The Greek meaning for Apostasy is --to stand away from God and refers to abandoning what one has previously believed and experienced in Christ. It is the deliberate choice of one to turn away from a living God.
Since the beginning of creation apostasy has been around. It started in the garden with Adam & Eve. Satan has been relentless in his efforts to distort the truth with lies. Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden' ?"Gen: 3:1 Satan questions the truth God reveals, contradicts that truth and then he concocts an alternative to that truth. In each of these ways the enemy has elements of truth mixed in but it is only a lie that will lead to death. Many today are following blind guides (Christian Leaders)who are leading people to a pit a pit of hell with their teaching. (John McArthur)
Leave them; they are blind guides, “If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit." Matthew 15:14
When we fail to study the Word of God then we will follow whatever sounds good even if it is false teaching! We must study the Word of God to protect ourselves from being deceived and led astray. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2Tim 2:15 Paul warned of wolves coming in. Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears. Acts 20: 28-3.1 Who was Paul speaking to? He was speaking to the leaders. Paul's words are for the church today and the wolves are the leaders themselves. Many of these leaders have devoured their flock with lies. We have leaders teaching the idea that we all are going to heaven just believe whatever you want. Some leaders believe scripture is no longer the ultimate authority as the basis for the Christian faith. Some church leaders are teaching and replacing the gospel of Jesus Christ with humanistic teaching and mystical forms of religion. We have leaders going around teaching foolishness such as...
*Israel has no prophetic significance.
*That the book of Revelation does not refer to the future, but instead has already been fulfilled in the past or is fable.
*We have teachings that are about an experiential mystical form of Christianity and this is being promoted as a method to reach the postmodern generation.
*We have teachings that are implementing the idea called "ancient- future" or "vintage Christianity" claiming that in order to take the church forward, we need to go back in church history and find out what experiences were effective to get people to embrace Christianity.
*We have teachings that there are many ways to God
THIS IS TAKING PLACE IN SOME CHURCHES TODAY AND THE AUTHORITY OF THE WORD OF GOD IS BEING UNDERMINED!!
Just recently I saw a video where young adults were snorting the bible as if it were cocaine. Using a wooden cross and pretending to smoke it. It’s hard to believe that Gods Word and the cross are being made into a mockery by those who call on His name and by those who call themselves Christians. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEcmoSy5op8) Today the young are being misled by false teachers/ leaders! What we are ending up with is a generation today that is mocking the Gospel of Jesus Christ! What we have is a generation (post-modern generation) not being taught truth, righteousness and holiness! Why is it that we think we need to bring the world into the church in order to reach the world? Did Jesus compromise the message He was sent here to do in order to bring people to Him? NO
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.Romans 12:2
“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 1John2;15-16
This scripture makes me wonder even more so the question I asked in the above paragraph “Why are we bringing the world into the church in order to reach a dying world?” The church is trying to keep up with the world and the only way to do that is to give entertainment based services that have watered down messages that tickle the ears of those listening. If the passage is correct about not loving this world nor the things it offers, then when you love the world YOU DO NOT HAVE THE LOVE OF THE FATHER IN YOU! If the Word of God is true, which I believe it is, then it seems to me when we as believers bring the world into church in order to reach the world then all we are doing is making the world twice the son of hell as we are. That should grieve those who have eyes to see. It grieves my heart to think that someone could be deceived into thinking they are walking in truth but in reality they are not. Our hearts should be moved to a brokenness over the condition of the church (the body of Christ.) The church has lost the love of truth, righteousness, and holiness. I can say this because I am seeing it take place. While studying apostasy I wanted to know where Christians really stood on certain religious issues and what I found out is that the majority of Christians didn't live any different than the world. The survey below came from the Pew Forum on Religion.
A majority of all American Christians (52%) think that at least some non-Christian faiths can lead to eternal life. Indeed, among Christians who believe many religions can lead to eternal life, 80% name at least one non-Christian faith that can do so. "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” John 14:6
A survey done December 2009 by the Pew Forum on Region and Public Life found that there is a widespread acceptance of pagan, New Age, and overtly occultist beliefs and practices being accepted in the United States. In the study Christians numbered nearly the same as those in the world. This study confirms what I have already shared in regards to the church bringing the world into the church in order to reach the world.
24% of American professed belief in a variety of Eastern New Age beliefs while 22%of Christians say they believe in Reincarnation.
25% of Americans profess belief in Astrology. 23% of those claiming to be Christians say they do as well.
23% of Americans believe that Yoga is a spiritual practice while 21% of Christians do. (note: Every Christian should be aware of the Eastern mystic roots of Yoga and understand that it is not just harmless physical posturing but instead a practice deeply rooted in the occult)
29% of Americans say they have communicated with the dead, while an identical figure (29%) of Christians say they have, including 20% identified as “Evangelicals”!
15% of Americans have consulted a Psychic and 14% of Christians say they have done the same!
26% of Americans believe that spiritual energy emanates from trees. 23% of Christians said the same!
49% of Americans surveyed in 2009 say they have had a mystical, religious awakening (an epiphany). This is more than twice the number (22%) who claimed such in a 1962 Gallup survey.
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. Hebrew 3:12
Electing Leaders Who Are Not Godly
(My next paragraph is not about dem/rep or even politics. It is about what I experienced the evening Obama was elected. I am not trying to offend anyone and if that is the case I apologize in advance)
November 2008 when Obama was elected president I remember the news cameras scanning the LARGE crowd of people standing with tears of joy in their eyes with such hope built up in a man to save and change the world. As I watched the cameras scan the excited crowd my breath was zapped from me and I was moved to tears as I grieved over what I was seeing. I saw people who were blind and deaf and slowly being led to the slaughter. Some of these people in the crowd called themselves Christians. I began to weep and I wept for several hours. I was trying to understand what and how and why anyone who called on the name of Jesus could vote for such a man whose record was a record of lies and lawlessness. Then the Lord spoke to me “I am revealing to you how easy it is for my people to be led astray and be deceived.” Please know this is not about the man who is our president this is about God's people being deceived and choosing to follow lies rather than truth. It’s about God's people not holding a standard of holiness to God's word. I know that our president is not responsible for the condition of the church. God's people are, for compromising truth and b/c the church has not held up a standard of Holiness and righteousness. We have failed to speak out against sin and we only seem to speak about grace and peace, and because of that the body of Christ has become lukewarm, blind, and deceived. That is the only explanation to why ANY person of power could be voted in office. When you have leaders in government willing to allow partial birth abortions and legalize/recognize homosexual relationships as marriages get voted into office we have problems. The only way these individuals get into office is when the body of Christ is willing to lower the standard of truth, holiness and righteouness!! I cannot understand how any man of lawlessness can bring about hope and change, when in reality the only one that can do that is Jesus Christ!
I want to share a story of what happened to a people who were under the leadership of a wicked King and how they became wicked as well. King Manasseh led the people in to a great apostasy and even after he was dead the effects of his sins remained.
Manasseh King of Judah
Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother's name was Hephzibah. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, following the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites. He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them. He built altars in the temple of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, "In Jerusalem I will put my Name." In both courts of the temple of the LORD, he built altars to all the starry hosts. He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced sorcery and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger. He took the carved Asherah pole he had made and put it in the temple, of which the LORD had said to David and to his son Solomon, "In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever. I will not again make the feet of the Israelites wander from the land I gave their forefathers, if only they will be careful to do everything I commanded them and will keep the whole Law that my servant Moses gave them." But the people did not listen. Manasseh led them astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the LORD had destroyed before the Israelites. The LORD said through his servants the prophets: "Manasseh king of Judah has committed these detestable sins. He has done more evil than the Amorites who preceded him and has led Judah into sin with his idols. Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I am going to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. I will stretch out over Jerusalem the measuring line used against Samaria and the plumb line used against the house of Ahab. I will wipe out Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. I will forsake the remnant of my inheritance and hand them over to their enemies. They will be looted and plundered by all their foes, because they have done evil in my eyes and have provoked me to anger from the day their forefathers came out of Egypt until this day." Moreover, Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end—besides the sin that he had caused Judah to commit, so that they did evil in the eyes of the LORD. 2 Kings 21:1-16
Manasseh' reigned for 55 yrs and in those years he led Judah into her darkest era of darkness. He led God's people into greater evil than the pagan nations that Joshua had destroyed. Why did God allow Manasseh to influence Judah to do such great wickedness? God does not always remove ungodly leaders from their positions of influence. He holds his people responsible for requiring their leaders to align themselves with his WORD; he expects them to reject as false any leader who is not faithful to the teachings of his WORD! In this way God tests his people's loyalty to him, to his revelation and to his godly standards. ~Donald C. Stamps~
Whether it is in a political arena or in the church we should be holding up a standard of truth, holiness and righteousness. Leaders that get put into positions can and do influence the direction of the people. The standard for leadership to be Godly has disappeared and we are willing to allow people to lead us as long as our comfortable lives are not interrupted. This is true both in politics and in the church.
It took Manasseh's leadership 55yrs of total disregard to the things of the Lord to plunge the people into greater evil than any other pagan nation. Let’s take a look at America from 1960-201,0 that’s 50yrs. and in those 50 yrs we have seen the decline in God's people to uphold and stand firm for truth. The 1960's began the great rebellion against authority and we see the effects of it today. In 5 decades we have seen the root of rebellion grow stronger and stronger from generation to generation. (Generational curses are judgments that are passed on to individuals because of sins perpetuated in a family in a number of generations. Generational curses are similar to original sin curses because they can be passed down on a generational basis. They differ in that generational curses do not impose eternal judgment. They bring judgment or bondage during an individual's life, reducing the quality of life, until that individual addresses the sin issues that put the curses into place.) Who will stand in the gap and pray for God to heal our land? Who is willing to stand in the gap to break the curse of rebellion to authority that was poured out 50 yrs ago? The kids of the rebellious 60's are the parents/grandparents of this generation. We need to be people of God who are led by the Spirit of God and we need to start recognizing the fruitless deeds of darkness and exposing it for what it is.
Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation." Ex. 34:5-7
"I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.
"When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 1Ch 7:13-15
We need a grass roots tea party movement in the Church. We need to oust the career religious leaders that are leading God’s people astray! They have been in their positions too long that they have made it all about themselves no longer serving the Lord or His people. Robb Ferrell
It's not just hungering for the things of God-It's hungering for righteousness. Why righteousness? Because it's the very character of God. Holiness and righteousness are the same -they always go together. The angels in heaven don't cry "Power, power, power" they cry "Holy, ...holy, holy. This is why we need to hunger for righteousness-for holiness-for purity- because that is the closest nature to who God is.~ George Sotolongo, OHOP's Youth Director and Teacher in our Forerunner School of Ministry! Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled -