Signs of the Times: Apostasy
April 1, 2021
He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the sings of the times (Matthew 16:2-3).
The Greek word apostasia is translated ‘falling away’ (2 Thessalonians 2:3), and ‘forsake’ (Acts 21:21). The theological term is apostasy. Wayne Grudem defines it as a “rejection of Christ and loss of salvation, which Christians cannot do.” James Strong defines it as “defection from the truth; falling away; to forsake” but assigns this action only to the ‘religious’. Dale Moody defines it as a “willful falling away from a personal faith in the Lord Jesus and a genuine loss of salvation”. Spiros Zodhiates defines it as “departing, turning away, or defecting” but only by Jews who turn away from Judaism to Christianity or by ‘Christians’ who never were Christian.
The Apostle Paul told Timothy (1 Timothy 4:1) Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart (stand off from, fall away) from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
The Apostle Peter wrote about the rise of false prophets and teachers, the propagation of damning heresies, and even the denying of the deity and lordship of Jesus Christ. He warned that many in the last days will follow after them (2 Peter 2:1-3; 3:3-4). That’s been happening as far back as I can remember and many years before that! But such activity is escalating rapidly.
A prime example of this is Bart Ehrman (age 65). He is a New Testament scholar, an ‘expert’ on the historical Jesus, and on the origins and development of early Christianity. He is Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He describes himself as a ‘former Evangelical Christian’ who became ‘an evangelist for atheism’ because he couldn’t reconcile evil and suffering with the holiness and righteousness of God. His is the story of hundreds of New Testament scholars, Christian religionists, and biblical academics.
What’s damning about this is that students in Bible colleges and seminaries, who have little or no solid foundation in the Christian faith, are exposed to the teachings of these people, then graduate, and go into churches, mission fields, and ministry posts all over the world spreading their heresies. Jesus, Paul, and Peter were right. It’s yet another sign the Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees are alive and well in these last days.
“Father, help me to battle the heresies of the age with the truth of Your Word. Remind me I am engaged in spiritual warfare against Satan’s lies and for the souls of men, women, boys, and girls. To your honor and glory I ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.”