The Backslidden Heifer

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God. And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
Hebrews 9:14-15

The author of Hebrews tells us that Jesus has opened the door for us to receive an internal inheritance that is not based on our works or effort.

There are all kinds of groups and denominations that make up the total Church today. Some believe that a person will lose their salvation every time they sin. They call this “backsliding” which is a term drawn largely from Hosea 4:

For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer: now the Lord will feed them as a lamb in a large place.
Hosea 4:16

Hosea was talking about a “backsliding heifer” and we’ve taken this to mean that a person was born again, sinned, and fallen into a backslidden state.

“If you don’t get those sins under the blood you will go to hell!”

I have heard ministers say things like this without a Scripture to back them up. One of my college professors said this and failed me on the assignment because I asked for a Biblical reference!

That is one side of the coin. On the other hand there are people who claim it is impossible to lose your salvation regardless of the lifestyle lived. In a sense this is the same as saying you lose your salvation every time you sin, but with a lesser consequence. The person will not lose their salvation but they will lose their ability to access the blessings of God.

The author of Hebrews tells us that we have an “eternal inheritance”. I am not going to argue theology but am saying these things because we need to examine what we are being taught with Scripture. It doesn’t matter how big of a ministry a person has, they can be wrong. One of the reasons so many people are goofed up is that they do not open the Bible for themselves to examine what they have heard being taught in church.

For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
Hebrews 9:24-26

Jesus is our High Priest but unlike the Old Covenant High Priest, He only entered into the Holy Place once. Jesus presented His blood once and dealt with the sin of every person for all time. He does not have to go back every time we sin!

We do not have to continuously go back to God for a “re-cleansing” of our sins!

Jesus does not have to go back into the heavenly holy of holies with His blood. The author of Hebrews tells us that if He did, He would have had to suffer from the foundation of the world for man’s sins (v. 26). This would require Him to die every day!

The way that sin has been restricted to things like drunkenness, idolatry, or fornication is far too narrow. Sin is anything that comes short of God’s standard. We are supposed to walk in love and esteem others higher than ourselves. They way many of us have thought about politicians or other people who attend church with us is sin.

Jesus died once for all of our sins. He entered in once and presented His blood on the heavenly altar. This one sacrifice provided eternal redemption for us all for all time.

For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 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 9:26-28

The word “once” is used three times in these verses. I believe the author was trying to make a point. Jesus dealt with all of our sin once! Our sin was placed on Him and the penalty for it was taken care of.

Jesus died for the sins of the entire human race. Sin has been atoned for!

The penalty for sin has been taken care of. We need to understand though that we open the door to the devil every time we sin. There is a consequence to sin but sin will not affect our relationship with God.

Religion will blame unanswered prayer on our not living holy enough lives or on our having sin in our lives. This is not true. The sin barrier between us and God has ben removed!

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