100 Bible Verses about Backsliding

1 John 1:9 ESV / 128 helpful votes

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Hebrews 6:4-6 ESV / 117 helpful votes

For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.

Jeremiah 3:12 ESV / 102 helpful votes

Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, “‘Return, faithless Israel, declares the Lord. I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful, declares the Lord; I will not be angry forever.

Jeremiah 3:22 ESV / 93 helpful votes

“Return, O faithless sons; I will heal your faithlessness.” “Behold, we come to you, for you are the Lord our God.

2 Corinthians 13:5 ESV / 84 helpful votes

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

Proverbs 14:14 ESV / 81 helpful votes

The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways.

Proverbs 24:16 ESV / 70 helpful votes

For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.

Jeremiah 14:7 ESV / 69 helpful votes

“Though our iniquities testify against us, act, O Lord, for your name's sake; for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against you.

Jeremiah 8:5 ESV / 68 helpful votes

Why then has this people turned away in perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit; they refuse to return.

2 Peter 2:20-22 ESV / 60 helpful votes

For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”

Luke 9:62 ESV / 58 helpful votes

Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Hosea 14:4 ESV / 52 helpful votes

I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them.

Jeremiah 2:19 ESV / 48 helpful votes

Your evil will chastise you, and your apostasy will reprove you. Know and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the Lord your God; the fear of me is not in you, declares the Lord God of hosts.

Hosea 14:1 ESV / 46 helpful votes

Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.

Revelation 2:1-4:11 ESV / 45 helpful votes

“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. ...

Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV / 44 helpful votes

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Hosea 11:7 ESV / 37 helpful votes

My people are bent on turning away from me, and though they call out to the Most High, he shall not raise them up at all.

Jeremiah 24:7 ESV / 37 helpful votes

I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.

Jeremiah 3:14 ESV / 36 helpful votes

Return, O faithless children, declares the Lord; for I am your master; I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.

Hebrews 2:1-3 ESV / 33 helpful votes

Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard,

John 15:5 ESV / 30 helpful votes

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Luke 11:24-26 ESV / 29 helpful votes

“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.”

James 5:19-20 ESV / 28 helpful votes

My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

2 Peter 2:20 ESV / 25 helpful votes

For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.

Mark 14:27-52 ESV / 25 helpful votes

And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” Peter said to him, “Even though they all fall away, I will not.” And Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” But he said emphatically, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all said the same. ...

Matthew 26:41 ESV / 25 helpful votes

Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Matthew 24:11 ESV / 24 helpful votes

And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.

Revelation 2:4 ESV / 23 helpful votes

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.

Revelation 3:15-16 ESV / 22 helpful votes

“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

Jeremiah 31:22 ESV / 22 helpful votes

How long will you waver, O faithless daughter? For the Lord has created a new thing on the earth: a woman encircles a man.”

John 3:16-17 ESV / 21 helpful votes

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV / 21 helpful votes

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Revelation 2:5 ESV / 20 helpful votes

Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

Galatians 5:4 ESV / 19 helpful votes

You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.

Matthew 12:43-45 ESV / 19 helpful votes

“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.”

James 4:6 ESV / 18 helpful votes

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

1 Timothy 6:10 ESV / 18 helpful votes

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

Lamentations 3:22 ESV / 18 helpful votes

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;

Job 22:23-26 ESV / 18 helpful votes

If you return to the Almighty you will be built up; if you remove injustice far from your tents, if you lay gold in the dust, and gold of Ophir among the stones of the torrent-bed, then the Almighty will be your gold and your precious silver. For then you will delight yourself in the Almighty and lift up your face to God.

2 Timothy 4:10 ESV / 17 helpful votes

For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.

Galatians 6:1 ESV / 17 helpful votes

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

1 Corinthians 10:12 ESV / 17 helpful votes

Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.

Matthew 13:5-6 ESV / 17 helpful votes

Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away.

Hosea 4:16 ESV / 17 helpful votes

Like a stubborn heifer, Israel is stubborn; can the Lord now feed them like a lamb in a broad pasture?

John 15:6 ESV / 16 helpful votes

If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.

Jeremiah 3:1-25 ESV / 16 helpful votes

“If a man divorces his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man's wife, will he return to her? Would not that land be greatly polluted? You have played the whore with many lovers; and would you return to me? declares the Lord. Lift up your eyes to the bare heights, and see! Where have you not been ravished? By the waysides you have sat awaiting lovers like an Arab in the wilderness. You have polluted the land with your vile whoredom. Therefore the showers have been withheld, and the spring rain has not come; yet you have the forehead of a whore; you refuse to be ashamed. Have you not just now called to me, ‘My father, you are the friend of my youth— will he be angry forever, will he be indignant to the end?’ Behold, you have spoken, but you have done all the evil that you could.” ...

2 Timothy 1:7 ESV / 15 helpful votes

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

John 5:19 ESV / 15 helpful votes

So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.

Isaiah 30:15 ESV / 15 helpful votes

For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling,

1 Corinthians 9:27 ESV / 13 helpful votes

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Luke 15:1-32 ESV / 13 helpful votes

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. ...

Ezekiel 18:24 ESV / 11 helpful votes

But when a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice and does the same abominations that the wicked person does, shall he live? None of the righteous deeds that he has done shall be remembered; for the treachery of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, for them he shall die.

1 Kings 11:9 ESV / 11 helpful votes

And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice

Revelation 3:16 ESV / 10 helpful votes

So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

Revelation 2:4-5 ESV / 10 helpful votes

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

2 Peter 1:9 ESV / 10 helpful votes

For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.

Hebrews 3:14 ESV / 10 helpful votes

For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.

Hebrews 3:12-13 ESV / 10 helpful votes

Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

2 Timothy 2:15 ESV / 10 helpful votes

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

Colossians 2:8 ESV / 10 helpful votes

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

Colossians 1:21-23 ESV / 10 helpful votes

And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Jeremiah 5:6 ESV / 10 helpful votes

Therefore a lion from the forest shall strike them down; a wolf from the desert shall devastate them. A leopard is watching their cities; everyone who goes out of them shall be torn in pieces, because their transgressions are many, their apostasies are great.

Isaiah 59:2 ESV / 10 helpful votes

But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.

Psalm 78:57 ESV / 10 helpful votes

But turned away and acted treacherously like their fathers; they twisted like a deceitful bow.

James 4:4 ESV / 9 helpful votes

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Hebrews 10:26-31 ESV / 9 helpful votes

For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” ...

1 Timothy 4:1 ESV / 9 helpful votes

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,

Philippians 4:13 ESV / 9 helpful votes

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Galatians 4:9 ESV / 9 helpful votes

But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?

John 6:66 ESV / 9 helpful votes

After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.

Matthew 3:8 ESV / 9 helpful votes

Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.

1 Peter 1:1-25 ESV / 8 helpful votes

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. ...

James 5:14-16 ESV / 8 helpful votes

Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

1 Timothy 5:15 ESV / 8 helpful votes

For some have already strayed after Satan.

Galatians 5:16 ESV / 8 helpful votes

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

2 Corinthians 11:3 ESV / 8 helpful votes

But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

Romans 11:1-36 ESV / 8 helpful votes

I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” But what is God's reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. ...

John 15:1-7 ESV / 8 helpful votes

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. ...

Matthew 18:6 ESV / 8 helpful votes

But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Jeremiah 15:6 ESV / 8 helpful votes

You have rejected me, declares the Lord; you keep going backward, so I have stretched out my hand against you and destroyed you— I am weary of relenting.

Jeremiah 14:1-22 ESV / 8 helpful votes

The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought: “Judah mourns, and her gates languish; her people lament on the ground, and the cry of Jerusalem goes up. Her nobles send their servants for water; they come to the cisterns; they find no water; they return with their vessels empty; they are ashamed and confounded and cover their heads. Because of the ground that is dismayed, since there is no rain on the land, the farmers are ashamed; they cover their heads. Even the doe in the field forsakes her newborn fawn because there is no grass. ...

Jeremiah 3:11 ESV / 8 helpful votes

And the Lord said to me, “Faithless Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah.

Revelation 3:2 ESV / 7 helpful votes

Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.

1 John 5:1-21 ESV / 7 helpful votes

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? ...

James 3:1-2 ESV / 7 helpful votes

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.

Hebrews 10:26-27 ESV / 7 helpful votes

For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

1 Corinthians 3:1-23 ESV / 7 helpful votes

But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. ...

Romans 7:1-25 ESV / 7 helpful votes

Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress. Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. ...

Romans 5:6 ESV / 7 helpful votes

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

Matthew 26:34 ESV / 7 helpful votes

Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”

Matthew 5:13 ESV / 7 helpful votes

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.

Hosea 14:1-9 ESV / 7 helpful votes

Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity. Take with you words and return to the Lord; say to him, “Take away all iniquity; accept what is good, and we will pay with bulls the vows of our lips. Assyria shall not save us; we will not ride on horses; and we will say no more, ‘Our God,’ to the work of our hands. In you the orphan finds mercy.” I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them. I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily; he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon; ...

Hosea 6:1 ESV / 7 helpful votes

“Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.

Hosea 5:15 ESV / 7 helpful votes

I will return again to my place, until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face, and in their distress earnestly seek me.

Isaiah 31:6 ESV / 7 helpful votes

Turn to him from whom people have deeply revolted, O children of Israel.

Proverbs 28:10 ESV / 7 helpful votes

Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way will fall into his own pit, but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance.

Psalm 125:5 ESV / 7 helpful votes

But those who turn aside to their crooked ways the Lord will lead away with evildoers! Peace be upon Israel!

Psalm 85:8 ESV / 7 helpful votes

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly.

Psalm 78:59 ESV / 7 helpful votes

When God heard, he was full of wrath, and he utterly rejected Israel.

2 Chronicles 24:14-19 ESV / 7 helpful votes

And when they had finished, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada, and with it were made utensils for the house of the Lord, both for the service and for the burnt offerings, and dishes for incense and vessels of gold and silver. And they offered burnt offerings in the house of the Lord regularly all the days of Jehoiada. But Jehoiada grew old and full of days, and died. He was 130 years old at his death. And they buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, and toward God and his house. Now after the death of Jehoiada the princes of Judah came and paid homage to the king. Then the king listened to them. And they abandoned the house of the Lord, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherim and the idols. And wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this guilt of theirs. ...

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