Throughout the Bible we can read many different accounts of apostasy – people who once professed to believe in the one true God, but later abandoned their faith. Here are just a few examples:
The Bible is certainly not reticent in unmasking apostates or describing the sin of apostasy. Again, apostasy is not the struggle to believe or be faithful to Christ. Apostasy is the willful and conscious turning away from a saving faith in the one true God. Apostates are not those who have never professed Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, but those who used to profess Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Apostates are those who know (and once affirmed) the truth about God, but by their actions and attitude have turned away from God. Simply put, apostates are those who have failed to persevere in their faith (see 1Tim.4:16; Heb.10:36-39).
Oftentimes there is a tension with any discussion of apostasy – a tension that very well may be divinely inspired. Some Christians will naturally become anxious about whether or not they have ever committed apostasy, or whether or not they will ever commit apostasy. While every true believer can fully enjoy the assurance of the eternal security of their salvation in Christ (see 2Cor.1:21-22; 2Cor.5:5; Eph.1:14; Jd.1:24-25), the Bible consistently calls every professing believer to humbly and regularly examine their faith in Christ: “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2Cor.13:5; see Ps.139:23-24; Heb.2:1).
All Christians struggle with temptation and sin. In fact, the more Christians grow in Christ the more they grow to hate sin, the more sensitive they are to their own sinfulness, and the more they realize their own weakness apart from Christ toward temptation and sin. This is why it is so important that we examine our faith not based on a past “Christian” experience, but on a present-day obedience to Christ! Our response to the issue of apostasy ought not to be ignorance or complacency, but perseverance and faithfulness. Therefore, it is right and necessary that we regularly “self-examine” the veracity and maturity of our Christian walk.
(continued, Lord willing, next week)
Together in and for Christ,
Scripture Readings for the Week (Monday – Sunday ~ Week #29):
Leviticus 16-18; 2 Kings 11-15; Psalm 84-86; Proverbs 11-12; Ezekiel 31-36; Luke 21-22; Colossians 3-4
“Reasons We Believe: 50 lines of evidence that confirm the Christian faith” by Nathan Busenitz
This devotional thought combined with the message on July 17th is a sobering reminder of how easy it is to become complacent in our commitment to stay the course of faith through obedience to God in Christ Jesus. I struggle daily with this.
Thank you for your faithfulness to the Word.
This work keeps coming up in my day to day activities from walking the dog to making dinner for Joe.
To me is is a scary dark word I want nothing to do with.
I have been counting the days down to Fellowship Sunday morning.