A Falling Away Has Begun

2 Thessalonians 2:3 “Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, except there comes a falling away first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction”.
In recent days, it has never been more apparent that a falling away has begun…. and it is in no small measure. It isn’t the world that has fallen, as Scripture says has already – rather it is the church that is sliding down the slippery slope. Before I give you the staggering details, let’s look closer at the Biblical term for “falling away”:
Falling Away is the word apostasia and its root words are apostasion and aphistēmi . Together they mean defection, apostacy, separation, divorce, writing off, forsake, to remove, instigate revolt, desist, desert, depart, draw away, withdrawal oneself from truth. Further, the different translations of the Bible into English have translated this term to the following: the rebellion, rise up against God, the turning away from God, rebel against God, the final rebellion, and falling away from the faith.
In the days in which the passage above was recorded and on into the 4th Century AD, the philosopher Plutarch used it of political revolt about Antioucus Epiphanes who was enforcing the apostasy from faith to Hellenism. And in Joshua 22:22 the Hebrew term for falling away is rendered rebellion against the Lord: “The LORD is the greatest God! We ask him to be our witness, because he knows whether or not we were rebellious or unfaithful when we built that altar. If we were unfaithful, then we pray that God won’t rescue us today.”

This apostacy will come from within and without the body of Christians…. It will have a political element along with a spiritual defection in combined force. And it will be first before Christ comes again.

If you are in a bit of doubt and disbelief that this “sign of the times” that is to be understood is not upon us, well – just look at the upheaval of unbiblical teachings rising amongst denominations of Christianity, look at the rise of sin unrepentant by individual Christians and groups of believers, look at the political problems literally “plaguing” societies, countries and the world as a whole, look at the focus on the physical, nature and man, look at the economic shifts, inflation and lack of product, look at the rate of Christians divorcing, cheating, lying, gossiping, accepting sin, embracing worldly ideology, even look at the lack of standing for truth, look at the corruption of leadership in the church universal as a whole, look at the family decay, look at the deception and propaganda, look that the lack of masculinity and the lack of taking care of their immediate family’s needs, look at the sexual perversion and human trafficking, look at the conflicts creating controlled chaos, look at the rampant self-centeredness and narcissism, look at the level of laziness coupled with inability of self-control, look at the demonic doctrines and mingled witchcraft in so called Christian groups, look at the missing morals among believers, look at the unclean spirits increasing in the lives of so many Christians, look how love is growing cold, look at the increase of followers of Christ scoffing about His return, look at the apostacy all around us….

While, I do not pretend to think the judgment of America and it’s demise is right when the rapture will take place, I am convinced the U.S.A.’s spiritual decline and death is evidence of a once Christian nation gone apostate is leading the charge of the nearly last steps of falling away. And I do understand from the Scriptures that the day is quickly approaching.
I hear people say: “peace and prosperity” “you got to stay positive”, “God’s in charge” – well what is happening positive? And has man decided to take charge and ignore God – YES!! And sadly, but prophetically, we have been warned…. And “we the people of God” are found to be not heeding the watchman’s call! I recently read a statement that sums up this subject: “beware of those who preach peace and prosperity in times of God’s pending judgement and destruction and not calling the people to repentance.”
As we have been dealing with 1 and 2 Peter (and soon Jude also) in our sermon series here at Foundations Bible Church, I have become aware of the need to keep Jesus’ Second coming in mind to stay sharp, focused, faithful and able to stand in these times of apostacy. I am compelled to share three spiritual safeguards for our congregation and each of you, individually, in the days ahead as we fight the good fight in contending for and keeping the faith.
Safeguard One: Jude 1:17-19 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.
The New Testament has so much prophetic Scripture that needs studied, put to memory and taken to heart – then applied to life. Take the time do go through the New Testament epistles – and look for what the apostles were told to share about what is ahead before and during the dawn of Christ’s Second Coming – not to mention how believers are supposed to behave in light of it. Do not give audience to scoffers and mockers. Not only do they ridicule and take pleasure in put downs, they follow their own passions in the process of making fun those who want to be truly faithful followers of Jesus…. These last days will be riddled with worldly so-called Christians that are just players in pews, that want to ignore the reality of Jesus coming to rapture the Remnant and judge the fakes, phonies and false followers. They chase what they want – not what God wants, and they cause problems among families, often their own and in congregational life, and in so doing leave a wake of ruined and separated relationships.
Safeguard Two: Jude 1:20-21 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.
Building up in holy faith is integral to weathering the satanic storm ahead and the current apostacy of many of those who claim the name of Christ. Building up comes through intentionality and intense immersion in the Word of God, an active and purposeful prayer life, staying connected and engaged with fellow Christians that have prioritized their relationship with the Lord. How can you keep in the love of God…. never ever forget the Gospel, never ever forget the cross, never ever forget God so loved the world (this means you), and seek the mercy of Jesus each and every moment of your life! The mercy that awaits us in His Kingdom is their for us now and will be fully realized at the Second Coming.
Safeguard Three: Jude 1:22-23 And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
Which one of us has never doubted, never needed saved from the fires we have started, never wanted mercy for our sins, and never actually embraced them when we should hate them and the stain it brings to us. All of us, you and I need to extend mercy, grabbing at every opportunity to pull back those walking headlong and headstrong towards the fires set to engulf and the fires we add fuel to, and hate sin’s soul soiling and body destroying effects – both our own bodies and the body of Christ! We must to stop entertaining what is staining and begin fasting and praying. In fact, there might be some major changes God wants to make in our life, and the way we interact and what we embrace are grieving the Spirit and obscuring His still small voice. As it is, we have all received His mercy and grace at His great expense, and to look at others through Christ’s eyes will open our own to other’s plight.
Jude 1:24-25 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Pastor Daren Lee Barnett

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