Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Wednesday, May 29, 2024
HomeAll The NewsJUST THINKING: Last Days Apostasy (Part 1)

JUST THINKING: Last Days Apostasy (Part 1)

      I was just thinking about some verses from by daily Bible study on this day (Sept. 27) — my 59th anniversary of surrendering to the ministry. One that struck me reminded me of my belief in the truth of Scripture and especially that which has pointed to the time in which we live. That passage is II Thess. 2:1-3. The King James Version (KJV), the New International Version (NIV) (1984) and the Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) Version are three from which I read daily.

      The KJV reads like this: “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him. That ye be not soon shaken in mind or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come except there be a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”

The Terminology

      The two words “falling away” in the KJV appear as “rebellion” in the NIV, but the CJB (which is a version by Messianic Jews) uses the word “apostasy.” Apostasy is defined as “an act of refusing to continue to follow, obey or recognize a religious faith. It is an abandonment of previous loyalty; an act of rebellion or defection.

Who are the Apostates?

         Those who commit apostasy are not the wicked, sinful unbelievers. Instead, they are those who once confessed Christ, followed His Way, attended church services, possibly taught Bible classes or even preached — only to fall prey to false teachers and end up “falling away.” The act of apostasy is not accidental… it is intentional.

      We should not be surprised that there are those who fall away in these last days. God’s Word is emphatically clear on the subject — “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron” (I Tim. 4:1-2 NIV).

      In our present time, the world is in disarray spiritually, politically and socially. Cultural changes are affecting spiritual abandonment. The effect is that such influences, according to Rom. 1:25, have caused even “spiritual leaders” to change the truth into a lie.

The Statistics

      When I was a young preacher boy 59 years ago, the percentage of Americans who called themselves Christians was about 90%. However, due to the falling away, today that number is, sadly, at 65%.

The Big Question: Why?

      I am certain there are many excuses as to why such great numbers have departed the faith. Here are some of my thoughts:

      • Following False Teachers — The internet today is both a blessing and a curse. Using it, one can see, hear and read as false teachers woo believers from their solid teaching to believe lies.

         • Disappointment with God and Church — So many who fall away believe that God has failed them; that He never really cared about them. Then others are disappointed with church members, pastors and teachers who falter and mar their testimonies.

         • Doubting the Bible’s Authenticity — In our era, there are so many religious sects that say the Bible is not the Word of God. Multitudes of believers (especially young adults) tend to doubt the authenticity of the Bible and consequently, the application to them personally.

The Truth: It’s About Jesus!

         The Bible does not contain the Word of God, it is the Word of God! And it’s all about Jesus and God’s plan to redeem fallen mankind through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Jesus came to seek and to save those who are lost — and He is coming back to rescue those whom He has saved.

      Apostates have abandoned the truth that the Lord is yet to come again. It is a ploy by the devil and his demonic influences to draw believers away and for them to not look for their redemption. Instead, Satan wants them to fall away so they will not lead the lost to salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.

      The “Last Days Apostasy” was not when Jerusalem and the temple was destroyed. In fact, far from a time of falling away, the young church was going out and spreading the Good News of salvation to Europe, Asia and other parts of the then known world. So, according to that passage I previously shared, II Thess. 2:1-3, Jesus is yet to come and His coming is soon because apostasy in on the rise worldwide.

How to Prevent Being Apostate

         In the next issue I will address the manner by which a person can prevent falling away. Until then, may we keep wanting, waiting and watching eagerly for Jesus’ return!