Apostasy (departure from the faith) is a definite possibility among Christians, even though it is sometimes vehemently denied by the security-in-sin teachers, better known as eternal security or the perseverance of the saints teachers. In fact, apostasy is taught so often throughout the New Testament that it is difficult to believe that anyone sincerely desiring truth could miss it. To be precise it is found in almost every New Testament book. The only two exceptions are Philemon and 3 John. Sometimes it is clearly shown as much as six or more times in a single book, such as in Hebrews or 1 Timothy. In other books, departure (or its possibility) from the Christian faith is shown four or five times. Hence, there is sufficient evidence in the Scriptures to know with absolute certainty that apostasy can and does occur. Therefore it is a real, deadly danger among the saved in our hour. To be aware of this fact will help keep a Christian on his spiritual guard for survivalís sake (John 15:18-16:1). Knowledge of this is a preventative. On the other hand, to deny this glaring truth and think you must always stand firm is to set yourself and your listeners up for a spiritual fall. True grace teaching is emphatic on this:1 Cor 10:12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you donít fall!(This is reason enough to leave any so-called church that teaches eternal security and take as many out of there with you that you can.)
Below are specific verses showing the possibility of apostasy, or actual examples of such, in 25 of the 27 New Testament books - that is a total of 93% of the New Testament books. They cite specific examples or imply the possibility that true Christians can go back to wickedness (and lose their salvation). Spiritual tragedies like that are a reality!
MatthewAt that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people (24:10,11).
Mark"You will all fall away," Jesus told them, "for it is written: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered ...." (14:27).NOTE: Jesus taught it is the sheep, not those never saved, who fall away.
Luke... They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. (8:13).
JohnFrom this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him (6:66).
Acts... there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man (24:15,16).
RomansYou will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again (11:19-23).
1 CorinthiansNo, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize (9:27).
2 CorinthiansExamine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you - unless, of course, you fail the test? (13:5).
GalatiansI am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel - which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ (1:6,7).
EphesiansFor of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person - such a man is an idolater - has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words,for because of such things Godís wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them (5:5-7).
PhilippiansI want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me (3:10-12).
ColossiansBut now he has reconciled you by Christís physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation - if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant (1:22,23).
1 ThessaloniansIt is Godís will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit (4:3-8).
2 ThessaloniansLet no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction (2:3).
1 Timothyholding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme (1:19,20).
2 TimothyAvoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some (2:16-18).
Titusso that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life (3:7).
HebrewsFor in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame (6:4-6).
JamesMy brethren, if any among you strays from the truth, and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins (5:19,20).
1 PeterAs obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. (1 Pet 1:14)
2 PeterIf they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to its vomit," and, "A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud" (2:20-22).
1 JohnSee that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us - even eternal life (2:24,25).
2 JohnAnyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son (1:9).
JudeThough you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home - these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day (1:5,6).
RevelationDo not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death (2:10,11).NOTE: The second death is another name for the lake of fire (Rev. 21:8).
With all of the above Scriptural evidence, which contradicts the security-in-sin gospel (eternal security), one has to wonder how Bible-believers can remain in such denial about this reality. Apparently, the slick-talking, ear-tickling eternal security teachers, with their infernal talents of distorting the Word of God, have been so successful with their lies that multitudes of souls remain in jeopardy. Dear reader, what are you going to do about this urgent need to get this vital truth out, before it is too late?
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