Friday, September 12, 2014

Apostasy: Its Consequences

Chuckle: "You know it's going to be a bad day when you turn on the news, and they are showing escape routes out of the city!"
Quote: "If we refuse to be used by God, we may be used by the godless" --William Arthur Ward
    "God gave this unchanging truth once for all time to his holy people. I say this because some godless people have wormed their way in among you, . . . The fate of such people was determined long ago, for they have turned against our only Master and Lord Jesus Christ. . . How terrible it will be for them! . . . They are like wandering stars, heading for everlasting gloom and darkness" (Jude 3b-4,11,13b NLT).
The word, "apostasy" refers to a rebellion against God and His truths, originally instigated by Satan, the apostate dragon (Job 26:13). It also means the intentional disregard for the truths of God's Word, and substituting one's own erroneous interpretations. The most dangerous apostasy for the church comes from those who know the truth, but are lured away by false teachings, and then feel it is their duty to discredit God and His church. Apostasy emerges from within the church when we begin to value worldly views more than Biblical truths.
An apostate's defection from the faith may be intellectual, perhaps from one's materialistic world view which leads to renouncement of Christianity and the church; or it may be moral and spiritual, as with Judas Iscariot, who for money betrayed his Lord. Apostasy can also be a subtle and creeping spiritual disease among Christians -- a compromise here and a compromise there. At other times it leads to a sudden and total abandonment of Christianity. Apostasy is a constant danger to the church and there are many warnings about it in Scripture. Jesus warned about apostasy in the last days. "At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people"  (Matthew 24:10-11 NIV).
A person can become convinced that God's Word isn't believable or doesn't make sense to his carnal mind; therefore he declares it untrue. If the apostate is a smooth communicator who preys on those not well founded in the Word, he can lead in a gradual erosion of the sacred tenets of Christianity. The result can be a watered down gospel and a church operating outside of God's will.
There are many examples of apostasy: denial of the deity of Christ; denial of the virgin birth; denial that salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and nothing else; denial that Jesus died for our sins and rose again the third day; denial that Jesus will return to earth for a second time to claim His church, etc. If we call ourselves Christians, we must be careful not to let worldly influences draw us away from the truths of God's Word and lead us into apostasy.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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