What does Apostasy mean?
Apostasy means to reject God. When a person meets Jesus but then turns away and decides to reject Him, that is apostasy. Apostasy is a very serious thing, because the person knows the truth but decides to believe a lie. In the Old Testament, the Israelites often committed apostasy. They stopped worshiping God to worship idols and received punishment. At the beginning of the church, movements arose to keep people from the truth about Jesus.
It consists of the condition of total and definitive removal from something, such as a doctrine, ideology, etc., without the permission or authorization of third parties.
What does the Bible say about Apostasy?
Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition. (2 Thessalonians 2:3)
There are several references that deal with apostasy and bring warnings about its dangers to the Church (1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 4:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:3; 2 Peter 3:17). Jesus himself warns of apostasy, pointing out that it grows in times of crisis and is motivated by false teachers (Matthew 24: 9-12).
The Bible exhorts that in the last days apostasy would increase among the people. Paul, writing to the Thessalonians, warns Christians that apostasy is a sign of the last days. He points out that a great apostasy will precede the Coming of Christ.
Apostasy and sin to death
In his first epistle, the apostle John speaks of a sin that is for death, and that for that sin prayer has no effect (1 John 5:16). The nature of this mortal sin has been widely discussed among scholars. Although some interpreters maintain that John is talking about physical death, the most widely accepted interpretation is spiritual death.
Under this interpretation, many scholars understand that this sin of death is apostasy itself. This also indicates that apostasy is the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit of which Jesus speaks. Many Pharisees blasphemed against the Holy Spirit, and Jesus made it clear that there would be no forgiveness for that conduct (Matthew 12:31).
Apostasy fits this picture perfectly, since the voluntary rejection of the truth cannot be reversed. This is because the one who has apostatized will never recognize his mistake, which characterizes that such people do not have the Holy Spirit who is the only one who convinces us of sin. The writer of Hebrews spoke of cases of apostasy, and taught that it is impossible for apostates to repent again, as there is no more sacrifice for their sins (Hebrews 6:1-6; 10:26-31).
In fact, it seems clear from Scripture that apostasy is committed by nominal believers, that is, false believers who were never truly born of God. Judas, in his epistle, describes the profile of these people well. He says that they are wicked people who introduce themselves among the faithful, and convert the grace of God into dissolution. Further, he says that these people “were designated for this condemnation” (Jude 1:4).
Text Apostasy in the Bible
Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. Be appalled, O heavens, at this, be shocked, be utterly desolate, says the LORD.
And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy; but these have no root, they believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.
1 Timothy 4:1-3
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, through the pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and enjoin abstinence from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
2 Timothy 3:1-7
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of stress. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, fierce, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding the form of religion but denying the power of it. Avoid such people. For among them are those who make their way into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and swayed by various impulses, who will listen to anybody and can never arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
Therefore we must pay the closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.
For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they then commit apostasy, since they crucify the Son of God on their own account and hold him up to contempt.
For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries.
2 Peter 2:20-21
For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overpowered, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.
1 John 2:18-19, 24-25
Children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us.
Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he has promised us, eternal life.