The Rise of Apostasy
The Bible tells us that at the time of the end, men will begin to depart from the truth and to deny the basic message of the Word of God. Certainly, some of the major controversies facing the Church today – the problems of apostasy, atheism, preterism, and secularism – fulfill that prophecy. What effect are these issues having on our culture today?
The challenge of apostasy is rising from within the evangelical church. There are those who claim they believe the Bible, but who are watering down the truths of the Word of God.
In 1984, Francis Schaeffer, the great theologian, wrote a book called The Great Evangelical Disaster, in which he predicted that this exact trend would occur in the future – that people would depart from the basic truths of the Word of God while claiming to believe its message.
Notice what the Apostle Paul predicted 2,000 years ago in 2 Thessalonians Chapter 2. Moved by the Spirit of God, Paul looked down through the corridor of time, and reminds us that there is a tragic deception coming that will precede the return of Christ.
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first…,” 2 Thessalonians 2:3.
The term for “falling away” is the Greek word apostasia, to depart or fall away from a standard of truth. In other words, a time of apostasy will come first. Then the man of sin, the son of perdition, will be revealed. Finally, the Lord Jesus Christ will return.
Paul says in his last letter to Timothy, the last letter that he wrote:
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned into fables,” 2 Timothy 4:2-4.
He goes on to instruct, “Don’t listen to what they have to say.” Today there are those who try to water down the message of the Gospel, the challenge of Jesus Christ Himself who said, “Follow Me. Repent. For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”
If you start changing the Biblical message to simply accommodate today’s culture, then culture defines Scripture, instead of Scripture defining the culture. Sin then becomes redefined as nothing more that “poor choices.” Hell is not real.
The doctrine of repentance will be diminished in the last days. A strong call to personal salvation and transformation will be eliminated. The Gospel will be reduced to nothing more than easy believism. The day and age will come when inner feelings replace objective truth.
That is exactly what Francis Schaeffer predicted 37 years ago and what the Apostle Paul predicted 2,000 years ago. Jesus becomes totally repackaged. The Gospel becomes redefined. The Bible is irrelevant. The Church is unnecessary. Biblical statements about men, women, marriage, and family are all culturally conditioned, so they do not apply to today’s culture.
As secular culture moves further and further away from God and the things of God, it removes itself from the message of the Word of God. Meanwhile, churches start to accommodate themselves to attract more people. Thus, we end up demeaning the message of the Word of God, and ultimately eliminating the challenge of the call of Christ Himself.
“… I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me,” John 14:6.
That is a very clear, narrow statement from Jesus Himself. Jesus also said:
“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven,” Matthew 10:32-33.
If we, as evangelical, Bible-believing Christians, water down the Gospel message, then a wave of apostasy will come like a tsunami and roll over what is left of evangelical culture and wipe out the message of Christ. To combat the rise of apostasy, we must stand firm on the inerrant, inspired Word of God!
We here at The King is Coming are committed to the authority of the Bible, to preach “thus saith the Lord,” to call people to a personal point of repentance and faith, to give your heart, life, and soul not to some vague mythological idea, but to the real, living Savior, who died for your sins, who rose from the dead, and indeed, who is coming again!
The King is Coming
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man