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” (Heb. 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. Christians must rely fully on the grace of Christ to bring about His divine nature in them.
In His service,
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