Vol. 23 No. 7

Is the Apostasy Here? | 7/13/2015

Is the ‘Apostasy’ here?

Now, friends, read these next words carefully. Slow down and don't go jumping to conclusions regarding the day when our Master, Jesus Christ, will come back and we assemble to welcome him. Don't let anyone shake you up or get you excited over some breathless report or rumored letter from me that the day of the Master's arrival has come and gone. Don't fall for any line like that. Before that day comes, a couple of things have to happen. First, the Apostasy. Second, the debut of the Anarchist, a real dog of Satan. He'll defy and then take over every so-called god or altar. Having cleared away the opposition, he'll then set himself up in God's Temple as "God Almighty." (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 The Message)

Is the ‘Apostasy’ here?  The word that is translated as ‘Apostasy’ in the above verse, taken from The Message’ is the Greek word, Apostasia, which means “A defection from the Truth.”  The feminine form of that same word,  Apostasion, is generally translated as “divorce.”

In order to determine what it is from which we are defecting, we must first define what Truth is.  Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?”  (John 18:38)  Jesus didn’t answer Pilate directly, but in His prayer in John 17, Jesus said these words of His disciples (and us):  “Use the Truth to make them holy.  Your words are Truth.” (God’s Word)

The recent controversy over the Supreme Court ruling regarding homosexuality should give us all cause for concern.  It is to be expected that those in the secular world would have no Biblical frame of reference.  But the number of those who carry the name of Christ and yet are biblically illiterate is staggering.

Researchers George Gallup and Jim Castelli put the problem squarely: “Americans revere the Bible—but, by and large, they don’t read it.  And because they don’t read it, they have become a nation of biblical illiterates.”  How bad is it? 

According to a poll by the Barna Research Group, fewer than half of all adults can name the four Gospels.  Many Christians cannot identify more than two or three of the disciples.  60 percent of Americans can’t name even five of the Ten Commandments.  According to 82 percent of Americans, “God helps those who help themselves” is a Bible verse.  12 percent of adults responding to one poll believe that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife.  Another survey of graduating high school seniors revealed that over 50 percent thought that Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife.  A considerable number of respondents to one poll indicated that the Sermon on the Mount was preached by Billy Graham.  We are in big trouble!

Secularized Americans should not be expected to be knowledgeable about the Bible.  As the nation’s civic conversation is stripped of all biblical references and content, Americans increasingly live in a scripture-free public space. 

The larger scandal is biblical ignorance among Christians.  Choose whichever statistic or survey you like, the general pattern is the same.  America’s Christians know less and less about the Bible and it shows!

The man of sin will come with the power of Satan. He will use every kind of power, including miraculous and wonderful signs. But they will be lies. He will use everything that God disapproves of to deceive those who are dying, those who refused to love the truth that would save them. That's why God will send them a powerful delusion so that they will believe a lie. Then everyone who did not believe the truth, but was delighted with what God disapproves of, will be condemned.  (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 God’s Word)

The word, lie in the above verse is the Greek word pseudos from which we get the English prefix pseudo—pseudo-miracles, pseudo-signs, pseudo-Christians.  The words powerful delusion are the Greek words energeia planeEnergeia (from which we get our word energy) means strong or powerful and plane means “fraudulence; subjectively a straying from orthodoxy or piety: - deceit, to deceive, delusion, error.”  I personally believe that the delusion is simply calling good, evil and evil, good.  Why?  Because we are not grounded in His Word; we don’t have a love of the Truth in us. 

We will not believe more than we know and we will not live higher than our beliefs.  Are we going to be those who buy into the delusion?  Or will we be the ones who love, seek out and stand for the Truth?

How horrible it will be for those who call evil good and good evil, who turn darkness into light and light into darkness, who turn what is bitter into something sweet and what is sweet into something bitter. How horrible it will be for those who think they are wise and consider themselves to be clever. How horrible it will be for those who are heroes at drinking wine, who are champions at mixing drinks, who declare the guilty innocent for a bribe, who take away the rights of righteous people. As flames burn up straw and dry grass shrivels in flames, so their roots will rot, and their blossoms will blow away like dust. They have rejected the teachings of the LORD of Armies and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

(Isaiah 5:20-24 God’s Word)

Here is YOUR first homework assignment.  Am I speaking Truth?  Am I accurately representing God’s Word?  Dig into your Bible and find out.  If I am wrong, show me (chapter and verse, please).  But if I am correct, then it is only the Truth of God’s Word that will keep us from slipping into the delusion—only the Truth of God’s Word that will sanctify (sanctify means set apart) us. 

Thank you so much!!!     

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