FOUR STEPS TO APOSTASY
2 Thess 2:9-12
READ TEXT: 2 Timothy 4:1-4
1. Many feel that it is impossible to fall from grace. "Once Saved, Always Saved."
2. Many church members have this mind set.
A. One can & will fall if not on guard.
3. APOSTASY: "A falling away"; "A defection" Used to described a falling away from the faith and a secession from the church, a disowning of the name of Christ!
POSITION MUST BE REACHED BEFORE A FALL:
1. We become God's children through faith.
A. The Bible is our only source of faith. Romans 10:17 Rom 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."
2. To please God - must walk by faith (Heb 11:6).
3. Those walking by this faith remain free from the guilt of sin. Those who don't fall from God's grace.
THERE ARE FOUR STEPS TO APOSTASY:
1. Step One: WRONG ATTITUDE:
This is the beginning place of apostasy.
A. A compromising attitude toward the preaching of the gospel will lead to unfaithfulness. II Th 2:10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
B. Can't just preach the Bible without convicting men of sin. Prov 23:23 Buy the truth, and do not sell it, also wisdom and instruction and understanding.
C. Some don't want negative preaching "telling one what he must do." They want a positive, loving approach only. To do this would be a failure to preach the "whole counsel of God" (Acts 20:27). Matt 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
D. Many today will not listen to or endure sound doctrine. They become angry at it because it offends them!
2. Step Two: FALSE TEACHERS:
This quickly follows step one.
A. When the preaching of the truth angers church members they often run the gospel preacher off and bring in one who will "tickle" their ears. Isa 30:10 Who say to the seers, "Do not see," and to the prophets, "Do not prophesy to us right things; speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.
B. In the days of the prophets, those claiming to be children of God heaped to themselves false teachers. False teachers have always been in demand. Jer 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?
C. Many congregations have been led into apostasy because the preachers tried to please the people instead of save the people. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE! Titus 1:10-11 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. Matt 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
3. Step Three: TURN FROM THE TRUTH:
A. When the understanding and the heart have no desire for the truth, they are not going to listen to it. John 8:32 "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." 1 Pet 1:22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,
1) When this happens, the weak, indifferent Christian, will try to cast the blame for their falling away on the preacher or some other faithful member.
B. We are responsible for our own actions. To turn from truth is turning away from God's power to save us from sin! Heb 10:26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
4. Step Four: TURN TO FABLES:
The acceptance of every false doctrine - wanting to believe what they want to believe. Not wanting to see it the Bible way, but rather their way.
A. It boils down to the fact that men do not find the truth agreeable to them. As a result, they will often accept the wildest fancies or the most childish beliefs imaginable for doctrines. II Th 2:11-12 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
B. A waste of soul! Profitless fables taken in exchange for soul-saving truth! John 12:48 "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him-- the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.
THE END RESULT IS COMPLETE APOSTASY:
1. The Bible warns in numerous places of the difficulty of restoring those who fall away. 2 Pet 3:17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked.
2. Let us welcome and remain faithful to God and His Word! 1Thes 2:13 For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
By Richie Thetford
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