There are a number of scripture passages that show the eternal impact on the future of man.  Many of them deal with the love of God and what He was willing to do, but they also include a number of references on what God’s expectations are of us.  There are those who believe that man’s actions are minimal to nonexistent yet we have a passage that demands we consider our faith and what it consists of.  Paul tells us, through inspiration of the Holy Spirit in his letter to the Thessalonians that the church Jesus died for would not be gathered home until after several things occurred. (2 Thessalonians 2:3ff.)  One of those things includes what the Greek language calls the apostasia, and is known in English as the apostasy, or the falling away from the faith.  Yes, the blood bought church of our Savior was going to succumb to man’s influence and become something foreign to God.  Did you know that?

You might think that I am making a bit much of this but I believe New Testament scripture covers this situation at length.  In his return trip to Jerusalem, where he would be arrested for his faith, Paul wept with the elders of the church at Ephesus because he knew that from within the leaders of the church this apostasy would form. (Acts 20:28-30)   You can read of Jesus saying “not everyone who says unto me Lord, Lord will enter in the kingdom of heaven.”  (Matthew 7:21)  He goes on to refer to their claims of prophesying, casting out demons and performing many miracles in His name and then saying He never knew them.  In Luke 6:46, Jesus asked those in His presence why they called Him, Lord, Lord, yet did not do what He said.  In his letters to Timothy, Paul reminds him to be diligent in his duty of delivering sound doctrine to sound men in order to defeat what he also tells him is ahead.  Included was a falling away from the faith and following deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons; (1 Timothy 1:1ff.) and that a time will come when men will not endure sound doctrine, turning aside from truth to myths and accumulating teachers to themselves according to their own desires.  I believe this has happened and some who recognized it attempted corrective measures by way of either reformation of the distorted body while others strived to restore the body which Christ and His disciples formed.  Because we each will stand before God individually, it is up to us to know for ourselves and not rely on others.  Are we in the body of Christ or part of the apostasy?

Copyright © 2011, Nolan P. Rutter

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