Apostasy :: By John Lysaught

1 Timothy 4:1 (KJV) says, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” How very true this is today in our time in history.  People are falling for lies, and because so, are departing from the true faith of Jesus and the ways of living and having faith in Him.

Each day brings a new blow towards the Christian faith.  Laws, justice, and society are all pointing to the destruction of our faith and marginalizing those of the faith.  Schools spout out lies in education and doctrine of other religions but are despondent towards even touching the subject of Jesus.  Our children are being indoctrinated with teachings that are contrary to the precepts of the Bible.  Everything other than Bible teachings are espoused to children, but our faith is left out because the truth of the Word and the truth of Christ are not in line with the godless goals of society.

Humanism is the name of the game now.  Self is more important, and whatever people want to believe is truth is truth to them, except Christ of course.  Want to be a girl if you’re a boy?  Good.  Want to be gay?  Fine.  Want to follow Islam?  Great.  Want to be a Christian?  Well, this is bad and should not be tolerated.  Everything against the Word of God is tolerated and considered right, but want to follow Jesus? This idea is thwarted through the justice system and social “norms.”  People are taught that to be a Christian is to be intolerant, old-fashioned, and just plain wrong!  How sad it is that people believe and follow this way of thinking.

Some churches are scared to address this apostasy, and some are conforming to what society says is okay, even if it is against what the Bible teaches.  Watered-down sermons and feel-good messages are normal now.  No one wants to offend anyone.  Those that preach tough messages at churches turn people off, and they are drawn to apostasy of faith and run to the world for comfort.

Churches seem more inclined to draw people to them by the means of entertainment through good music and lighthearted messages instead of the truth.  They do this to increase numbers, but not necessarily to save souls.  When the hard truth is taught about having to have Christ as a prerequisite to enter the Kingdom of God or going to Hell without faith in Christ, some people are turned off by this and don’t come back to that church. They instead search out a church that gives them a good feeling about themselves and skirts around the truths given to us in the Word.

Why?  Why does this happen?  Are we so scared of the world that we hide in the shadows of society now?  Are we so programmed that our faith is only about feeling good about how we are living?  I have an opinion though, and it is that we fear society’s reaction to us.  We are so fearful of sharing or defending our faith because of negative repercussions from the world that when we are faced with a situation that requires our faith in action, we shrink back out of fear.

Now, don’t get me wrong; there are many that are opposite of what I said above, and they are superstars in my eyes for the fight of our faith.  But… are the many the few?  Do we tend to rely on those few to stand up for us many?  I think so.  We may rally behind them at church or in small groups at home, but when we are on our own out in the world, what do we do?  Do we hold on to the zeal we had or do we conform or ignore the urging of the Holy Spirit to stand for faith?  This is for you to answer for yourself, not me.

God does not want us to fall away in apostasy.  He wants us strong in the faith.  He wants us to live for Him in every facet of our lives.  One of my favorite verses is Galatians 2:20 which says, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

If Christ lives in me and I live by the faith of Christ, I should not fall away from Him because He has a hold on me.  Yes, I can choose to turn away from Him, but I won’t.  Others do; and that is sorrowful, but that is their choice to not respond to the calling of Christ in their hearts and walk away from Him.

I often wonder why people leave the faith.  Do they think it is hard?  Well, it isn’t.  Following Jesus is freedom from the burdens of the world and the ever-changing ways of the world.  Is it trust in God?  Do some not trust that the Word of God is from God?  I think that may be part of it.  But I think the biggest and most prevalent reason people turn from God after they come to Him is because they don’t want to give up self.  They are too selfish to give themselves to Jesus.  Why? Apostasy.

I believe society, as directed and influenced by Satan, is all about self and pleasing ourselves.  I just look around, and all I see is a society that puts forth ideas that are aimed at self-gratification.  People are indoctrinated to believe that they are the most important person in their own lives.  They exert their efforts to gain for self at the expense of serving God.  Yet, God requires differently from us.  He wants us to give up self for Him, to live our lives for Him and not for self.

Jesus doesn’t teach us to live for ourselves.  He doesn’t say to not be content with our lives or our place in life.  He doesn’t tell us we are the center of our own universe.  He teaches to love God with our hearts, souls, and minds and to treat others as we want to be treated.  This is too hard for some to swallow.  They are so wrapped up in themselves that they can’t see past their own wants and desires. Their 401K is more important than living for God. Their personal time is more important than time spent living and working for God to serve others or the Church.

Look, I don’t mean to sound preachy.  This is not my intent.  My point is that apostasy is a growing concern with God’s people.  We are living in the end times, and it is important – so important that we guard ourselves against the evil and wickedness in our world.  Not only that, but we must protect our hearts and minds against the influence and will of the apostate society we live in.

Matthew 10:22 says, “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” It is up to us believers to hold strong with God.  We are not to hide in the crevices of life or society, but we must stand up to evil and disarray.

Will we be marginalized, lose friends, and possibly jobs or family members for our stance and strength we hold in Jesus? Yes, yes, we will.  We will be persecuted and sought after to be destroyed by society and individuals’ hostility to the truth of God.  It is difficult and will get harder. The world is unwinding and spiraling downward as it is written will happen.

Endure, my brothers and sisters. We are in battle for our souls and the souls of others.