I believe you are asking if there is always the possibility of “restoration” for a believer who has “backslidden”? The scriptures clearly teach that if a child of God repents of his sin God the Father will restore him back into fellowship. 1 John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” God does NOT put a limit on His forgiveness. We see this same principle of unlimited forgiveness in our forgiveness of a brother that has sinned against us in Matthew 18:21-22. When Peter asked the Lord, “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?,” the Lord replied, in verse 22, “I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”

We must be careful though not to use God’s grace in forgiveness as a LICENSE TO SIN. In Romans 6:1-2 we read, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” The apostle Paul had just been speaking in chapter 5 of how God’s grace is greater than our sin. In 5:20 he declared, “Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” He was speaking of how the law proved man was a rebellious sinner and exposed to God’s judgment, but God’s grace came in to deliver man from sin and judgment through the death of His Son. In chapter 6 he is exhorting believers NOT to justify sinning because it then manifests the grace of God, but rather to live as those who have died to sin. I would encourage you to read and meditate on chapters 6-8 in order to gain the victory over sin in your life. In chapter 6, we see there is a tendency to EXCUSE SIN IN OUR LIVES because we still have the old nature in us. In chapter 7, we have the experience of a believer who truly wants to live a holy life but finds himself IN BONDAGE TO SIN because he is under the law. And in chapter 8, we learn the way of victory through the indwelling Spirit occupying us with Christ.

I could end my answer right here, but I want to address the issue of “backsliding,” which is when a believer’s fellowship with the Father and the Son is broken. Though a true believer will never lose his salvation when this happens, it doesn’t mean there is no loss. In 2 Peter 1:5-8 the apostle Peter teaches us the importance of spiritual growth and he mentions 7 things that will be true of us if we are growing. In verse 9 he sounds out a warning, “For he with whom these things are not present is blind, short-sighted, and has forgotten the purging of his former sins” (DARBY). If we are not “growing” we are going “backwards” and we 1) Lose spiritual discernment; 2) Lose our vision of heavenly things; and 3) Lose the sense that we have been cleansed from our sins. This is a deplorable condition and it’s not a complete list. When David was backslidden he finally repented and prayed in Psalm 51:12, “Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation.” He didn’t lose his salvation, but he did lose the JOY of his salvation. We could add that a backslidden believer loses the PEACE OF GOD in times of trials; he loses his TESTIMONY BEFORE THE WORLD; and he will LOSE REWARDS when he stands before the Judgment Seat of Christ. So BACKSLIDING is a very serious condition and as believers in Christ, we should want to be GOING FORWARD. I would encourage you to read 1 Peter 1:5-8 along with Romans 6-8 and I sincerely hope and pray your backsliding days will be over and that you’ll experience continual spiritual growth. (168.10) (DO)