Are You Apostate?
He had worked at a church, knew the Bible, and professed faith in Christ for years. Then one day, he decided to no longer be connected to any church, submit to anything in the Bible, or practice Christian faith any more.
He was my friend.
He was apostate.
Apostasy Isn’t New
Apostasy is simply a big word for professing faith but not practicing it. Someone who is apostate says, “Yes, I’m a Christian,” but they live contrary to the teachings of the Bible.
The problem of apostasy isn’t a new one. In Revelation 2:12–17, Jesus, through John, addresses the issue in the church of Pergamum, which though they had stayed true to the faith through persecution were nonetheless tolerating false teaching and sexual immorality. They were willing to proclaim the faith but weren’t living it out.
Even though Revelation is two thousand years old, the human heart is the same today as it was yesterday, and apostasy still happens in our day.
Apostasy Is a Choice
No one accidentally becomes an apostate. Each day we have a choice to follow Jesus or follow sinful desires. Those who choose the path of apostasy, like my friend who walked away from Jesus and his wife, know exactly what they’re doing: living in open rebellion.
3 Ways We Can Become Apostate
How could we fall into that same trap today? I believe it happens in three ways.
1. You Form Your Identity Based on Culture Rather than Christ
If you decide, “Who I am, what I believe, and how I behave will be more shaped by culture than Christ,” you invariably put yourself on a path of apostasy.
2. You Compromise Sexually
Ultimately, sex is an act of worship. It’s not just physical; it’s also a spiritual. That’s why, for example, Romans 12:1 says “to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
Spiritual compromise generally is rooted in and leads to sexual compromise. You may confess Christ is Lord, but you collaborate with your enemy in sexual sin. If you’re living together, sleeping together, looking at porn, and doing things sexually that you ought not be doing, you’re on the path to apostasy.
3. You Compromise Doctrinally
The truth is that we don’t like much of what we read in the Bible when we first read it. Why? Because it says we’re wrong and sinners—and that we have to change our mind and our behavior. As we grow in Christ, however, our minds are renewed, and our desires are changed. Yet, some people slip back into old patterns and ways of thinking.
Are there any places in the Bible where you are suppressing and rejecting the truth? If so, you’re on the path to apostasy.
Are You Apostate?
Today, I’d simply ask you, are you apostate? Are you professing a faith that you’re not practicing? Is Christianity merely lip-service, or truly a lifestyle?
If so, I’d encourage you to get honest with yourself about where you are with Jesus and to repent. The beauty of the gospel is that you can always turn and come back to Jesus. He is glad to be with you, to help you, and serve you no matter what you’ve believed or how you’ve behaved.
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