For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. Heb 6:4-6
Apostasy is a serious sin that has swept away many. There are so many former believers scattered all over the place, even those who still attend church services. It grieves God whenever a believer walks away from the cross. The consequence is a disastrous one, but I pray that no one reading this will fall away in Jesus name.
Signs of Apostasy
Apostasy simply means to renounce one’s faith in God. That is, turning back or walking away from God. It is a process that begins in the heart and if allowed to mature, will manifest physically. The falling away of Judas Iscariot did not occur the night he betrayed Jesus. It happened long before then. No wonder the Bible called him a thief while in active followership of Christ (John 12:6).
There are many apostates in the church today who hold offices. This set of people always works against the progress or advancement of the kingdom of God. They are disobedient to divine instructions. Even as a disciple, Judas was working against the kingdom of God. He criticized quality worship and called it a waste (Matt 26:8-9).
Many people are angry with and offended by every move of God. This is a sign of apostasy. Feeling cheated that God is blessing or using another fellow more than you is a sign of falling away from grace. Cain had the same feeling and killed his brother (Gen 4:3-8).
Causes of Apostasy
The following are some of the causes of apostasy
#Love for the present world
“Don’t love the world and what it offers. Those who love the world don’t have the Father’s love in them”. 1Jn 2:15 (GW). No one who loves the things in this world will ever follow God till the end. The love for the things of the present world drains the love of God from a man. Demas was a disciple who left Paul because he loved the present world (2 Tim 4:10).
Many pastors and church leaders are guilty of not just being an apostate, but leading others into apostasy. Some preaching and teaching only encourage people to put their trust in money rather than God. People are being told to “get rich no matter how” rather than “follow God no matter what”.
#Continuous rise in iniquity
“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” Mat 24:12. We live at a time of ever-increasing wrongdoing. Sins that look unthinkable are being committed and even legalized. Homosexuality is on the rise and some nations have legalized it. So also abortion, divorce, and so on. The painful part is that the church is not left unaffected as most of these sins have entered and even been perpetrated at the altar.
Everyone who will make heaven must be careful of who they follow. Those who follow Jesus will surely make it to the end. But if you only follow a pastor, you are not guaranteed of making it to heaven. Paul said, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1). But the question is; how will you know someone who follows Christ when you don’t know Christ? Instead of looking for a leader who follows Christ as a mentor or role model, why not just strive to follow Christ through His word and Holy Spirit? He knows how to direct people your way to edify you, just like He sent Ananias to Paul for his salvation (Act 9:10-17).
Other causes include pride, unbelief, disobedience, etc. Christians, who are full of themselves, have a shaky stand as far as salvation is concerned. God only cooperates with the humble but detests the proud. Pride according to Proverbs 16:18 go before destruction. So also unbelief can lead to apostasy. The Bible calls unbelief evil and an evil heart cannot go along with God. It was continuous disobedience that led to the rejection of King Saul. The sin you are not willing to stop now will soon stop you.
The way out
I like whoever is reading this to check himself or herself (2 Cor 13:5). Are you still in love with Jesus? Are you offended? Is your love for Him cold already? Are you pursuing things of the world at the expense of your salvation?
It’s time to wake up and make a turnaround. God’s mercy is available to anyone who will make a U-turn from iniquity to righteousness. No matter how far you are away from the cross, God can bring you closer than you’ve ever experienced if only you will come back with a heart of repentance. Reconcile with God today and He will embrace you and wrap you in His love once again. I pray the God of glory will grant you sufficient grace to be faithful and patiently follow to the end in Jesus name.