most after him? Suppose he never was a child of God-suppose he never knew the truth, is not that the greater reason why you should go after him? I do not understand your mawkish modesty, your excessive pride, that won’t let you go after the chief of sinners. The worse the case, the more is the reason why we should go. But suppose the man is a child of God, and you have cast him off-remember, he is your brother; he is one with Christ as much as you are; he is justified, he has the same righteousness that you have; and if, when he has sinned, you despise him, in that you despise him you despise his Master. Take heed! thou thyself mayest be tempted, and mayest one day fall. Like David, thou mayest walk on the top of thine house rather too high, and thou mayest see something which shall bring thee to sin. Then what wilt thou say, if then the brethren pass thee by with a sneer, and take no notice of thee? Oh! if we have one backslider connected with our church, let us take special care of him. Don’t deal hardly with him. Recollect you would have been a backslider too if it were not for the grace of God. ~ C.H. Spurgeon



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