What is Apostasy?

Karen Thornton

Often, we read the Bible and we skim over words without understanding the meaning. Or if you aren’t paying attention, you read a different word than what was on the page. Apostasy is one of those words, what does it mean when Paul was falsely accusing of teaching the Jews apostasy from Moses? The law was and is a very strong commitment for the Jewish people. They believed Paul was saying, don’t follow our Jewish customs. In Matthew Paul addresses the falling away of a believer, stating the love of many will grow cold. This proceeds the “day of the Lord”, which is another subject. 2Thessalonians tells us to not be so easily shaken or alarmed by those who say the day of the Lord has already begun. You might say, not me, I am true to the end. If people fall away and/or abandon and/or refuse to continue to follow the Lord, how does that happen. We might respond, maybe they didn’t really believe in the first place. John tells us many of His disciples felt it was too hard to understand…Jesus said, “He knew from the beginning which ones didn’t believe, and He knew who would betray Him, many turned away and deserted Him. We realize “apostasy” isn’t a new word, there has always been a problem within the church and will continue to the end of days.

What can cause apostasy among believers? Listening to the wrong teachings, not agreeing with the Word of God. People are easily deceived. They don’t read and to know for themselves. People are fearful because they don’t know God promises us peace that passes all understanding, He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a strong mind.

Hebrews is a great book to read to caution against apostasy. Believers are admonished to guard themselves, to stay strong, persevere and not abandon their faith. We are human and most humans are weak and when the enemy attacks and we are not built up in the Word we tend to make wrong choices. The Christian life is a daily walk and a daily war. Unbelief in God’s promises is a lack of trust in God, producing a lack of obedience. If you were lacking food and water, you become ill. Without God’s Word, you become ill, we must nurture our faith, on a regular basis. Again, Hebrews tells us to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet, encouraging one another, so you will not fall away from the living God.

REF: (NL translation) Acts 21:21; Matthew 24; John 6: Hebrews; 2Thessalonians 2; Philippians 4:7; 2Timothy 1:7