What does the word “apostasy” mean Biblically and is it even a relevant word in today’s society?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: What does the word “apostasy” mean Biblically and is it even a relevant word in today’s society? — B.A.
A: The Biblical teaching about apostasy means a “falling away,” as the Apostle Paul describes to the church at Thessalonica. This “condition” affected every area of life. The word is so strong and so emphatic that it suggests a complete breakdown of morals, ethics and spirituality.
Paul wrote, “That Day [the day of the Lord] will not come unless the falling away comes first” (2 Thessalonians 2:3). Paul used the same word again in writing to Timothy saying that “in latter times some will depart from the faith… speaking lies in hypocrisy” (1 Timothy 4:1-2), and in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 he writes: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine [teaching]… and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables [fiction].”
What a picture of the world today. There are so many who say they believe in Jesus Christ, but they do not live according to His Word. The Bible says they have a form of godliness but deny its power (2 Timothy 3:5).
This is the importance of every follower of Christ to feed on God’s Word. It means to saturate the mind and heart with God’s truth. It means to obey His Word and worship Him by how we behave in our speech, in our attitude, and in our thoughts. The Bible says, “Train yourself to be godly” (1 Timothy 4:7, NIV). Christians are called to a different lifestyle by following the steps of Jesus.
Jesus prayed to His Father in Heaven on behalf of those who belonged to Him and asked His Father in Heaven to “make them holy by your truth [and] teach them your word” (John 17:17, NLT). This is the secret to staying close to the Lord.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
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