Sunday, July 6, 2008

Apostasy and The Last Days

The New Testament teaches us to expect that apostasy will arise within the church throughout the church age, but especially during the last days of the church. In fact, guarding against apostasy is one of the top priorities that the New Testament assigns for a pastor and the spiritual leadership of a local church to be engaged.

There are seven major passages that warn of the dangers latent during the church's last days (1 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 4:3-4; James 5:1-8; 2 Pet. 2:1-22; 3:3-6; Jude 1-25). Interestingly, virtually all of these comments come from the epistles written shortly before the death of each Apostle writing (i.e., during the last days of the various Apostles), as if to highlight their warnings about apostasy in the last days of the current church age. Every one of these passages emphasizes over and over again that the great characteristic of the final time of the church will be that of
apostasy.

Laodicea is the seventh church of Revelation 2—3 and likely represents the condition of the final stage of the church. Laodicea is clearly the most apostate of the seven churches. In fact, our Lord threatens to spew this self-sufficient church out of His mouth (Rev. 3:16). The apostasy of the church in our day is preparing Christendom for her role during the tribulation as the Great Whore of Babylon (Revelation 17:1-7) that will be used by the Antichrist to gain world power.

The New Testament pictures the condition within the professing church at the end of the age by a system of denials.

• Denial of God—Luke 17:26; 2 Timothy 3:4-5
• Denial of Christ—1 John 2:18; 4:3; 2 Peter 2:6
• Denial of Christ's return—2 Peter 3:3-4
• Denial of the faith—1 Timothy 4:1-2; Jude 3
• Denial of sound doctrine—2 Timothy 4:3-4
• Denial of the separated life—2 Timothy 3:1-7
• Denial of Christian liberty—1 Timothy 4:3-4
• Denial of morals—2 Timothy 3:1-8,13; Jude 18
• Denial of authority—2 Timothy 3:4[5]

The clear course of the last days for the church consists of constant warnings to the believer to be on guard against doctrinal defection, known as apostasy. Scripture indicates that apostasy will characterize Christendom during the time when the rapture will take place. Thus we need to be sober and alert to the many ways in which the current evangelical church in America is sinking into apostasy, lest we too become caught up in things that are not pleasing to our Lord. Maranatha!

Thomas Ice
(culled from http://www.pre-trib.org/pdf/Ice-TheEnd-TimeApostasy.pdf)

1 comment:

Robert Christian said...

Calvinist and host of the live Open Forum is urging all Christians to leave the church:

The Open Forum Program
Monday-Friday, 8:30-10:00 PM (EST)
On www.familyradio.com (Use the Windows Media player link for the live broadcast)

B. Christian