Apostasy of the Christian church—How would one know?
Apostasy means to “fall away”. Is there a “falling away” from the primary tenants of the faith in your church?
Definition of Apostasy: The term apostasy comes from the Greek word apostasia (“ἀποστασία“) meaning defection, departure, revolt or rebellion. It has been described as “a willful falling away from, or rebellion against the core truths contained in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Apostasy, thus means “to fall away” or to leave the Christian faith. In order for a church or individual to be in Apostasy they must first have been a believer in Jesus Christ.
Paul warned the church in 2 Thessalonians about the Apostasy. Here are two bible translations of that verse.
2 Thess 2:3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it Jesus’ return will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,” nkjv
2 Thess 2:3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the [a] apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, nasb
Apostasy means to fall away from the truth and thus An Enduring faith. Therefore, an apostate is someone or a denomination who has once believed in and then rejected the truth of God. Apostasy is a rebellion against God because it is a rebellion against His truth.
God warned the Jewish people about their idol worship, their unfaithfulness to the commandments and their lack of trust in Him in the old testament. In the New Testament the epistles warn us to not fall away from the truth of the faith. The true faith. But, it plainly states that the falling away will happen. Apostasy is a very real and present danger to the body of Christ today.
Is there Apostasy in the church today? You judge.
2 Thess 2:3 tells us that there will be an apostasy that is associated with the appearance of the Antichrist. Most Christians are alert for the possible arrival of the Antichrist on the scene. But very few have their radar up for “the apostasy” that must come first. The apostasy of the church. The arrival of the Antichrist cannot occur until sufficient apostasy has happened in the world. The Antichrist, who is the great deceiver, cannot sell his lies in a world where the truth of the Word is widespread. This is why the Bible says that the apostasy will come first and then the Antichrist will be revealed.
Therefore, we as Christians, must ask ourselves, “Is there an apostasy occurring in the Christian church today?” How about in my church? Is my church leading its members into “the falling away”? Are there church leaders in America today leading parts of the church of Christ into Apostasy? How many souls are going to be lost because of Apostate teachings?
The only way we can definitely determine that an apostasy is occurring in any Church is by comparing what is being taught within a particular church or denomination to God’s Word. The Bible or Word of God contains all the major teachings that we have incorporated into the Christian Faith over the last two thousand years. I refer to the major teachings of the Bible as “major tenants”. The tenants or doctrines which form the rock upon which our faith is built.
The following is a list of the major tenants of our Christian Faith that the Joseph Plan believes one cannot deny and be Christian. Since they are explicitly stated as required in scripture.
I use the following criteria in determining if a concept or teaching in the bible is a primary doctrinal issue or not. Primary doctrines or tenets of the Christian faith are those teachings in the Word of God that are necessary for salvation and those that we can stake our very lives on that they are truths from God. In order for a teaching to fall into that category may I suggest the following test. A teaching should be:
- Stated clearly in the old testament.
- Preached by Jesus.
- Explained in one of the Epistles.
We believe that all of these should be at the heart of ones belief system to have a Christian Faith that Endures! There are doctrines that are held in the highest esteem by differing denominations that may not be mentioned here. It is my prayer that this list is one most of us can agree to as a minimum baseline. But I am just one small voice in this vast religion and am not infallible.
False teaching on any of the following doctrines or tenants can be a symptom of church or teacher going into Apostasy. They are all key tenants or precepts of the Christian Faith. The emerging One World Faith will convince many that these tenants are false or incomplete teachings. The false prophet and leader of this faith will probably claim some sort of “higher knowledge” or supremacy.
- Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully man. John 1:1,14;8:24; Col. 2:9; 1 John 4:1-4.
- Jesus rose from the dead in His physical body. Luke 24:34, 1CO 15:7, John 2:19-21, John 21:14
- Salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:8-9; Gal. 1:4, Gal. 5:1-5, Romans 5:15,
- The gospel is the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Gal. 1:8-9. Eph 2:8,
- There is only one God. Exodus 20:1-3; Exodus 20:23, Deuteronomy 4:35, 4:39, Isaiah 43:10; 44:6,8 Zech 14:9
- Inerrancy of Scripture, Spirit inspired Word of God. 2 Titus 3:16, 2 Timothy 3:16, Rev 22:18-19
- God exists as three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-“the Trinity”! The word Trinity does not appear in the Bible. It is an English language Faith created word. The meaning of which encompasses the following verses. Gen. 1:1-2, 26-28, Mat 3:1,11, 16-17, 12:31-32, 28:19, Luke 1:12, John 1:1, 1:3, 1:14, 5:23, 26, 14:9, 16, 16:7, Acts 2:17, 5:3, Rom 1:4, 5:12-21, 8:9, 1Cor 3:16, 8:6, 12:4, 15:24, 28, 2 Cor 13:14, Eph 3:9, 1Thess 3:11, Hebrews 1:5, 14, 9:14, 11:3, 1 Peter 1:2, 3:18, 1 John 5:7, Rev 1:4, 7:5-8, 9:20,21.
- Virgin Birth of Jesus – establishes the birth and incarnation of Christ as God and man. Rom 1:3, Col 1:15, Matt 1:18, 23, Mat 2:2, Luke 1:27
- All have sinned and are in need of Repentance and Salvation. 3:23, Rom 5:12, Jeremiah 2:29, Matt 3:11, Matt 9:13, Mark 2:17, Luke 3:3, 2 Cor 7:10, 2 Peter 3[space size=10 sc_id=”sc1″]
The above list is not meant as a representation of official church doctrine. It may be incomplete. It is simply the fruits of my bible study, schooling and understanding. The above list is an accumulation of learning from the men I have studied under and the bible. If you believe there are others, please send them in.
Can anyone be lead into Apostasy?
The true saints do not depart from us. They cannot. They are slaves of Christ. But they can become involved in a church that is in Apostasy. Causing all kinds of confusion and keeping them from growing and realizing all the fruits and rewards of our faith. One can be involved in a church that does not provide the full teachings of God. Thus, leaving one open to unnecessary or preventable demonic attack. The truth sets us free! Through false or incomplete teachings a true Christian can also be deceived into believing that certain lifestyles or life habits may not be sinful. If sin is allowed to exist in our lives we can develop a stronghold from where the demonic is given permission to operate.
1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they were of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out so that it might be revealed that they were not all of us.
1 John 2:20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.
1 John 2:21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and know that no lie is of the truth.
1 John 2:22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He who denies the Father and the Son is antichrist.
1 John 2:23 Everyone who denies the Son neither has the Father. The one confessing the Son also has the Father.
1 John 2:24 Therefore what you heard from the beginning, let it abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, you will abide in both the Son and in the Father.
1 John 2:25 And this is the promise that He has promised us: everlasting life.
1 John 2:26 These things I have written to you concerning those leading you astray.
1John 2:27 But the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true and no lie, and as He has taught you, abide in Him.
1Tim 4:1 But the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and teachings of demons,
1Tim 4:2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, being seared in their own conscience,
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Pastor Thomas Holm
The ministry of The Joseph Plan