ANSWER: The querist misinterprets this passage, which means, not that there is no possible salvation for a backslider, but that he must die in his iniquity, if he trusts in his former righteousness with no repentance and faith in God's mercy as emphatically expressed in verse 11, "As I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn ye, for why will ye die, O house of Israel." This tender and urgent entreaty includes apostates, as in Hos. 14:4, Isaiah 30:9 compared with ver. 15, "In returning and rest shall ye be saved." Mal. 8:7, "Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts," Luke 22:21, 32, "When thou art converted (restored) strengthen thy brethren." The prodigal son was a backslider whose return was received with gladness, robe, ring, shoes and a real dinner.
— Steele's Answers pp. 186, 187.
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