An apostate's defection from the faith may be intellectual, as in the case of Ernst Haeckel, who, because of his materialistic philosophy, publicly and formally renounced Christianity and the church. Then, there is Dr. Bart D. Ehrman who has rejected Christ because of his doubt in the trustworthiness of the Bible and the problem of evil, and so he has actively worked in opposition to Christ for 20+ years. It may also be moral and spiritual, as with Judas, who for filthy silver pieces basely betrayed his Lord.
The Greek word here - ἀποστήσονται apostēsontai - is that from which we have derived the word “apostatize,” and would be properly so rendered here. The meaning is, that they would “apostatize” from the belief of the truths of the gospel.
The truths of God’s Word will not benefit us unless we give heed to them. It will not save us that the Lord Jesus has come and spoken to people unless we are disposed to listen. It will not benefit us that the sun shines unless we open our eyes. Books will not help us unless we read them; medicine, unless we take it; nor will the fruits of the earth sustain our lives, however rich and abundant they may be, if we disregard and neglect them. So with the truths of God’s Word. There is truth enough to save the world - but the world ignores and despises it. Many Christians barely study it.
What conditions make us more exposed to attacks by Satan? When one falls victim to apostasy, who is to blame? What circumstances can influence a person to become a fool or dupe of apostasy?
Approaching the close of the first century A.D., a grave and treacherous, deceptive danger threatened early Christianity. Was it persecution from those outside Christianity? (Emperor Nero 64 AD., Domitian in A.D. 81, Trajan in A.D. 108) No, the greatest danger came from within the Church. The lurking enemy was apostasy.
Apostasy: (Gr. apostasia) The term literally means “to stand away from” and is used to refer to ones who ‘stand away from the truth.’ It is abandonment, a rebellion, an apostasy, a refusal to accept or acknowledge true worship. In Scripture, this is used primarily concerning the one who rises up in defiance of the... Continue Reading →