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murjahel

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HOW CAN WE MAKE SURE
WE NEVER BECOME AN APOSTATE?




The Bible tells us that ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:15-23).  We can know who is an apostate, and who is a true child of God.  We can know them by their ‘fruits’, but not always by their outward appearance. 

A beautiful tree can produce horrible fruit. A tree is measured by the kind of fruit it produces.  The same with those in congregations.  There can be some well mannered, polite, refined, educated, poised, and sweet talking ones, who are inwardly apostate, and therefore produce bad fruit.

Luke 21:8-11

“...false prophets shall rise and deceive many.’

I Timothy 4:1-8

“...in the latter times,  some shall depart from the faith.’

II Timothy 4:1-5

“...the time will come, when they shall not endure sound doctrine.”
Judas was an apostate, but the other disciples had to ask who was the betrayer that Jesus spoke concerning, for they did not recognize him as being a betrayer, yet, he was.  His weakness of a ‘love for money’ led him down a path to apostasy, opening him to the demons who deceived him. 

Ananias and Sapphira  apostatized because of covetousness and lying. (Acts 5:1-14).

Demas ‘having loved this present world’ (II Timothy 4:10) apostatized, even though he had been a preacher of the gospel (Col. 4:14, Philemon 24).

The apostates have all stumbled at God’s Word, been bewitched not to follow God’s Word, refused to hold fast till the end to their faith, and entangled themselves again in the distractions of life. The sins of the flesh, the lusts, and greed, caused them to grow cold in the faith.  They departed from the faith, due to the seductions of evil spirits.  Once their hearts were turned away from God, they found sin can imprison their souls. 

The Bible tells us a way to never fall from grace into apostasy. Surely, none of us will ever be perfect. Yet, to fall into apostasy is more than a sin of weakness, a flaw in our training. What shall we do to avoid the possibility of apostatizing?  There is a way, but few ever read the appropriate passage, few want to discuss it, for we find many do not want to even admit that there are apostates in the church.

II Peter 1:5
‘And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith, virtue.’

We would not be Christians, if we did not have ‘faith’.  Yet, some try to live their whole Christian life with just ‘faith’.  Yes, that does make us to be a child of God, but if we stay there, with only ‘faith’, then the battles against evil spirits and against the wiles and temptations of life, we will find ourselves too vulnerable to failure.

We are to add to our faith, virtue.  This is the Greek word, ‘arete’ meaning ‘manliness, valor, excellence.’  There are many who like to hide in a fox hole, or in a cave, or in the back pew of the church.  They have not realized this is a battlefield. They have not seen that the devil and his cohorts are enemies of the church, and are on the attack.  Their lack of willingness to be part of the Lord’s army, results in a weakness that leads to apostasy.  Those that step up to battle the devils, will find it hard and tough, but that willingness to battle starts the insurance of never apostatizing.

II Peter 1:5
“...and to virtue, knowledge...’

The word for ‘knowledge’ is ‘gnosis’, which refers to proven knowledge, science.  We need to get into the Word of God, and seek to get the answers to the questions. Study of the Word, gives more faith, for ‘faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word...’ We need to grow in knowledge, adding it to our faith and virtue.  As we do, we get stronger.

II Peter 1:6
“...and to knowledge, temperance...’

Temperance is the Greek word ‘egkrateia’ meaning ‘self control, to be strong in a thing.”  So many do not want to be righteous all the time. They look at their faith as a part time job, and want to relax sometimes, want to have recreation periods, furloughs from the battlefront, and vacation from faith, God, and the battle.  They indulge self in excess, distraction, and leisure. 

We need to stay strong, for while we lay down our faith, cease fighting in the battle, we find that in that weakened state, the devil mounts some serious attacks.

II Peter 1:6
“...and to temperance, patience...’

Patience is the Greek word ‘hupomone’, meaning ‘endurance, enduring a wait.’  Some have a hard time not having the victory parade till the end of the war.  They want heaven now, they want the war to be finally won, and no more temptation, no more struggles.  Their impatience with the long warfare, brings them to weakness. If we learn to be patient, the Lord will keep the possibility of apostatizing from coming upon the child of God.

II Peter 1:6
“...and to patience, godliness...’

The word for ‘godliness’ is ‘eusebeia’ meaning ‘piety, holiness’.  There is a need for holy living. Sin grips, entraps, ensnares, and is harder and harder to stop. It does not stay the same, but every sin leads to more sin, entrapping more.  Therefore, to live free from sin, and repenting of every failure, having a holy life, is key to staying away from apostasy.

II Peter 1:7
‘and to godliness, brotherly kindness...’

This is the Greek word ‘philadelphia’ meaning ‘brotherly love.’ It is a love with respect for the person.  This love is admiration for another, agreement with their person.  This is a love different than we can have for our enemies. 

This love we have only for those who are good persons.   We need to find those who are worthy of love, who are worthy of respect.  Having godly friends, to whom we can go for intercession and encouragement.

II Peter 1:7
“...to brotherly kindness charity...’

Having found some that we can have phileo love for, we need then to add ‘agape’ love.  The word ‘charity’ is ‘agape’.  It is a love given to those who are unlovely, those who are not able to be respected and honored for their goodness, and love-ability.  We have this love for ‘enemies’, for those who are yet sinners and unlovely.

II Peter 1:8
“For if these things be in you and abound,  they make you that ye shall neither be barren,  nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.’

The words ‘be in you’ means ‘to come into existence’. For these need to be quietly birthed into us, and then to ‘abound’ in us.  We are not to seek a ‘small dose’ of this remedy, for it is something upon which we need to feast.

It is not to be a vaccination against apostasy, but a permanent power over apostasy.

We should not be ‘barren’, meaning we are not to be idle and delaying in getting and keeping these things to keep us from apostasy.

If we do these things, we will not be ‘unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.’  This ‘knowledge’ of Jesus is the word ‘epignosis’, meaning a ‘full discernment’.  We will fully discern our Lord, knowing Him in a personal and fellowship way.

I Peter 1:9
“But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten he was purged from his old sins.”

The kind of ‘sins’ mentioned here are ‘hamartia’, which means ‘missing the mark.’  We should all have God’s laws, and His will as our target, and be aiming to do as He desires.  The ‘old’ failures of hitting that mark, are ‘purged’.  God forgives all repented sins. They are ‘cleansed’ from us.  Some forget how great a grace that was, and have not done as He has required of those He has forgiven. 

I Peter 1:10
“Wherefore, rather, brethren, give diligence, to make your calling and election sure, for if ye do those things, ye shall never fall.”

It does take “diligence” to heed the instructions given here in Peter’s epistle.  Our ‘calling and election’ to God’s kingdom, can be made ‘sure’. The word ‘sure’ is from the Greek word, ‘bebainos’ meaning ‘stable, stedfast, and certain.’  If we do these things, as instructed, we will ‘never fall’. God’s Word is true.  We can have assurance of salvation, but there is an ‘if’, and there are things we should do.

Colossians 1:28-29
"...we preach, warning every man  and teaching every man in all wisdom;
 that we may present every man  perfect in Christ Jesus.  Whereunto I also labor, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily."

Thus, let us not be forgetful of the fact that it is the Lord working this maturing process in us.  It is our part to present Him with a body, soul, and spirit that is yielded to His working.

Romans 12:1-2
"I beseech ye therefore brethren, by the mercies of God,  that you  present yourselves a living sacrifice,  holy, acceptable, unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God."

How does Christ and the Holy Spirit work in us?  There is a process which varies in specific content from one of us to another.  Yet, there are some similarities that are alike for all of us.

ACCEPT THE SEED

First, accept the blessings that God gives  in "seed" form.  Just as He gives us children to raise, not adults.  He gives acorns to plant, not full grown oak trees.  He likewise gives us blessings in seed form, and we are matured by learning how to plant the seed, and water, tend, and see the bountiful harvest come.

We may pray for revival, and He tells us to intercede.  We may pray for our enemies to cease their attacks, and He tells us to love them.  We may ask for financial blessings, and He provides us a new job.  We may ask for a great ministry, and He gives us one gift to begin to use.

ACCEPT THE FUTURE TARGET

Secondly, accept the "targets" that God gives us. If our lives revolve about a past event, we are miserable.  If life revolves about a future goal, we are happy.  This is why God made one third of the Bible to be prophetic.  We would be miserable if we did not have a future resurrection, a future reunion with the Lord, a future heavenly reward to anticipate.  The Christians who ignore, or are ignorant of, the prophetic Word, are miserable Christians.

BE POSITIVE, NOT NEGATIVE

There are two circles of saints.  Some in this latter rain revival talk of miracles, healings, and salvation.  Some others talk of backsliding, sin, failings, judgment, and how hard it is to witness.  Both of these extremes are present in this latter rain revival.  The Lord can do little with the second group, but the first group who see the "silver lining", instead of the "dark clouds" are more easily moved by God toward perfection, power, and victory.
Surely, there is death, persecution, and the wrath of the sinners to come in attack against the saints.  Yet, there is also the double portion of the latter rain revival, the rapture of the church, the judgment seat of Christ, and the joys of heaven also soon to come.  On which do you contemplate?

When we must speak of judgment, remember that God judges with the expectation that many will turn to Him during the judgment.

Hosea 5:15
"...in their affliction, they will seek Me early..."

If we must speak of trials, let us also speak that:
Romans 8:28
"...all things work together for good..."

When we must speak of the great sins of the day, let us add:
Romans 5:20
"Where sin abounded, grace did the much more abound..."
When we speak of being beat down, let us not forget to add:

Romans 8:37
"...we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us..."

CEASE YOUR DEMANDS
Fourth, let us not demand "strokes"  The story is told of a man who saw a little girl on top of the hill stroking a dog.  She kept stroking and stroking.  He sensed that something was wrong, so he approached.  He found she had bite marks all over her arms.  Every time she tried to stop stroking the dog, the dog bit her. This is like too many church congregations. Some demand strokes from others. 

If we want to allow the Lord to develop us into perfect, powerful, and victorious saints, we must cease such demands of others.  Forget how others see you.  Don't expect or seek attention, praise, and pats upon the back.  Seek only the approval of the Lord.

QUIT FEARING THE DEVIL
Fifth, quit fearing the devil.  We are victorious in Christ Jesus, and we are on the winning side.  There is a story told of a bee, buzzing and buzzing about a boy.  The father came to help, and he swatted at the bee also.  The bee finally stung the father.  The son kept frantically swatting.  The father said, "RELAX, SON!  THE BEE LEFT HIS STINGER IN ME!"  The devil keeps buzzing about us also.  Yet, he has lost his stinger at the cross.  He has been defeated and is no longer a threat to us.  Laugh at the foolish devil.  We are told to "resist the devil, and he will flee..."  

The writer of the book of Hebrews preached:
Hebrews 12:1-3:
"Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that doth so easily beset us. Let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith... consider Him... lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds."
 

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Reply with quote  #2 
If one thinks he is an apostate. Can he be restored?
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murjahel

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Reply with quote  #3 
Conviction from the Holy Spirit, drawing us to accept the merciful offer of salvation via Jesus precedes salvation from sin.  If one is feeling that conviction, it is proof that one is still able to be saved.


From some things we can save ourselves. If we are freezing, we can put on warmer clothes or turn on the furnace. If we are starving, we may go to McDonalds', or raid the refrigerator. If we are dying of thirst, we may dig a well, or turn on the faucet. If we are ignorant, we can attend school. However, we cannot save ourselves from sin.


Sin is a problem from which we are hopelessly unable to save ourselves. We need Another to save us. We need Jesus. He is our only Hope. He offers a great salvation that is totally unmerited and wonderful. How foolish if we neglect so great a salvation!


God wants to save us all.
II Peter 3:9
"The Lord is... not willing that any should perish."


There are no restrictions. He wants to save Jew and Gentile. He wants to save the rich and the poor. He wants to save the educated and the uneducated. He will save the sick or the well. He loves all. That is why the prophets often called God the "Lord of Hosts..." He is the God of everyone.


All we need to do to receive this gift of salvation is to confess our sins.
Acts 3:19
"Repent ye therefore, and be converted that your sins may be blotted out..."


All confessed sins are forgiven.
I John 1:9
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness..."


Confessed sins are totally forgotten by our loving God. He does not want to remember our sins. No more than a parent would keep pictures of the rebellion of one's child. No! The parent keeps pictures of graduations, birthdays, good times, etc. so God desires to forget our rebellion, and wants to only remember our rightousness in Him.


Hebrews 10:17
"Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more..."


Confessed sins are cast into the depths of the sea.
Micah 7:19
"Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea..."


Confessed sins are removed as far as the east is from the west. There is a measureable distance between the north pole and the south pole. Yet, there is no measure of distance of east from west.


Psalms 103:12
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us."


No! We don't deserve this kind of salvation and forgiveness. Yet, Christ left the glories of heaven to become a man for the purpose of dying for our sins. We deserved judgment, but Christ took our judgment on the cross. His blood was shed, so ours would not have to be shed for our own sins. A total forgiveness is offered to all who will simply accept Jesus as the atonement for sin.


Satan will try to keep reminding former sinners of their sins. He will lay guilt upon the saints if they let him. The devil loves to get Christians depressed about sins that Jesus has already forgiven. The old sinful self has been put to death, and the new creation that God has made of you, causes you to be a born-again, blood-bought, forgiven, reconciled child of God, and joint heir with Jesus.

Apostasy is a  terrible sin... so are other sins terrible...  but Jesus forgives little sins and terrible sins... He prayed from the cross for those who crucified Him to be forgiven.  He can forgive apostasy.
 

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Reply with quote  #4 
What if a man does not I feel that conviction or a tugging of the spirit. Is he gone for good and are their examples of it?
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Reply with quote  #5 
There is only one UNPARDONABLE SIN.  The  devil likes to scare some that they have sinned it, but it is rarer than the devil  likes to make some think.  Paul said he sinned it, but was forgiven due to his ignorance, and it is true, that a sinner sinning it is a sin of ignorance, and only when a formerly sanctified saint knowingly, willingly blasphemes, is it then unpardonable.


Matthew 12:31

"WHEREFORE I SAY UNTO YOU, 'ALL MANNER OF SIN AND BLASPHEMY SHALL BE FORGIVEN UNTO MEN;  BUT THE BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT SHALL NOT BE FORGIVEN UNTO MEN. AND WHOSOEVER SPEAKS A WORD AGAINST THE SON OF MAN, IT SHALL BE FORGIVEN HIM, BUT WHOSOEVER SPEAKS AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT, IT SHALL NOT BE FORGIVEN HIM, NEITHER IN THIS WORLD, NEITHER IN THE WORLD TO COME.'"


Mark 3:29
"BUT HE THAT SHALL BLASPHEME AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT HATH NEVER FORGIVENESS, BUT IS IN DANGER OF ETERNAL DAMNATION."



The word ‘blasphemy’ is from the Greek word ‘blasphemia’.  It basically means ‘injurious, defamatory, abusive, insulting, denigrating speech against God, One of the Trinity, sacred things.  It is the antithesis of worship and reverent honor.


Blasphemy is directly disobeying the second commandment, It is the uttering of words of hatred, of reproach, of defiance, of speaking ill against God.
James 2:7 condemns those who “blaspheme that honorable Name by which you are called’‘.  Blasphemy is not respecting God, His Name, His Person, His work, His nature, and it is a grave sin. Blasphemy is slander against God.  It is speech injurious to God. It is irreverence, abusive, scurrilously talking about Deity.



Blasphemy against the Spirit is sin, but not all sin against the Spirit is blasphemy.  To utter words against God willfully, malignantly, and knowingly is blasphemy. Not one of the Trinity is more sacred, or more than equal than the others. So why is the blasphemy against the Spirit worse than blasphemy against Jesus or God the Father?  It is because of their jobs. Jesus takes people to God.  It is the Spirit that brings people to Jesus. So the "Initiator" is the Spirit.  He starts the process of bringing people to salvation.  He brings the conviction that makes one want to become saved.  So if He is grieved so much that He ceases to  make a person want to get saved, then that person will never repent to Jesus, so Jesus can forgive.


TheSINNER>
is convicted by the>>>SPIRIT,
Who leads to >>>CHRIST,
Who restores fellowship with >>>>GOD


If a person blasphemes Christ, the Spirit is still working to bring the person to Jesus in repentance.  If one blasphemes the Spirit, who then will convict that one to bring them to Christ for repentance?


The unpardonable sin causes the person to never again feel conviction.  If one feels conviction, then that person has not sinned the unpardonable sin.


John 16:8-9
"WHEN HE IS COME, HE WILL REPROVE THE WORLD OF SIN."


We need that reproof, and conviction.  Without it, we will never repent.  We won't want to repent.


Paul sinned the unpardonable sin, but he was forgiven because it was done ignorantly in unbelief.
I Timothy 1:13
"...BEFORE A BLASPHEMER...BUT I OBTAINED MERCY, BECAUSE I DID IT IGNORANTLY IN UNBELIEF."


So the Bible seems to indicate that this sin done in ignorance is not unpardonable. When done willingly, and knowingly, it is unpardonable.


Hebrews 10:26-29
"FOR IF WE SIN WILLFULLY, AFTER THAT WE HAVE RECEIVED THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH, THERE REMAINETH NO MORE SACRIFICE FOR SINS, BUT A CERTAIN FEARFUL LOOKING FOR OF JUDGMENT AND FIERY INDIGNATION, WHICH SHALL DEVOUR THE ADVERSARIES. HE THAT DESPISED MOSES' LAW DIED WITHOUT MERCY UNDER TWO OR THREE WITNESSES. OF HOW MUCH SORER PUNISHMENT, SUPPOSE YE, SHALL HE BE THOUGHT WORTHY, WHO HATH TRODDEN UNDER FOOT THE SON OF GOD, AND HATH COUNTED THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT WHEREWITH HE WAS SANCTIFIED, AN UNHOLY THING, AND HATH DONE RESPITE UNTO THE SPIRIT OF GRACE."


To sin the unpardonable sin, we must have first been saved and sanctified.  It is hard to believe that anyone would want to leave the Lord Who has so loved us.  Yet, there are some who, for some reason, turn against the Lord.  Then, in this rebellion, these former saints, blaspheme the Spirit who saved them.  It is this last part, the  sending away of the Holy Spirit, that is the unforgivable part.  God can forgive people of terrible sins, but they must repent first.  Without the Holy Spirit to cause one to regret their sin, they will not repent.  These former Christians will never again want to repent.


The context of the passage in Hebrews 10 shows that  it is a "drawing back" (vss. 38-39) that is the first step toward this unpardonable sin.  Sometimes, it is a lack of patience in the midst of a trial, that causes Christians to "draw back" (vs. 36).  Some have a hard time with the afflictions that come to us as Christians. We don't like being patient, awaiting the deliverance.  It is by faith that we must live while we await a miracle of deliverance (vs.38). We, as saints, must beware of the very thought of slacking away from the Lord.  The Lord was faithful to warn us of the possibility of it leading to the unpardonable sin. We must be wise and heed His warning.  The consequences of failing to heed the Spirit are terrible.


Hebrews 10:31
"IT IS A FEARFUL THING TO FALL INTO THE HANDS OF THE LIVING GOD."



To treat the Holy Spirit with flippancy, grieving and quenching, without being too concerned with how we have hurt the Person of the Holy Spirit, will lead us from one of these six sins against the Spirit to another.  Finally, we will reach the final and devastating one.  Let's cease to treat the Spirit lightly.  Let's pay Him the proper respect and adoration!


Some try to treat other sins as also -unpardonable, and unforgivable.  Divorce, remarriage, etc., even when they are sinful, are forgivable.  Many Christians attempt to put them in the category of "unpardonable."  Any sin is forgiven upon request, and repentance. 


The unmistakable sign that one has sinned the unpardonable sin is the lack of guilt and desire to repent.


As Christians, we try to think it impossible that any in "our church" have sinned this unpardonable sin. Yet, the Bible predicts that in the last days, there will be many in the churches that have apostatized.  (II Peter 2, Jude 4, II Tim. 3:1-5, II Cor. 11:13-15, I Tim. 4:1-3, I Pet. 4:17-18, Matt. 7:15-23, Matt. 13) 


These are the ones who can continue to cause trouble, stir up strife, spiritually abuse others, gossip, etc. and never want to repent or change their ways.  They can always find justification for living contrary to the two commandments of Jesus -- to love God supremely, and to love their neighbor as themselves.  When the altars are empty of tears; when people shout, but can't weep over their own sins, or anyone else's; when judgmentalism is prevalent, but self examination isn't; then it is likely that some have committed the unpardonable sin  -  or are about to commit it.


As hard as it is to believe, the unpardonable sin is more common than we have thought. 


The Lord warned in Matthew 13 that in the last days the "tares" would ripen and be more recognizable than in previous periods. 


We are told in II Peter 2, that some false teachers would be at the church "feasts" or dinners. 


In II Timothy 4, we are warned that in the last days some shall depart from the faith, following some latter day doctrines devised by demons to lead people from the truth of God's Word. 


In I John 4, we are warned that these doctrines need to be tested and tried, because of their deceptiveness. 


In II Corinthians 11:13-15, we are warned that some will appear as "ministers of righteousness," and "apostles of Christ." 


Over and over the Bible encourages us to "watch," (gregoreo, = stay awake).  The deceitfulness of some former Christians (who have lost the possibility of ever finding salvation again, because of their sinning of the unpardonable sin) is great. 

They may be able:

to do Christian service,
to hold church positions,
to weep (not in repentance, but in feeling sorry for themselves),
to carry on a hypocritical pretense of serving God,
etc.;
but in reality- they have lost God! 


There are many that, perhaps have not sinned the unpardonable sin yet, are so close to this terrible sin, that only a revival of great proportions may save them from pushing a little farther in resisting the Holy Spirit to the unpardonable sin. God is sending them messages, dreams, visions, and prophets to warn them.  I pray, they listen!


God expects us to recognize apostates, see and rebuke their sin.  Blasphemy is far too often seen and heard on Christian television, Christian radio programs, and from pulpits in Christian churches.  Is it being rebuked and are the blaspheming apostates being shamed?  Far too often, they are not.

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