Falling Away from the Faith
Let no one deceive you by any means; for the "Day of the Lord" will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition. II Thessalonians 2:3
In Paul's exhortation to the Thessalonian church, he warns them of a time just before the return of Christ that there will be a great falling away. The Greek word used in this scripture for falling is apostasia, or in English, apostasy, meaning to defect, revolt, forsake or fall away from the faith.
Surely we couldn't be in the condition that Paul spoke of in falling away from the faith in our twenty first century religious world, why, we have a church on every corner. In many denominations membership is up, the "Religious Right" is flourishing and being a Christian is fashionable in Hollywood. The old apostle must have been wrong because everyone is running to this meeting and that meeting and thousands are seeking the power of God. So, what's wrong?
Now the Spirit explicitly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines (teachings) of demons. I Timothy 4:1
Most of the world's religion is man made tradition, handed down through the centuries and finally today has become for the most part, a dead, lifeless ritual on Sunday mornings. Millions of people fill the buildings to sing and pray and hear a message that will get them through the week, but to believe God for themselves for their everyday needs, well that's stretching it a bit too far!
The word of God says that the righteous shall live by faith. We breathe by faith, we are healed by faith and we are provided for by faith. Our entire being consists of our trust in God to look after us and to provide our every need. It's one thing to talk about it in church on Sunday, but what happens on Monday morning when the house payment is due and you don't have the money to pay, now who do you trust?
Jesus called His disciples to forsake all and walk with Him in faith, trusting that He would take care of them and provide their every need. For three years they observed miracle after miracle of supernatural provision building within them a solid foundation of trust and reliance upon the Savior to provide for them everything that pertains to life. They were taught by example to follow Jesus and to live a life of faith and trust in His word.
We have not fallen away from religion, we have fallen away from trusting God. The modern world has polluted our minds and tradition has blinded us to the supernatural provision of God. We are so smart today that we don't need God, we have technology and scientific breakthroughs that are miraculous. If we get sick we go to the doctor, if we are in need of money we go to the banker, if we get depressed we have a therapist, why, the only time we call out to God is when one of these other options fail. In other words when we have exhausted everything the world has to offer and we end up hopelessly in need, then maybe we will call upon the only One Who truly cares for us. God!
Like a wife that forsakes her husband we have departed from the provision of God and have jumped in bed with the world. In God we trust is on our money, but in actuality we really trust in our own ability to provide for ourselves. The world has become our god and its provision has become our way of life. We have committed spiritual adultery with the god of this world, totally rebelling against the word of God and departing from the faith to live with our new lover.
Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity (mutual hatred) with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:4
Recently Hollywood had a telethon to raise money for cancer research and raised $100,000,000.00 in one hour. Even though that is phenomenal to raise that much money to find a cure for such a deadly disease, not once was God's name mentioned or was He acknowledged in their quest for an answer to their problem. The fact of the matter is this: cancer was cured two thousand years ago on the back of Jesus Christ when He received 39 stripes (wounds) for our healing.
The race for president is on and everyone wants change and hope and a better way of life, but man cannot give what only God can. Man cannot give you peace, man cannot give you prosperity, man cannot heal your body and man cannot change the world without God. This country is not in a shambles because of a man or a political party, it is devastated by sin. Man has rebelled and rejected God and forsaken His word to be the captain of his own ship, and the ship is sinking.
I am reminded that today as I write this message it is 911 and seven years ago America was attacked by an enemy that God allowed to strike us because we defected from Him. The same people that God told the Israelis to destroy hundreds of years ago returned with a vengeance because of our rebellion. When Israel would sin and follow other gods, the wrath of God would break out and they would be defeated before their enemies.
On that fateful day that the towers fell, man's symbol of financial strength was reduced to dust in just a matter of minutes. Instead of repenting for our sins, we cried out: God bless America, but God had already blessed us with an abundance that we turned into an idol. America's idols are endless, and our lust for things is out of control, so much so that the wrath of God is slowly destroying America.
Hurricanes, floods, fires, tornadoes, the Iraq war, not to mention the housing crisis and the inflated gas prices are slowly eating away at America's wealth causing a meltdown that no man can remedy, only God. It doesn't matter who is elected president because unless we repent and turn back to the source of our provision we will ultimately be destroyed and be like the other pagan nations of the world.
These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. Matthew 15:8
The world is in desperate need of salvation and deliverance from their sin and the curse of generational iniquity passed down to them from Adam. Sickness, poverty and death are ravaging the earth, killing millions that have never heard of the Savior's love. Hell has gorged itself with the souls of men and women that have never repented of their sin because of a polluted gospel preached by greedy heirlings seeking their own agendas.
The disasters that are ravaging the earth are the church's opportunity to shine in the face of hopelessness. If Hollywood can raise $100,000,000.00 in one hour, what do you think the true Church of Jesus Christ could raise? We could defeat poverty, heal the sick, deliver the captive and see literally millions saved by the power of God, if we would only repent of our selfishness and greed. May God have mercy on us!
We are on the threshold of a devastating world wide economic meltdown and the end of all things is at hand. Jesus is about to return for a people who trust Him and love Him with all of their hearts, are you ready? Is your trust in your 401 or your investments, or is it in the Savior's provision and care for you that will carry you through the storm? Now is the time to repent and be ready to stand before the Lord Jesus Christ when He returns in His glory and holiness. Are your sins washed in His blood, is you heart free from bitterness and rebellion, could you stand before Him today?
"I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. "So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. "Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. "I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Revelation 3:15-19