Apostasy, from the Greek word apostasia, means “defiance of an established system or authority; a rebellion; an abandonment or breach of faith.” In the first-century world, apostasy was a technical term for political revolt or defection. And just like in the first century, apostasy threatens the Body of Christ today.
The Bible warns about people like Arius (c. A.D. 250 – 336), a Christian priest from Alexandria, Egypt, who was trained at Antioch in the early fourth century. About A.D. 318, Arius accused Bishop Alexander of Alexandria of subscribing to Sabellianism, a false teaching which asserted that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were merely roles or modes assumed by God at various times. Arius was determined to emphasize the oneness of God; however, he went too far in his teaching of God’s nature. Arius denied the Trinity and introduced what appeared on the surface to be an inconsequential difference between the Father and Son.
In these last days, the Bible clearly states there will be great apostasy. There will not be a great revival ( many wolves are preaching in Hellsong church’s) but rather an apostasy, rejection of sound Biblical doctrine, and falling away. Liberal Christianity often denies the miracles recorded in the Bible. If there are no miracles, there is no Christianity, as the Christian faith is built on the resurrection of Jesus Christ (see 1 Corinthians chapter 15). If the miracles in the Bible are not true, the human authors of Scriptures were liars — they were the false prophets Jesus warned us about (oh, wait, did Jesus actually say anything about false prophets?!?!) Do you see the problem here?
2 Thes 2
3: Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
The above verse means there will come a time in the last days when the foundations of Christian doctrine will be compromised and brought down by the acceptance of error and heresy. Men will forsake sound Biblical teaching. Well, those days are upon us right now! We are now living in days of a terrible falling away from sound Biblical doctrine and Godly values. Guess who is leading in this trend toward apostasy? Well, it is godless pastors who have grossly compromised their faith and who really do not care. Then men reject sound doctrine and are eager to look good and who seek the approval of man. These men are not like the Bereans who diligently search the Scriptures and who seek to please God.
Unfortunately, we have many wicked, doctrine compromising pastors who lead ‘their’ churches. These ‘pastors’ are men-pleasers and could care less if they are walking in obedience to God and the soundness of His Word, the Bible. To attend these churches we have all kinds of people who reject sound Biblical doctrine. The Bible warns:
2 Tim 4:3-4
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned unto fables.
Well, these last days where men reject sound doctrine are upon us. Not only do many who call themselves ‘Christian’ reject sound doctrine but also many who dare to call themselves ‘pastor’. These godless ‘pastors’ have done great damage to the Church and have hurt many of God’s people. Pastors do have power. They can lead God’s people closer to God and make them stronger or they can do the opposite. Here is a verse that illustrates that fact:
13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves.
This verse has real meaning today in light of the growing trend to apostasy. God’s temple was not intended to become a den of thieves. It was intended to be a holy place where people could come and humbly worship God. However, the religious leaders made it into something else. This verse says: “ye have made it”, referring to the fact that it was the religious leaders that allowed the temple to go from a house of prayer to a den of thieves. God also puts the responsibility for this change upon the backs of the religious leaders who should have known better.
This verse has a very important application for TODAY….doesisn’t it! Very few pastors take their position seriously. The majority are madly seeking the praises of men, boosting their pride by aiming for ‘big’ numbers coming out on Sunday, and others are getting rich and living like ‘the King’s kids’.
Let’s look at some of the things some men who call themselves ‘pastors’ are doing in these last days of great apostasy:
Marty Sampson, a worship music writer, singer, and active member of Hillsong has publicly denounced his faith on social media.
His announcement comes just weeks after well-known Christian author Joshua Harris announced his departure from Christianity, both sharing their news over Instagram. Related
‘Reaching Hundreds of Thousands with the Gospel:’ Fans Celebrate as Hillsong United Sings About Jesus on GMA
Shortly after announcing via Instagram that he was kissing Christianity goodbye, former pastor and author Joshua Harris was recently seen marching in Vancouver’s Pride Festival.
A photo was posted on Twitter of Harris and gay rock singer, Trey Pearson at the parade on August 4.
Really cool getting to spend time with Joshua Harris at Vancouver Pride, and of course spending the weekend with the lovely @matthiasroberts.
If God decided to give us a book that is supposed to guide us through life and eternity but allowed that book to be filled with myths, lies, half-truths, and misconceptions — is He a God worth following? What kind of God is that? How cruel, twisted, and…ungodly. No, if God is who the Bible says He is, He is perfectly holy, just, righteous, gracious, loving, and merciful. Giving humanity an error-filled book would not agree with any of those attributes.
Liberal Homosexual Christianity essentially wants to pick and choose which parts of the Bible are from God. They want to accept “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows…” (James 1:27) and reject “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). I can’t live my life like that. If God did not bother to give me a reliable instruction manual, why should I bother following any of His instructions? If God’s Word is not infallible and trustworthy, why should I care what it says? That is where liberal Christianity goes wrong. Liberal Christianity destroys the very foundation of Christianity — the Word of God. Liberal Christianity essentially tells us to follow a book (or at least certain parts of a book) that they themselves do not believe in.
On July 26, Harris shared that he was renouncing his Christian faith and that he and wife Shannon would be permanently separating.
Some of our Christian leaders are turning from their faith, and although it’s sad, it’s not something that should leave us blindsided, according to Priscilla Shirer.
During an interview with Faithwire on Friday, the author, preacher, and actor said the Bible warns believers “that days will come when even our leaders will fall away, and I think we’re seeing the inklings of those times even now.”
In Matthew 24:10-11, Jesus told his followers: “Many will turn away from me and betray me and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people.”
To fully identify and combat apostasy, it is important that Christians understand its various forms and the traits that characterize their doctrines and teachers. As to the forms of apostasy, there are two main types: (1) a falling away from key and true doctrines of the Bible into heretical teachings that proclaim to be “the real” Christian doctrine, and (2) a complete renunciation of the Christian faith, which results in a full abandonment of Christ.
Arius represents the first form of apostasy—a denial of key Christian truths (such as the divinity of Christ) that begins a downhill slide into a full departure from the faith, which is the second form of apostasy. It is important to understand that the second form almost always begins with the first. A heretical belief becomes heretical teaching that splinters and grows until it pollutes all aspects of a person’s faith, and then the end goal of Satan is accomplished, which is a complete falling away from Christianity.
A recent example of this process is a 2010 study done by prominent atheist Daniel Dennett and Linda LaScola called “Preachers Who Are Not Believers.” Dennett and LaScola’s work chronicles five different preachers who over time we’re presented with and accepted heretical teachings about Christianity and now have completely fallen away from the faith and are either pantheists or clandestine atheists. One of the most disturbing truths highlighted in the study is that these preachers maintain their position as pastors of Christian churches with their congregations being unaware of their leader’s true spiritual state.
The dangers of apostasy were warned about in the book of Jude, which serves as a handbook for understanding the characteristics of apostates like those chronicled in Dennett and LaScola’s study. Jude’s words are every bit as relevant for us today as they were when he penned them in the first century, so it is important we carefully read and understand them.
The Characteristics of Apostasy and Apostates
Jude was the half-brother of Jesus and a leader in the early church. In his New Testament letter, he outlines how to recognize apostasy and strongly urges those in the body of Christ to contend earnestly for the faith (vs. 3). The Greek word translated “contend earnestly” is a compound verb from which we get the word “agonize.” It is in the present infinitive form, which means that the struggle will be continuous. In other words, Jude is telling us that there will be a constant fight against false teaching and that Christians should take it so seriously that we “agonize” over the fight in which we are engaged. Moreover, Jude makes it clear that every Christian is called to this fight, not just church leaders, so it is critical that all believers sharpen their discernment skills so that they can recognize and prevent apostasy in their midst.
After urging his readers to contend earnestly for the faith, Jude highlights the reason: “For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (vs. 4). In this one verse, Jude provides Christians with three traits of apostasy and apostate teachers.
First, Jude says that apostasy can be subtle. Jude uses the word “crept” (found in no other book of the Bible) to describe the apostate’s entry into the church. In extra-biblical Greek, the term describes the cunning craftiness of a lawyer who, through clever argumentation, infiltrates the minds of courtroom officials and corrupts their thinking. The word literally means “slip in sideways; come in stealthily; sneak in; hard to detect.” In other words, Jude says it is rare that apostasy begins in an overt and easily detectable manner. Instead, it looks a lot like Arius’ preaching in which, in a nonchalant manner, only a single letter differentiates his doctrine from the real teaching of the Christian faith.
Describing this aspect of apostasy and its underlying danger, A. W. Tozer wrote, “So skilled is an error at imitating truth, that the two are constantly being mistaken for each another. It takes a sharp eye these days to know which brother is Cain and which is Abel.” The apostle Paul also speaks to the outwardly pleasing behavior of apostates and their teaching when he says, “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:13-14). In other words, do not look for apostates to appear bad on the outside or speak dramatic words of heresy at the outset of their teaching. Rather than denying truth outright, apostates will twist it to fit their own agenda, but as pastor R. C. Lensky has noted, “The worst forms of wickedness consist in perversions of the truth.”
Second, Jude describes the apostates as “ungodly” and as those who use God’s grace as a license to commit unrighteous acts. Beginning with “ungodly,” Jude describes eighteen unflattering traits of apostates so his readers can more easily identify them. Jude says the apostates are ungodly (vs. 4), morally perverted (vs. 4), denying Christ (vs. 4), ones who defile the flesh (vs. 8), rebellious (vs. 8), people who revile angels (vs. 8), who are ignorant about God (vs. 8), those who proclaim false visions (vs. 10), self-destructive (vs. 10), grumblers (vs. 16), fault finders (vs. 16), self-satisfying (vs. 16), people who use arrogant words and false flattery (vs. 16), mockers of God (vs. 18), those who cause divisions (vs. 19), worldly-minded (vs. 19), and finally (and not surprisingly), devoid of the Spirit/unsaved (vs. 19).
Third, Jude says apostates “deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” How do apostates do this? Paul tells us in his letter to Titus, “To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed” (Titus 1:15-16, emphasis added). Through their unrighteous behavior, the apostates show their true selves. Unlike an apostate, a true believer is someone who has been delivered from sin to righteousness in Christ. With Paul, they ask the apostates who promote licentious behavior, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2)
But the apostates’ false teaching also shows their true nature. Peter says, “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves” (2 Peter 2:1). Another aspect of true believers is that they have been delivered out of spiritual darkness into light (Ephesians 5:8) and therefore will not deny core truths of Scripture like Arius did with the divinity of Jesus.
Ultimately, the sign of an apostate is that he eventually falls away and departs from the truth of God’s Word and His righteousness. The apostle John signifies this is a mark of a false believer: “They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us” (1 John 2:19).
Ideas Have Consequences
That God takes apostasy and false teaching seriously is evidenced by the fact that every New Testament book except Philemon contains warnings about false teaching. Why is this? Simply because ideas have consequences. Right thinking and its fruit produce goodness, whereas wrong thinking and its accompanying action result in undesired penalties. As an example, the Cambodian killing fields in the 1970s were the product of the nihilistic worldview of Jean-Paul Sartre and his teaching. The Khmer Rouge’s leader Pol Pot lived out Sartre’s philosophy toward the people in a clear and frightening way, which was articulated in this manner: “To keep you is no benefit. To destroy you is no loss.”
It should be remembered that Satan did not come to the first couple in the Garden with an external armament or supernatural weapon; instead, he came to them with an idea. And it was that idea that condemned them and the rest of humankind, with the only remedy being the sacrificial death of God’s Son.
The great tragedy is, whether knowingly or unknowingly, the apostate teacher dooms his unsuspecting followers. One of the most frightening verses in all of Scripture comes from the lips of Jesus. Speaking to His disciples about the religious leaders of His day, He said, “Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit” (Matthew 15:14, emphasis added). This verse is alarming because Jesus affirms that it is not only the false teachers that go to destruction, but their disciples also follow them. Christian philosopher Søren Kierkegaard put it this way: “For it has never yet been known to fail that one fool when he goes astray, takes several others with him.”
In A.D. 325, the Council of Nicea convened primarily to take up the issue of Arius and his teaching. Much to Arius’s dismay, the end result was his excommunication and a statement in the Nicene Creed that affirmed Christ’s divinity: “We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten of his Father, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten not made, being of one substance with the Father.”
Arius may have died centuries ago, but his spiritual children are still with us to this day in the form of cults like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and others who deny Christ’s true essence and person. Sadly, until Christ returns and every last spiritual enemy has been removed, tares such as these will be present among the wheat (Matthew 13:24-30). In fact, Scripture says apostasy will only get worse as Christ’s return approaches. “At that time [the latter days] many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another” (Matthew 24:10). Paul echoes Jesus in his inspired writings as well. The apostle told the Thessalonians that a great falling away would precede Christ’s second coming (2 Thessalonians 2:3) and that the end times would be characterized by tribulation and hollow religious charlatans: “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be . . . holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these” (2 Timothy 3:1-2,5).
It is critical, now more than ever, that every believer prays for discernment, combat apostasy, and contend earnestly for the faith that has once and for all been delivered to the saints.
The people spreading concrete information on the dangers of globalism are accomplishing far more than those sitting around buying bitcoin or passing around Q-cult nonsense.
Jesus chastised religious leaders in the first century for not knowing the time of His arrival. Will we make the same mistake today? Christ stated how His second coming would be preceded by global events signifying the end of our age. We may not know the day or the hour, but we can know the season!
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.” (Joel 2:28.)
Education is useless without the bible (Daniel Webster)
“Courage is as “fear that has said its prayers.”
John Wesley who said that what we tolerate in our generation, will be embraced by the next. Wesley is 100% correct! We are living in sick times.
Usually, the Lord doth no great thing for or against his people, without giving warning of it before it comes.
They perverted justice among themselves (v. 7): “You turn judgment to wormwood, that is, you make your administrations of justice bitter and nauseous, and highly displeasing both to God and man.’’ That fruit has become a weed, a weed in the garden; as nothing is more venerable, nothing more valuable, than justice duly administered, so nothing is more hurtful, nothing more abominable, than designedly doing wrong under color and pretense of doing right. Corruptio optimi est pessima —The best, when corrupted, becomes the worst.
It is impossible to find anyone in the Bible who was a power for God who did not have enemies and was not hated.
2 Corinthians 4:8-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
Hunted by the Mob, Found by Christ
The gripping memoirs of the founder of HNewsWire. A binge-worthy afternoon read.
James 1:27 - What Does It Command?
Religion that God accepts is to look after orphans and widows. Click Here!
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