Most of know all too well that we are living in the last days. Falling away and abandoning the faith once believed in is apostasy and will be an identifying mark of the end-times. Morality and character are things of the past for most people. It used to be that if you were square, that was a good thing in describing your honesty. Now being square is a bad thing. Bad is good, good is bad, that is apostasy. The soon revelation of the day of the Anti-Christ is described as: "That day shall not come before a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition. For the mystery of iniquity does already work, only he that now lets will let, until he be taken out of the way." Merely knowing these things are not enough, the Bride of Christ will be holy, without blemish, we must "earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered unto the saints. Men have crept in, turning grace into lasciviousness." Jesus told us of the last days
And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

We were once lost but now we are found, we found ourselves by seeking and finding Jesus. He knew where to look but we were hid in our own sin. It really is up to us, that is our free choice. We will not be led to repentance until we are drawn to the light that exposes our sin. Draw toward Jesus and He will draw toward us. That is repentance, the turning from sin. What I thought was light and grace was really darkness and a selfish test of my own salvation. Holiness is found through repentance of all the works of darkness and a return to the faith and righteousness that made you a Christian to begin with. Salvation in itself does not make you holy, it is the start of what makes you holy, you are not only saved, you are in the process of being saved and growing into sanctification. By renouncing spiritual pride and the traditions of men and the weak and beggarly elements of the world, you can receive the seal of God, which is the fullness of the Holy Ghost, becoming without spot or wrinkle as worthy to march in the army of the Lord as a member of the Bride of Christ. Before that, you are just playing games with God to test him like I once did.

The apostasy has been progressive over time throughout history. It started in the first century and just got worse. Paul knew that

after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
The Eastern and Western churches were part of this,
In the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats.
The Protestant church was part of this as well in that they became legalistic, oppressive and exclusive, leading to spiritual pride, denominational bias and self-righteousness. But since then, things have gotten better, only again to get worse as we near the last of the last days and satan puts us to the test. Some things get better, some get worse.

The iniquity of today however, is without precedent.

This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, unthankful, unholy. Without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those who are good. Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts. Ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
This not only describes the world but also the church.

There are churches that preach prosperity from the pulpit and ask for money to bribe the flock to receive a blessing. The Lord Jesus said that it was impossible to serve God and mammon at the same time. I see Christian teachers with worldly advertising, marketing their false doctrine books and tapes, sending out mailers begging for more money, Christian web sites with money making banners and links leading the flock to avarice. These are the only ways they can make money to fund their ministries. God will not supply the needs of a false faith or an apostate church without them begging for money or selling their wares in the market place. I saw a church with vendors out in the courtyard selling hot dogs and drinks, Jesus would have whipped them and cast them out. This is apostasy. Peter knew:

Many shall follow their pernicious ways by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you.
And Paul,
Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness, from such withdraw yourself.

Jesus said that many are called but few are chosen. What does this mean to you? Can you be apostate if you belong to a church, have faith in Jesus and lead a good life? There are ones that deny the power of the Holy Ghost. Are they not but denying the third person of the Godhead? Who of your fathers did not stone the prophets that were sent to the church?

For if he that comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit, which you have not received, or another gospel, which you have not accepted, you might well bear with him.

The classical use of apostasy is defection, political or religious. The word "apostasy" comes directly from the Greek apostasia, which originally meant insurrection or secession. The apostate often abandons one religion for another, but may renounce religion altogether or at least the true faith. Christians are fond of pointing to non-Christians as to the apostasy but judgment begins at the house of God. "For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins. But a certain fearful looking fear of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries." Paul pleaded with us to

mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
These words are the words of understanding and truth and will give you the wisdom you need to pull others out of the fire. Look up, brothers and sisters, and pray; you can't look back now.
[378, BD, II Thessalonians 2, Matthew 24, Acts 20, Jude, I Timothy 4, 6, II Timothy 3, Hebrews, II Peter 2, Romans 16, II Corinthians 11:4, I John 2, 4]

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