The Great Falling Away From Christianity


Departing from The Faith

Book of 1 Timothy Chapter 4

We can understand this passage if we understand “apostasy”!

Apostasy takes place when a so-called Christian abandons the doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This can take place by making a verbal declaration or we can see it by their actions.

Paul was charged with apostasy by Jewish elders when he became a Christian. They were wrong, and Paul was right.

Act 21:21 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.

This same charge was made of against Stephen, they were wrong and Stephen was right:

Act 6:13 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:
Act 6:14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.

In fact, it was this charge that the Jews used against the Lord Jesus Christ, our foundation for Christianity!

Luk 20:20 And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor.

Today there is a falling away from Christianity!

In fact, Paul said, departing from the faith, would be one of the many signs that we are in the lasts days!

2Th_2:3 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;

We can understand that the latter days extend from the day of the Lord’s ascension until the Lords return. He will return at first to gather His Church and at least seven years later He will come to judge all the nations of this world and to gather the Jews.

Toward the very last of days there will be a great falling away, before the rapture takes place.

We may ask why such a thing would take place in the church and it will be because they “will heed to seducing spirits” and the “doctrines of devils”!

Here is an article from the Christian Post:

There is an ongoing silent migration away from the church of an estimated 3,500 individuals each and every day.

A 2014 study indicated that over 1.2 million people will leave the church in the next year.

Several factors are contributing to this trend, but the majority of individuals who are leaving the church, report “that they no longer feel connected” to the church.

The number of churches that are closing their doors every year is leading to an overall decline in church attendance.

In 2015, it is estimated that over 10,000 churches closed their doors.

This has led to a growing host of Christians who no longer have a place to connect with other believers.

In fact, The Barna Group reports that the average size of a church congregation in America today, is just 89 adults.

That means for each church door that closes, almost 100 people are left without a spiritual home.

Those that leave the most are the young people. Many are now in that group called millennials!

We could say that we are living in the last days of the Church Age and the “Rapture” of the Church, is the next thing on the prophetic calendar!

*****1Ti 4:1 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;

Of course, that Spirit is the Holy Spirit who lives in each and every true believer!

The Holy Spirit picked this letter written from Paul to Timothy and then to the church, to make known this prophesy. We should understand in all the epistles of Paul, He does not think of his present age as being these latter days, even though false preachers and teachers were around in his day and have continued unto our day.

This age would be something out of the ordinary, which is what we are seeing in this present day and age!

To get a good understanding of these things we need only read Chapter 2 and 3 of the Book of the Revelation describing the 7 Church Ages.

The source of treachery in the Church has always come from the human agents of Satan!

None of these men and women are omnipotent nor are they able to resist the Christian to stands firm on the Word of God and this is the problem in our Churches today, the members are not taught to wear the armor of God at all times.

*****1Ti 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
1Ti 4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
1Ti 4:4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
1Ti 4:5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

Hypocrisy is the telling of lies with the intention to change the mind of that listener.

This takes a deceiver who claims to know and live the truth of God, but his teaching will be that we as individuals can be higher than God.

This was the first of Satan’s lies to Eve.

Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

Gen 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

This was the same lie of those early descendants of Noah!

Gen 11:4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

These agents of Satan may use a different approach today, but their message is still the same, they insist that “as humans we just do not need God”!

God cautions us about these things and gives us the means to tell the difference of a false Pastor or the true Pastor.

1Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 1Jn 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
1Jn 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
1Jn 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

It’s all about Jesus Christ! When you reject Jesus Christ as the God of the Bible, then you are teaching a false message, and a false doctrine!

There is only one kind of faith that can save anyone. We can have all kinds of faith but there is only one saving faith and that is the faith in God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ!

A seared conscience is someone who has grown callous in their own flesh like the branding with a hot iron. They are senseless and unfeeling when it comes to the truth of God and a personal relationship with Him.

We must remember God established the family before He did the Church. A marriage is between one man and one woman and God would have never required a Pastor or any elder of the church to abstain from marriage.

The Apostle Paul condemned the practices the Gnostics, the Essenes and all sects that forbade the Christian marriage.

Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

There are still those today, who deny the Lord’s Day, who deny baptism, who deny repentance, who deny the tithe, who deny the formation of the Church.

They deny the Church is the Spiritual “Body of Christ”.

This is the faith that the Christian must never depart from!

Every attack from false teachers and false preachers will come against the truth of God!

Every attack on the pure truth of God, should be rejected immediately!

False teachers deny, refute, and ignore the truth of God and they know they do! It is their intention to do so!

We must clearly understand that just as the Lord seeks men to call into the ministry, the forces of evil also seek men to do their bidding!

The doctrine of false teachers is serious, so serious that it could make us search our own hearts for the truth and at that point the devil has succeeded to get a toe hold into your Christian life.

What is Gnosticism? Gnosticism is a philosophical system built upon Greek philosophy that stressed matter is evil and only the spirit is good.

If this was true. then God could not have created this material world we live in.

They rejected the God of the Old Testament.

They claimed a spirit (demiurge) had all the power of creation and enough matter to create this material world.

They held two differing views of Jesus:

1) Because matter is evil then Jesus could have never come in human form, He only appeared to have human form.
2) That a divine Logos (a rendering) came upon the human Jesus and departed from Him prior to His crucifixion.

Therefore, salvation was also philosophical.

Only those who are specifically initiated can be saved, if you fall into this trap.

Sin and evil are then associated with ignorance or lack of knowledge.

Therefore, a man’s task was to deny self and avoid the things of this world and control the body as much as possible.

Today this is called Christian Science! Still believing that only that special few could obtain such knowledge and be saved.

These things were destroying the Church in Ephesus.

The two things that were to be denied were the eating of meat and the forbidding of marriage!

These are two things that God had already blessed, the marriage and all meats received with thanksgiving!

Some of these decided that since it was the spirit that only mattered, then nothing in this world mattered and people could do as the pleased.

We can see that these two things are still rampant in the church of today and they are still false teachings.

**There are those who concentrate upon the body and its health. (trying to overcome aging and the dying of the body as much as possible)

**There are still those who refuse to marry and are vegetarians.

**There are far too many today who live as they please.

All these are forms of Gnosticism. They give attention to their spirit and worship only as they please.

The truth of God destroys these lifestyles and this false teaching, and this is another reason the Word of God is rejected!

Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Rom 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Rom 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

What did Jesus teach?

Mat 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
Mat 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

What was Timothy ‘s job as Paul saw it?

*****1Ti 4:6 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.
1Ti 4:7 But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.

It was Timothy’s job to make this church aware of this false teaching by teaching the truth of God!

By doing this, Timothy would also be nourished up in the words of faith and of a sound doctrine!

If your Pastor does not lift up the Lord Jesus Christ, as God in every way, then you need to find you another place of worship!!!!!!!!!!!!

The truth is, we will never know happiness until we have heard the truth of God!

Truth always points out the flaws of a false message!

There should not be one sermon or a single message that is to be taught in the House of God, that cannot be backed up by the truth of the Scriptures!!!!!!!

The truth of God never goes out of style, it is the same in every Age!!!!!!!!!!!

The Pastor in the ministry of Jesus Christ show that he is subordinate to the authority of Jesus Christ!
The Pastor in the ministry of Jesus Christ will adhere to the doctrines of Jesus Christ!
The Pastor in the ministry of Jesus Christ will be steadfast in his imitation of the example of Jesus Christ!
This same Pastor will know that he is dependent upon the “Grace” of God!!!!!! “God’s Riches At Christ Expense”

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, sweetest name I know!!!!!!!

There are no speculations in the Scriptures!

We must all refuse profane tales.

We must reject “old wives’ tales and fables” as the notions of men and not the Lord Jesus!

These things have no place in the house of God whose foundation is the Lord Jesus Christ!

Act 24:14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:
Act 24:15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
Act 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

According to Luke, Paul spoke these words to that Roman Captain Lysias when he came under the attack of Judaizers in Jerusalem.

*****1Ti 4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
1Ti 4:9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.

Remember there were those in the church at Ephesus, who did everything that they could to stop the aging process of their bodies.

Reminds me of those who give their bodies to yoga. Taking care of bodies is a necessary thing but, it must not involve worship!

Paul did not mean that bodily exercise was not good for us. Paul meant that the best we could do in maintaining good health would be to add a few years to our life and that is great but, it cannot compare to that life of eternity we get by keeping the truth of God!

We are to exercise ourselves in godliness which brings with it everlasting life!

To the Pastor all his energy, his effort, his time, and his dedication are to be given over to living in godliness!

Psa 37:16 A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.
Psa 37:17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.
Psa 37:18 The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.
Psa 37:19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.

Living in godliness is much more important than all the things that we can do to keep our body healthy.

*****1Ti 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
1Ti 4:11 These things command and teach.

The most important thing we can do in this life is to place our trust, our faith, in the Living God, “our God is alive”!

Why do true Pastors suffer reproach? Because they preach the truth of God.

The reproach comes because we live in a world that does not like to hear the truth. That truth being that Jesus Christ is the Savior of all men!
The suffering comes because this world we live in, makes it hard to be Christian , because Jesus Christ is hated by those who cannot believe the truth that Jesus Christ is the Savior of all mankind!

As Christians we have rested our hope on the Living God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

As Christians we must all labor in the field of the lost, but it is the true Pastor who will labor the most.

It is the true Pastor who will come under the attack of Satan’s children much more than his flock!

2Co 11:23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.

If we are to be reproached by this evil world, then let it not be reproach for some evil thing!

When we are reproached for well-doing then we can still have a clear conscience. We must, with our integrity, serve God and trust that He will protect us but more than that, we must honor His will for us!

We not only serve a Risen Living Savior, but the same God of Creation who has the power to keep us safe!

Christ is the Savior for all mankind, but He will only save those who believe in Him to do this thing called “Salvation”.

When we do not share this good news, then we have not been the Christian that the Lord is seeking!

Psa 17:6 I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.
Psa 17:7 Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them.
Psa 17:8 Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,
Psa 17:9 From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.

It was very important for Timothy to be strong in the Lord.

Timothy may have been younger than 30 years old, (some say around 23 years old) and this would not help him in dealing with Judaizers.
Timothy was a son of a mixed marriage Jew and Gentile, this also he would be used against him by many Jews, just as it is for those of today.

Act 16:1 Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:
Act 16:2 Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.
Act 16:3 Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.

Timothy had the name of Greek descent but all his life he was trained as a Jew by his Jewish mother and grandmother which was the normal Jewish way. Which also made him a Jew because his mother was a Jew.

Remember the line to Jesus had to come through Sarah, the wife of Abraham!!!!!

We see again it does not matter where we come from it only matters where we are going.

It was Timothy’s job to proclaim the Word of God to all those who would listen!

*****1Ti 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
1Ti 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

Timothy was to be an example to the believers at Ephesus! Timothy had to prove that he was mature enough to be Pastor this church so full of false doctrine.

Timothy had to be wise in the things that he said and did!

Tit 2:8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

Timothy had to be faithful to his calling at all times!

Timothy had to be an example in his behavior!

He had to be an example in his love for the Church.

He had to be an example in his spirit, he had to walk in the Holy Spirit!

He had to be an example in “faith” which is faithfulness.

Luk 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Luk 9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

Timothy had to be an example in purity. He had to live a clean, moral, just, and honest life, and every move he made would be scrutinized!

This was a lot to ask from any Pastor, but that young Timothy was the most suited of all those who travel with Paul.

Timothy had to be devoted to the life of Pastoring this church in Ephesus!

*****1Ti 4:14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
1Ti 4:15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.

Each Pastor is called and equipped by the Holy Spirit. If that Pastor does not use that gift to its full extent, then he is neglecting the gifts of God!

There had been those who prophesied that Timothy would become a Pastor of the Christian Church and it had come true.

Timothy had been ordained by the elders of the Church, in which Paul was one of those elders and found qualified!

If Timothy did not answer his calling to the fullest extent, he would answer to God who called him!

Eph 4:10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Meditation can be said to be faith, hope, love, joy, and all the fruit of the Holy Spirit wrapped up into one mind.

2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
2Co 10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

Timothy had to pay attention, that everything he did was according to the Word of God in his life!

God’s Word will not come back void, but it will do what God sends it out to do!

Every Pastor must guard himself and his teaching.
Every Pastor is only a sinner saved by the “Grace” of God just as any other Christian and he also must flee from the temptations of this world.
He should not only try to keep himself physically fit, but he must remain spiritually fit!

Being a Pastor is not a one day of the week job, he must worship God every day and he must live in God’s Word.

If Timothy could continue in the instructions of the Word of God and not abandon his faith, then this would lead to the salvation of many!

Jud 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
Jud 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

When we depart from our faith, we have said no to God the Father! THIS IS NOT A GOOD THING TO DO!

Amen

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