“The Apostasy”

  jumma

II Thessalonians 2:3

“Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first…”

Modern day prophecy teachers frequently steer their followers to look at the condition of the culture in America as proof that the return of Jesus is near. Now I am in agreement that the return of Jesus is near, but their attention on American culture needs to be refocused.

Merriam-Webster defines “apostasy” as a renunciation of religious faith. Has the United States made a renunciation of Christian faith? Certainly many in America have. One could even make the argument that our government is hostile to Christianity. But According to a 2008 Gallup poll, 78% of Americans identify themselves as Christians. Although many may not be living their lives as Christ would, their backslidden ways, although problematic, are not renunciations of their Christian faith.

So what is this apostasy Paul is warning us about in the letter to the Thessalonians?

In order to understand what Paul was referring to we need to look to the Middle East. When prophetic verses in the Bible are evaluated in light of history and the Middle East everything begins to come in crystal clear.

Christianity continued to spread throughout the Middle East and Europe on the heels of Paul’s three missionary journeys. Churches sprang up throughout the world. It was not until the introduction of Islam that the apostasy began. Today in the Middle East Islam dominates the region. Christianity has been decimated. The apostasy, or falling away, Paul talked about has been in full force for over 1,400 years. If only those apostates had heeded Jesus warning:

Matthew 24:13

“But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.”

To understand how this happened to the Christian world we need to understand what motivated the Islamists and what the Christians had to endure after the introduction of Islam to their living environments. Islam is supremacist by nature. The Qur’an states that Islam must reign supreme. Through Jihad and the introduction of a group of rules governing the living conditions for Non-Muslims Islam easily pounded submission into the consciousness of the infidel.

The Islamists that moved into new territories typically gave occupants of a given culture three options. Option number one was to convert to Islam. The second option for the occupant was execution if they would not convert to Islam or submit to Islamic authority. The final option was for those who did not want to convert to Islam but were willing to submit to the authority of Islamic law. These people were willing to live as second-class citizens and abide by Islamic rules governing their way of life and behavior. They also had to pay a poll tax called the Jizya. This was in accordance with Islamic Law.

Qur’an 9:29

“Make War on those who have received the Scriptures [Jews and Christians] but do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day. They do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden. The Christians and Jews do not follow the religion of truth until they SUBMIT and pay the poll tax [Jizya], and they are HUMILIATED.”

These second-class citizens, Dhimmis, were a great source of revenue for the Islamists. Dhimmis also had a variety of restrictions imposed on them by the Islamists. These rules (sometimes called the Treaty of Omar, Pact of Umar, or Conditions of Omar) restricted the Dhimmis from:

  1. Building or repairing churches
  2. Worshipping the God of the Bible publicly
  3. Displaying crosses or Bibles
  4. Clanging cymbals, ringing church bells, or singing hymns that Muslims may hear.
  5. Riding on horses
  6. Proselytizing
  7. Blasphemy (Any statements critical of Mohammed or Islam)

These rules of Dhimmitude also had some requirements for the infidel:

  1. Dhimmis must maintain a humble attitude
  2. Dhimmis must cut the hair from the forehead
  3. Dhimmis must wear certain clothes and a belt to identify themselves
  4. Dhimmis must offer lodging for Muslims
  5. Dhimmis must keep homes lower than Muslim homes.

Bill Warner makes this observation in his book, A Self-Study Course on Political Islam:

“The actual attitude of Islam toward the dhimmis was more contempt than hatred, and over time the dhimmis disappeared. They either left or converted. It was too hard to be a second-class citizen, and the extra taxes were a burden. As time went on, both Christians and Jews became more Arabic in their outlook; they started to treat women as the Arabs did and their customs became more and more Islamic. Finally it was easier to accept Islam as their religion and stop all the pressure and contempt.”

These people were true apostates. They had renounced their faith completely. Jesus warned us to endure to the end. He warned us that we would be hated and experience persecution. Many failed to heed Jesus’ warnings. That is how the apostasy has come and how Islam has come to dominate the once Christian world of the Middle East.

Here is the point. It appears that Christians have two options available when confronted with Islamic governance. Christians may choose to maintain their faith and NOT submit to Islamic authority. Many have chosen this path

Rev 6:9-11

“I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.”

The other option is to follow the words of Jesus:

Matthew 24:13

“But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.”

 Apostasy should NEVER be an option!

 

Advertisements

13 thoughts on ““The Apostasy”

    • Hi Eliza,
      Thanks for posting your comment. I agree with you that just because someone claims to be a Christian does not make them a Christian. Church pews are filled with such. The apostasy Paul was referring to is much more than just rejection of the scriptures. The greek word “apostasia” means to fall away or to defect. The implication is that the people Paul was referring to were people that were once counted among the followers Jesus, but have chosen to “walk away.” These conditions have certainly been met more than ever before in the Middle East. To realize the fact that Paul’s efforts brought about huge growth to the church, only to be replaced by Islam shortly afterwards. Jesus knew the persecution and oppression would be very difficult. That is why He warned us over seven times in the Gospels that persecution was coming.

      The definition of the word implies that, no person would be an apostate unless they were someone that was a follower first. A person that never identified with Christianity but rejects the Scripture, or Jesus, is not an apostate; this is just a person that has rejected the Gospel.

      • Hi Eliza,

        Yes, you are right. False teaching has been a part of the church since the beginning. That is why the Bible warns us about false teachers. The people that follow false teachers are DECEIVED into following a lie. Apostates on the other hand, are not deceived, but reject their faith out of convenience when persecution arises.

        Matthew 10:39: “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”
        Matthew 16:25: “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”
        Luke 9:24: “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”
        Luke 17:33: “Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.”
        John 12:25: “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.”

        The Bible is clear; we need to be willing to die for our Savior just as He has died for us. We need to ENDURE till the end. Also, we need to watch out for false teachers so that we are not deceived int believing a lie.

        In Islam, apostasy (Leaving Islam for Christianity) is a capital offense.

      • Thank you for your response. If we look at what 2 Peter chapter 2 says, we see that false teachers lead people to leave the faith and incur damnation. Then Peter also says in 2 Peter chapter 3 that false teachers twist the Scripture to their own destruction and he warns us not to fall from our own steadfastness being led away by the error of the wicked. I believe, based upon the Scriptures, that any leaving of the faith to follow lies is apostasy, and Paul reveals in 2 Thessalonians 2 that those who believe the lie do so because they refuse to receive the love of the truth and so be saved because they took pleasure in unrighteousness. This he says in connection to the great falling away, or apostasy. One of the telling signs of the end times is the rise of the ecumenical movement which must take place for the formation of the end time apostate church. God bless you:)

  1. Hi Eliza,

    Just for the point of clarity please allow me to summarize. Initially you responded that apostasy was the rejection of Scripture, and the Gospel. My response was that apostasy was any time someone left the faith.You asked about people that left due to false teachers. Yes, they too are apostates. Whether they leave by oppression or deception that is apostasy. I did not do a very good job of stating my position. I was trying to draw a distinction between those willfully giving up on the faith and those deceived. Yes, if someone leaves the faith through the deception of a false teacher, that is apostasy too.

    The position of my blog post on apostasy, however, is that Paul was addressing a very specific apostasy. The definite article “the” before the word apostasy identifies it as a specific apostasy. I believe the this apostasy Paul is referring to is a result of Christians leaving the faith because of Islam. The Middle East was largely Christian in the first few centuries after Christ. It wasn’t until Islam arrived that true apostasy happened. Jesus warned his followers about this very thing. He even told them that a time was coming that men would kill them thinking they were doing service to God. I believe that the Bible is very clear about this. I would recommend you read my post “Will The U.S. Dollar Fail and Be Replaced By A One World Currency.” there is a link included in the post that might help you understand my position.

  2. Right, if you look at the context of the passage you can see that it refers to the time right before Christ returns and the ascendancy of the Antichrist. That would mean that it refers to the time before the 7 year tribulation as described in Revelation and Daniel, as further revealed in verse three of chapter two of first Thessalonians. Continued reading of the passage shows that the deception will be great because people will love sin and lies, more than Jesus Christ and His truth, and so they are confirmed by God in the deception that has taken hold of their minds. This is the case right now in the church. There is little or no discernment, and many godless people are promoting their latest heresy. Looking at the passage in the context of the first chapter you can see that Paul is referring to the coming of Jesus Christ in glory and bringing retribution on His enemies. The reason for the designation of the article “the” is because of its significance in relation to the return of Christ, and not to any particular location. God bless you.
    http://holdingforthhisword.wordpress.com/2013/08/17/standing-for-the-truth/

    • Hi Eliza,

      I understand your position because I used to hold to that position. I was convinced that “The Apostasy” was the state of the Christian church in America. I have always enjoyed studying Bible Prophesy. I was s typical pre-trib rapture person that was looking for the antichrist to come out of the European Union or the U.S. I was waiting for the mark of the beast to be given to those who were at war with Jesus. I had many problems with what was being taught in prophesy classes and books though.

      Shortly after the attacks on 9/11 I began to study Islam. I was inspired when I heard a talk about Bible prophesy from Walid Shoebat. He answered several of the problems I had from my own study of Bible prophesy. In his book, God’s War on Terror, Walid encourages his readers to stop viewing Bible prophesy through “Western eyes.” I started studying the Bible and Islam and understanding that there are many passages that deal with Islam in the Bible. Yes, there are false teachers in the American church. I have one that lives across the street from me. He believes in the teachings of Jesus, but does not believe He is God incarnate. But “the apostasy” is in fact all across the Middle East. Jesus, Paul, and other Biblical writers ALWAYS wrote about Israel and the nations surrounding Israel. The Middle East was ALWAYS their focus.

      That being said, I agree that “the apostasy’ Paul is referring to will be in place before Jesus’ return. The apostasy is there now. It has been there since Islam replaced Christianity. It will not leave until Christ returns and destroys it. Maranatha!

  3. The falling away doesn’t just refer to the church in America, but the church worldwide. The rejection of the Scriptures has occurred for centuries, but seems to be gaining speed and affecting what once were considered legitimate denominations and faith organizations. Islam is just one of many false belief systems that oppose Jesus Christ and biblical faith in Jesus Christ. If you include the other Scriptures that prophesy against false teaching you see John exposing Gnosticism, Paul opposing the roots of Catholicism and legalism, and Peter and Jude exposing antinomianism, Every false belief system rejects or adds to or twists the Scriptures to make them say something that God did not intend. The Jews have always been a special object of ridicule and hate from their neighbors for various reasons. After the rapture of the church God will be focusing on His chosen people the Jews and will fulfill His promises to them. They will be delivered by Jesus Christ from their enemies, and His church will return with Him to bring retribution upon unbelievers. God bless you.

    • Hi Eliza,
      You say “The falling away doesn’t just refer to the church in America, but the church worldwide. The rejection of the Scriptures has occurred for centuries, but seems to be gaining speed and affecting what once were considered legitimate denominations and faith organizations.” (true)

      You say “Islam is just one of many false belief systems that oppose Jesus Christ and biblical faith in Jesus Christ.”
      This is NOT true. This is THE religious/political system that Jesus comes back to destroy. Islam is the MOTHER OF ALL HARLOTS.

      You say “If you include the other Scriptures that prophesy against false teaching you see John exposing Gnosticism, Paul opposing the roots of Catholicism and legalism, and Peter and Jude exposing antinomianism, Every false belief system rejects or adds to or twists the Scriptures to make them say something that God did not intend.” (true)

  4. Hi Eliza,

    That’s ok. We’re both seeking the truth right? I’m merely presenting information I have learned. It’s up to each person to validate it through the Bible. If my position is correct (which I am convinced it is) it will become evident soon enough. In the meantime, I would encourage you to look at the History of Islam, Teachings of Islam including the Qur’an, Hadith, and the implementation of Sharia Law. This information along with what the Bible says provides strong evidence that the Islam figures very prominently in God’s prophetic plan. Think I will do a post on this very topic next week.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s