Faith Baptist Church
4258 Botetourt Road
Fincastle, Virginia 24090
(540) 473-2325

Apostasy Defined

Apostate Characteristics - Part 2

II Tim.3:3

The prediction Paul gave in 3:13 is that evil men will become worse and worse as the periods of human history continue, and in particular as the Church age draws to its end.

II Thess.2:1-7 read...

We continue with apostate characteristics found not just in the world, but in the church in particular.

v.3 Without natural affection -, astorgoi. This adjective comes from the word storgh , and means “love of kindred” such as a parents love for their own offspring and those children’s love of their parents. With the alpha privative, a ,coming before this word it means the lack of family love and respect. This same word is used in Rom.1:31 describing the callous disregard reprobates have for their own kin. The family is supposed to be an earthly picture of heaven with mom and dad and the children all submitting to the plan of God for the family. Where dad wears the pants in the family and his wife is submissive to him and the children respect both mom and dad. Where dad treats mom with respect and affection. Where mom has words of praise for all dad does to take care of them. When the apostate liberals invaded the societal landscape of this nation years ago with the breakdown of the roles of husbands and wives it is no wonder that divorce rates are over 50% and juvenile delinquency is rampant in our country. I could go on and on here, but the bottom line is that apostasy at the family level opens the door for every imaginable evil to spread though out our society.

Paul goes on to say apostates will be trucebreakers, aspondoi. This word originally meant a libation (an offering poured out to the gods as one agreed with the gods). With the alpha prefix it means one who will not make a truce. Trucebreakers is a very narrow translation of this Greek word. It means much more.

The better translated word is, implacable. This means apostates cannot be appeased no matter how much you do for them. They will not give in even in the face of being clearly wrong. This word also has the connotation of those who give others their word without an intention of keeping it. Christians have given me there word before and they do not keep it.

They will be false accusers- diaboloi. This word means slanderers. Satan is said to be “the accuser of the brethren, Rev.12:10. Satan slandered God in Gen.3:1 as he deceived Eve.

They will be incontinent - akrateis. This word means to be uncontrollable and wild. Emotions left unchecked by a stable rational leaves even God’s people to act in ways strange to what is normal behavior. They have a shifting morality that lets their present day culture define what is morally acceptable. They show lack of self-control over their passions and they minimize sin into what fits their selfish desires. The Christian is commanded throughout the Bible to show self-control as he or she represents what Christ is like to others. If my life does not represent Christ to others because of my behavior then I have no reason to be upset with those who tell me I am not living right.

They will be fierce - anemeroi. They are savage or ruthless with others, even God own people. It is said of some in the evangelical church that members who will not comply with their pastor’s church vision, that those people are said they must get out.

It is one thing for the pastor to teach clear biblical principles on godly living and the church has every right to expect compliance among it people. But it is quite another for a pastor to try to implement a new strategy for church growth and be ruthless with those who do not agree with his methods. I have seen church members attempt to oust their pastors for not doing enough of what they want done, even if he is a godly dedicated teacher of God’s word. Rather than be a peace with the pastor, or go elsewhere, they attempt to get rid of him.

So it goes both ways in the church and this is just another damaging aspect of apostasy.

They will be - despisers of those that are good, aphilagathoi.

From II Cor.4:5,9-17 we see where Paul had to deal with the Corinthian believers. In their carnality he corrected them and they rebelled against the servant of the Lord for doing this. He was ill-treated for trying help them come clean with God so God could bless their lives. In II Cor.12:15 Paul exhausted himself for the Corinthian believers, but the harder he tried to lift them up to God in word they more they despised this good work in him. Perhaps some of you have tried to help others, but instead of them appreciating it and thanking you they despised you.

Brethren, the answer to stopping the slide into personal and local church apostasy is for each of us to come clean with God and bow to our Lord, Jesus Christ in submission. Repentance fixes most of our problems. Bible teaching exposes these problems in Christianity. It is not popular, but here is where we all have to ask ourselves, “Do I want to be blessed by God and do I want to be popular with Him?”

The Pastor
February 2014

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