But here is another poor soul, more bowed down than any which have considered. It is an awakened backslider. This man verily thought that he was a true Christian, and under that impression applied for admittance into the church, and was received, and for a season seemed to run well; but by the snares and baits of the world, and the deceitfulness of the riches, and insidious lusts of the flesh, and the pride of life, was by the degrees seduced from the paths of piety. After a while the profession of religion was laid aside as an inconvenient thing; since which time, until lately, he has been sinking deeper and deeper into the spirit of the world which lies in wickedness. But recently, by a sore visitation of affliction, his conscience has been awakened to a consideration of his woeful state, and he inquires with most earnest solicitude whether there is any ground of hope for such a backslider, who has sinned much more egregiously since he made a profession of religion than he ever did before. Now to such a one I feel authorized to say, Christ invites even backsliders like you to come and be saved. I find no clause excluding the returning backslider, guilty as he is in the sight of God. He says in regards to this man as others, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out."
There is indeed mention made in Scripture of some backsliders who turned back unto perdition, and never can be renewed again unto repentance; these never come to Christ, and never truly desire to come. For them nothing remains "but a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation to devour the adversaries."
But we read in Jeremiah of the Lord calling upon his backsliding Israel to return, Jeremiah 3:12; and in Hosea, God says, "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely." Hosea 14:4. This is a most gracious and encouraging promise, and we find in fact that God has received great backsliders upon their repentance, and freely pardoned their enormous sins. I believe that the deplorable backslidings of David, and his subsequent pardon and restoration, were left on record that convinced backsliders might not despair of mercy. And our Lord intimates that Peter, when recovered from his shameful fall, should make it his business "to strengthen his brethren." Some of this class may perhaps allege that they are afraid that they never were truly of the number of the Israel of God. That perhaps is a question which you will never be able to solve in this life. But as to the point in hand it matters not; if you will now come to Christ, you will be received. Come, and he will in no wise cast you out.