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Apostasy

Christ Coming For His Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Apostasy it is possible, probable today watch out for it

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Watch your step please

Warning signs, you have seen them, read them, adhered to them before, right? But what about if it is a subtle sign or so familiar a sign that you pay no mind to it? Paul continues with the discussion regarding to the return of the Lord.
(A great day coming-1 picture)
Every chapter mentions the coming (return) of Christ
Paul refers to it as a “great day coming.” (2The1:7-10)
Paul addresses some misconceptions about the great day coming, clearing up misconception that it had already come (2The2:2).
Paul explains what was to transpire before the great day coming so that they would watch their step and was recorded so that we could too
A falling away would come first (2The2:3)
Man of lawlessness would be revealed (2The2:3)
Today we are going to look at the falling away, the apostasy that Paul mentions in our passage, we will address the man of lawlessness more in another sermon.
2 Thessalonians 2:1–2 NASB95
1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 NASB95
3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
2The1:1-2

Apostasy would come

2 Thessalonians 2:1–2 ESV
1 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, 2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 ESV
3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
Apostasy what does it mean? the Abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political belief. But that opens the door for renunciation, what does that mean? The formal rejection of something, typically a belief, claim, or course of action. Abandonment, rejection, it was coming.
the formal rejection of something, typically a belief, claim, or course of action
Paul warned the Ephesian elders (Act20:29-30)
Paul warned the Ephesian elders that it would come after his departure, and that it would come by forces both inside and outside the church.
Acts 20:29–30 NASB95
29 “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.
(expand)
Paul warned Timothy (1Tim4:1-3)
Paul’s warning to Timothy was that it would come in the latter times, some would leave the faith, others would receive false doctrine and accept it.
1 Timothy 4:1–2 NASB95
1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron,
1 Thessalonians 4:1–2 NASB95
1 Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. 2 For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
1 Timothy 4:3 NASB95
3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.
(expand)
Even Peter issued warning (2Pt2:1-2)
False teachers would come and many would start to follow their destructive ways
2 Peter 2:1–2 NASB95
1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2 Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned;
(expand)
So, a falling away, apostasy, was to come according to the scripture, so the next question is did it come? It would seem it did, but let’s look at other scripture about it too.

Apostasy did come

From prophetic, to present tense to the church then, to a warning issued for us today.
In the words of John it came (1Jn2:18-19, 4:1-3)
Antichrists present and have gone out from the body.
1 John 2:18–19 NASB95
18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.
Another word John used was false prophets
1 John 4:1–3 NASB95
1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.
Jude agreed (Jude4)
Jude 4 NASB95
4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
(expand)
Licentiousness: a lack of legal or moral restraints, displayed often in sexually immoral behavior
It carried forward through centuries (Act14:23, 20:17; Act10:28; Tit1:5-9, 1Pt5:1-2)
Acts 14:23 NASB95
23 When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
There was to be a plurality of elders in every church to oversee the church. Names in the bible were elders, bishops, shepherds, overseers all with the same definition as show in Titus.
Titus 1:5–6 NASB95
5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, 6 namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion.
Titus 1:5–9 NASB95
5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, 6 namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. 7 For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.
Titus 1:7–8 NASB95
7 For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled,
Ti
Acts 10:28 NASB95
28 And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean.
Acts 20:28 NASB95
28 “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
Titus 1:9 NASB95
9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.
Other signs it came
New distinction between elders/bishops; clergy-Laity distinction; Religious holidays; church councils, creeds outside of the bible , and yes, instrumental music.
in about 150AD history shows us there was a new distinction between elders and bishops. Bishops then had oversight of geographical area, region and oversight over multiple churches.
Religious holidays had distinction, such as Easter; then later Christmas that entered in the 3rd, 4th centuries respectively.
In 325AD you see a church counsel noted at the counsel of Nicea that decided on many doctrinal matters. This included the creation of creeds, statements of belief that were outside of the bible.
Come the 5th Century there is the introduction of instrumental music, which was intended to enhance worship and promote unity, but it caused division because it was not under the authority of N.T. Scripture. And it still brings division today.
Other things that could be seen was the introduction of original sin, infant baptism, penance, millenialism and even the veneration of Mary (so that means reverence given, worship given to Mary)
Present in the church today
Reformation, revelation, where restoration was needed.
Reformation movement that started with Luther, Calvin and others to reform the Roman Catholic Church; what ended up transpiring was more splinters happening an a myriad of denominations came about. Many trading the word of God for the traditions of man.
Appeals to new revelations, such as Joseph Smith and Mormonism or others believing that special revelation would bring unity to the church and only splintered it further and lead to more confusion. New religions popping up like Christian science, Seventh-day adventists, Jehova’s Witnesses and Pentecostal factions. All claiming new, relevant revelation given, contrary to what God’s Word says (Rev22:18-19)
Solution to the reformation, to the revelation is the restoration that you can see in (Neh8:1-18; Lk1:13-17; Heb2:1-4; Act20:32)
With Nehemiah to a return to the word; to a pattern of worship as laid out in the scripture, just like today we have a pattern laid out for us, no longer under the law, but under grace.
Nehemiah 8:18 NASB95
18 He read from the book of the law of God daily, from the first day to the last day. And they celebrated the feast seven days, and on the eighth day there was a solemn assembly according to the ordinance.
With John the baptist preparing the way for the Lord (Lk1:13-17)
Now with the Hebrew writers warnings that we may learn from too.
Beware so we do not drift away
Hebrews 2:1–2 NASB95
1 For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty,
Hebrews 2:1–3 NASB95
1 For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, 3 how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard,
Hebrews 2:3–4 NASB95
3 how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, 4 God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.
Acts 20:28 NASB95
28 “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
Taking heed to the word and the application is the only way to return from apostasy.
It is seen historically that a falling away was possible, a falling away, apostasy did happen, and has continued to happen just as the apostles stated would happen. It is still possible to happen today, even within our own body of believers if we are not careful.

Apostasy (falling away) is still possible today.

History is bound to repeat itself if we do not learn from it in the first place. Apostasy is possible today, may we heed the warning of the scriptures.
Apostasy as noted in our passage today
But also, individual apostasy that can spread to the congregation (1Tim1:18-20; 2Pt2:19-22) .
1 Timothy 1:18–20 NASB95
18 This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, 19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. 20 Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.
Timothy was at risk, personally of falling away, Paul told him to fight the good fight, keep the faith, don’t be like others who have shipwrecked their faith. And gave two examples of men who were Christian brothers who fell away.
2 Peter 2:19–20 NASB95
19 promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved. 20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
2 Peter 2:21–22 NASB95
21 For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. 22 It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.”
(expand; take some time to develop, to warn, to encourage)
Some good warning:
Take heed to the word as mentioned before from Heb2:1-3
Do not develop a heart of unbelief, or become callus of sin (Heb3:12-13) and hold to the confidence we have and be faithful til the end (Heb3:14).
Hebrews 3:12–13 NASB95
12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Hebrews 12:14 NASB95
14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.
and add this one
Hebrews 6:11 NASB95
11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end,
With the rise of Catholicism, growth of denominationalism; we need to be careful that our restoration efforts may revert back to apostasy if we are not careful and alert.
(invitation slide- take heed)
With history showing us apostasy happened, was happening and will continue to happen may we be a people who take heed to the Word of God.
Do not think lightly that apostasy cannot, will not happen, remember history will repeat itself if we do not learn from it.
Apostasy does not happen overnight, it happens overtime (expand and encourage)
Invitation (invitation slide 2) song, prayer (Exit slides)
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