By Mr. Torrey
A Letter From Mr. Torrey
Everywhere I go I find may persons who tell me that they were once Christians but confess that they have gone back into the world. I am persuaded that many of these were never truly saved. They have gone
forward in revival meetings, or united with the church, or done something of that sort, but they have never really fully accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. Having made a failure of their first attempt, they hesitate to make another. This hesitation is unreasonable.
The fact that one has attempted to do a thing, and done it in the wrong way, is no reason for not doing it in the right way. If people would begin the Christian life right, they would not be so likely to go back; and if they have begun it wrong, they had better begin it over again in the better way. If, my friend, this condition of spiritual life, or I may say, lack of life, be true of you, I earnestly beseech you to start again in the right way and to do it now. I believe the right way to begin, as shown us by God’s own Word, is:
FIRST. To accept Christ as Saviour. That is to believe God’s testimony concerning Him, that He bore all your sins in His own body on the cross; and to trust God to forgive you, not because of anything that you have done, but because of what Christ did when He made full atonement for your sins in His own body on the cross (1 Peter 2:24; Galatians 3:13)
SECOND. To accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and King (Acts 2:36). This involves the utter surrender of your thoughts to Him to teach, and of you life to Him to govern. You must put yourself completely at His
disposal. You must not only sing with your lips, but make it a fact in your life – “I surrender all.” I am confident that this lack of absolute surrender at the time of starting the Christian life is the cause of a large measure of backsliding.
THIRD. To accept Christ as the risen Son of God, who has all power in heaven and on earth, and to trust Him to keep you day by day from falling, and from all the power of sin and temptation (Matthew 28:18;
Hebrews 7:25; Jude 24).
Having begun right most of the battle is won: but you must go on right. In order to go on right four things especially are necessary:
1). That you feed your spiritual life daily upon the Word of God (1 Peter 2:2). You can no more live spiritually without spiritual food than you can live physically with out physical food. Neglect of the
daily study of the Word of God is a cause of much backsliding.
2). That you take plenty of time for prayer each day. It is by waiting upon the Lord daily that you will renew your strength (Isaiah 40:31). No matter how great a blessing you may have received at conversion, no
matter though you have been definitely baptized with the Holy Spirit, you need to be filled anew each day, in order to meet the emergencies of that day. New fillings with the Spirit come in answer to prayer
(Luke 11:13; Acts 4:31)
3). That you confess Christ openly before the world whenever you get an opportunity. Neglect of confession of Christ is one of the frequent causes of backsliding. I have talked with many backsliders, and I have
rarely found one who, when I put to them the question, “Did you keep up a public confession of Christ?” could answer “YES”.
4). That you go to work to bring others to Christ, and keep working. The more you work to bring others to Christ, the stronger you will grow in Christ.
Continuance in the Christian life is not at all a question of your strength, but of Christ’s. If you have begun the Christian life once and failed, begin it again and succeed. Many of the strongest Christians today are those who were once backsliders. The Apostle Peter himself was once a backslider, but after Pentecost he was one of the mightiest servants of Christ that the world ever saw.
Pentecost is possible for you. No one can be more miserable than the backslider. Jeremiah was certainly right when he said to backsliding Israel, “It is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God” (Jeremiah 2:19). The one who forsakes Christ forsakes “the fountain of living waters,” and hews himself out “cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:13). Leave the broken cisterns of the world and come back to Christ, the Fountain of living water. This is my earnest prayer for you.