“Apostasy” means there is a “falling away.” If there is a “falling away” from something, then there must be a “falling to” something else, right? What we are actually talking about is that people are moving away from one ideal, which has its own set of rules or laws. Take for instance, music: After the fifties, there was an “apostasy” (a “falling away”) of rockabilly. Rockabilly required a song to sound a certain way, with the required musical instruments and the required beat, thus we are able to hear a difference between rockabilly and R&B.
It simply means that the musicians have moved on to playing a song with different instruments, different beats, or whatever. Here you see that apostasy means moving to something different than what we are presently used to. Does this mean that apostasy is always a bad thing? No, it simply means there is a movement from one to the other. And yet, when you look at those two words, it implies a “fall” from somewhere, to drop in height or some level.
When you walk off a cliff, there is an extreme apostasy! So we “feel” this word…we “sense” that it is not a good thing to “fall away.” It leaves us with the idea that to “fall away” means to be moving from normal to something less than normal. It then requires other words to describe whether the “fall” is hurtful or not, whether we will be able to survive the fall, and whether we will experience suffering—or even death—as a result.
In this text, we are using the term “apostasy” as in the “apostasy” of the church of Jesus Christ from the Bible, God’s Holy Word. The Lord is speaking to the church of Ephesus in Revelation 2:5, emphasis added. He said: “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”
This is a perfect example of apostasy. In this verse, we see that there was a level already founded in the church of Ephesus and that now, there was a “falling away” or an “apostasy” of those in that church to something less than the normal. The following verses speak of the various churches that “fall away” from preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ!
The preaching of Balaam and Balac is mentioned; in actuality, it is saying that they are preaching ANYTHING and EVERYTHING…other than the gospel of Jesus Christ. In another phrase, it could be money or prosperity in life or work that is replacing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Look at the verse above and notice that it says: “from whence thou are fallen.” Makes you feel like they fell a great distance, right?
So it is here that we must understand that the Bible is simple in nature. That fall off the cliff where they HAD been was a fall without a bottom! This shows that death, to a human, is the disembarkation point from this world and the embarkation point to the place you have chosen to go!
It is so simple to see where those verses say, “repent” (you go to heaven) or if you “don’t repent” (you go to hell)! You must understand that “the fall” was your choice! God does not stand at the cliff and push people off! The Lord God Almighty WANTS to save you from that fall! God wants to stop you in the walk you are on, to open your eyes with His wisdom and discernment so that you will see the path you are walking (the cliff ahead) and turn around. Still…it is YOUR choice!
Today, people are hungry for salvation! They are able to see where this life is going, and 99.9 percent of it is going down the drain! Many of us grew up seeing a bright and shining future, only to be continually faced with hardship, pain, and suffering. It is Satan who comes along and tells some, “It is God’s fault. HE made this happen to you. If He was a loving God…this wouldn’t have happened!”
These same people simply give up, like when they are falling off the cliff. Wouldn’t it be better to question what you are thinking: “Would God really do this to me? If God IS love, then why would He allow this?”
It is so sad when people are not willing or are too lazy to ask the right questions. Is it because they WANT a lousy life…? NO! They simply want a fantastic life handed to them! They don’t want to do anything for it or they feel it should be an automatic feature, because of whom they are. “Pride…goeth before a fall.”
My favorite verse…Matthew 11:28-30: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
So here we are, in the midst of churches that are heavily embedded into ecumenism (many ways to God) and those who preach nothing but how to be financially prosperous (the best ways to make it in this world). But the Bible specifically states that this world is about to come to an end, and that the ONLY way to heaven and the Father…is through Jesus Christ!
Are we missing something here? “Repent” from teaching…anything…other than the gospel of Jesus Christ. That IS the “apostasy” that is going on right now, the “falling away” of so many people from Jesus Christ!
I must make a point here: It is one thing to turn your back on Jesus Christ and choose to go to hell, but it is a whole different story to be a minister or pastor or any other teacher and teach people the WRONG gospel! There is going to be a “special” place of suffering for those who do these things! This is a willful decision to pervert the Word of God for your own gain, in whatever form that gain comes.
Hell is not some egg basket that everyone simply jumps into, and off we go! Hell is a place that will be specifically designed for each and every person, according to their deeds, according to the intent of their heart. As with anything dealing with the Lord God Almighty, everything is on a very personal level! Think in terms of Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Jesus Christ. Jesus said that it would be better that he had never been born! Can you imagine for a moment what his place in hell might be like??
This apostasy of the church of Jesus Christ is a cold and hard decision perpetrated by those who are against God. There are NO two ways about it! Matthew 6:19-21 states, emphasis added:
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Are we missing anything here? Are any exceptions noted? You must remember that the Lord sees the heart. The Lord knows every intention of your heart and this is how He will judge you.
So what are the reasons for this apostasy? As with any SIN ever committed by man, it always begins with pride, and pride does go before a fall. So what is pride? If you remember, it was pride that made Satan, as Lucifer the angel want to be LIKE God. It is a personal and most boastful desire in us to be better than anyone else or higher up the status than another, or to subjugate anyone. God, in His infinite wisdom, did NOT design us to that end!
When we allow pride in our lives we are in defiance of God! When this occurs, we are telling everyone around us that we are better than they are, and therefore God should be even more respectful of us, to that end. How brazenly blasphemous to God, much less anyone here on earth, can anyone be? Then, we hear that little statement of late, “Well…it’s all about ME!!” What so many people forget is that the Lord is offering us a gift of life eternal. A gift can only be GIVEN to someone else! In that respect, the person saying “It’s all about me” isgiving nothing… and that person is only taking!
Luke 6:31–38 states: “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? For sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? For sinners also do even the same.
And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
The apostasy is against everything these verses have stated!
To him that has ears…let him hear.