Will there be an Apostasy in the End Times?
Some Bible teachers say there will be no apostasy in the End Times. Those who say such things usually have a presumptuous view of what an apostasy should be and they do not carefully consider what the Word of God really says about the matter. Sadly, through their own presumption, they unwittingly deny the Word of God to themselves in the process. Well, let's look into this and see what the Word of God tells us so that we can have a wholesome understanding. If you are someone who has believed there is no departure from the faith in the End Times, then I would ask you to prayerfully consider what you are about to read and let God speak to you through his Word.
Defection En Masse
In 2 Thess 2:3-4, the words "falling away" are "ho apostasia" in the Greek and refer to a mass defection to the Antichrist in the End Times.
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)
The Greek words "ho apostasia" carry the ideas of departing and forsaking.
To understand the meaning of "ho apostasia" more clearly, we need to look at the first usage which is in Acts 21:21. Here in Acts, it is in the context of the Jews departing from the Law.
"And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs" (Acts 21:21)
Paul was being accused of teaching the Jews to forsake the Law of Moses. However, the use of "ho apostasia" in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 is in a different context to that of Acts 21:21. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, the Antichrist opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or worshipped so that he himself can be worshipped as God. Therefore, in this context the "falling away" is the forsaking of all else to depart and join with the Antichrist as he too opposes all that is called or worshipped as God. The people of the world will defect from their present beliefs to embrace and believe in the Antichrist. God shall send them strong delusion so that they believe the Lie.
Those who loved not the truth
Notice that 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 is not limited to Christians but applies to all and any of mankind who will defect to be with the Antichrist. During the End Times, the vast majority of mankind will forsake their past system of beliefs and take sides with the Antichrist philosophy.
The Unfaithful Christians
Shockingly, the Word of God tells us that even some Christians will take a part in this:
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils" (1 Tim 4:1).
God says some Christians shall depart from the faith in the End Times. The word "Depart" here is translated from the Greek word "aphistemi" meaning to stand away from, to desert, to draw away from, fall away from, to withdraw. In other words, in the latter times some Christians will desert the faith. They will draw away from or fall away from the faith. They will succumb to the deceptions and pressures in the workings of Satan designed to reveal the Antichrist.
“Even him [the Antichrist], whose coming is after [according to] the working of Satan ...” (2 Thessalonians 2:9a)
God tells us this distinctly
Remarkably, in 1 Timothy 4:1, the Word of God says that the spirit speaketh expressly that some Christians shall fall away from the faith.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith In other words, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”
God Himself says it expressly. The word expressly is "rhetos" in the Greek and means out-spokenly or distinctly. God tells us these things distinctly because He knows that these things will denied in the period leading up to the End Times.
Ignoring the Word of God
Despite all this, there are some Christian leaders today who deny it and therefore are unwittingly making God a liar, even though they would not do such a thing consciously. Those who say there will be no falling away from the faith in the End Times are diametrically opposed to God on this matter. Their doctrine is doubly dangerous because they are putting to sleep all those who believe their words. Such leaders are actually in league with the Devil. They are preparing people for the advent of the Antichrist and the Lie but they don't realise it. Sadly, they have been deceived. Replacing God's truth for anything else is heading in the direction of the Lie and preparing others for it.
Are you a good minister of Jesus Christ?
How are we to be good ministers of Jesus Christ. The Word of God simply tells us.
"If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained". (1 Tim 4:6)
One of "these things" that should be taught by good ministers includes what God tells us distinctly five verses earlier, that "in the latter times some shall depart from the faith" by being deluded by seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. Therefore, we will teach it and obey God. Our prayer is that all leaders in the Body of Christ will also put the brethren in remembrance of these things and not deny the Word distinctly spoken by God Himself.
After all this, the Word of God goes on to say many other commandments about the departing from the faith:
"These things command and teach" (1 Tim 4:11)
"Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee."(1 Tim 4:15 -16)
How clear is all this? God wants us to teach these things not deny them.
The Error of the Wicked
In 2 Peter 3:14-18, there is a warning not to be "led away with the error of the wicked". This is a direct reference to the mystery of iniquity which is the Lie. Paul told the Thessalonians that this mystery of iniquity was already at work but would intensify in the End Times. The intense working of the Lie is coming our way and we need to be awake and ready to deal with it steadfastly.
The Crown of Life
I want to finish on this note. Despite the coming persecutions and pressures, let us remember the words of the Apostle James:
"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him." (James 1:12)
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Copyright © Mark Atkinson
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