The word apostasy is derived from a Greek word meaning “revolt.” According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, it means “abandonment of a previous loyalty” and “renunciation of a religious faith.”
Although apostasy does not appear in the NKJ version, the editors used the word in the headings of several sections of Scripture. These five sections (2 Chronicles 24:15; 28:22; Hosea 8:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:1; and 1 Timothy 4:1) each address a “falling away” from God by an individual or a group.
The last two scriptures describe a time coming in the future, the “falling away” (2 Thessalonians 2:3), when “some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy” just before the second coming of Christ (1 Timothy 4:1-2).
Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Profession alone is worthless. He who pretends to know God and yet disobeys His commandments “is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4).
Faith in God must produce fruits of obedience to God’s Law. It is true that “faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone” (James 2:17), but it is equally true that works unaccompanied by a sincere and living faith are also “dead” (Hebrews 11:6).
Christians who live in sin must “repent,” or, Jesus said, “I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:19, 15-16). Unlike imperfect, yet saved, Christians who are striving to “walk in the light” (1 John 1:5-10), Christians living in apostasy lose their favor and must repent to regain their salvation. A Christian can’t claim eternal life if he does not remain faithful to Christ. Jesus taught: “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).
To not fall into apostasy, Christians must watch and pray daily studying the scriptures and following what the Word commands (John 15:4). They must rely fully on the grace of Christ to bring about His divine nature in them (Philippians 4:13).
In His service,