Although the word ‘apostasy’ is not found in the Bible, its concept is Biblical. The terminology found in the Bible for the concept is ‘falling away.’ The meaning is renunciation, departure, or abandonment of a religion or a previous loyalty. It is the opposite of taking a stand.
In the present context the Bible states that during the latter days of the church period there will be a great falling away. Informal research has intimated that a large percent of those who consider themselves ‘Christian’ are really not. Many, including the Evangelist Billy Graham have estimated the percent of self-proclaimed Christians who are really pretenders to exceed half. The self-proclaimed Christians are subject to apostasy. A true Christian as defined in the Bible cannot lose the promise of eternal life with their Creator.
Jesus Himself revealed that truth which was reaffirmed later by John.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My Hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” John 10:27-29
“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” John 6:37
Apostasy can and will be traced to many reasons including being deceived by false doctrines or seduced by false teachers.
“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.” Matthew 24:11
“Now the Spirit expressly (explicitly) says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines…”
I Timothy 4:1
“Now brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ…Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first…” II Thessalonians 2:1-3
Each and every Christian was called by name from the foundation of the world via the sovereign act of God termed election in the Bible.
“…knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God.” I Thessalonians 1:4
“…just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself…” Ephesians 1:3-5
Those claiming Christianity but not elected by God are candidates for deception and will ultimately abandon their religion. They will subsequently be revealed for who they really are. Based on the Bible, a true Christian could not abandon Christianity for a different religion.
“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.” I John 2:19
Recall, however, man’s free will is in perfect harmony with election. All who leave the true church and spend eternity apart from God will have chosen to reject God’s remedy for redemption. Apostates are those who claim to be religious but on their own terms.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12
During these latter days men will embrace false doctrines and place more significance on political correctness than truth. We recently examined both the olive branch the Muslim community offered to the ‘church’ and the ‘Christian’ response to such reconciliation called ‘Chrislam.’
According to the Bible, Christians will recognize the dangers of such an arrangement and reject it. Following are several suspect statements from the ‘Christian’ response to the Islamic olive branch.
“It is therefore no exaggeration to say, as you have in ‘A Common Word Between Us and you’, that ‘the future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians.’”
“If we fail to make every effort to make peace and come together in harmony you correctly remind us that ‘our eternal souls’ are at stake as well.”
Jesus said that in the latter days, deception will be so prevalent and seemingly real that only the elect will recognize the deception and hold fast to the truth.
“…For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.” Matthew 24:24-25
Jesus further declared that political correctness and passivity were repugnant.
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16
Very recently religious consultant and Pastor Jack McKinney PhD stated on FOX news channel “We’re turning God into a monster by teaching of a literal hell.” The day following Bill O’reilly stated it was nonsense to believe Jesus was the only way to heaven.
Therefore, when it comes to apostasy it might be prudent to pause and evaluate the political and religious climate in America and then ask…are we there yet?