FIRST CITY CHURCH OF CHRIST
"...a church of Christ meeting in Vincennes, Indiana..."
"The Road To Apostasy"
Larry R. Ping II
The “Road to Apostasy” is laid with well-meaning, but unauthorized bricks. Apostasy is “the abandonment of one’s faith or religion.” It most usually happens on the individual level, but there are local bodies of God’s people who have, over the years, apostatized collectively. No one that I know sets out to abandon their faith. It occurs slowly, over-time, and to those not carefully watching, undetected until it is too late. There are signs one is on the “Road to Apostasy.” May we learn to recognize them early and rapidly exit. One is on the “Road to Apostasy” when…
1) He Disrespects The Authority Of God’s Word. Jesus declared “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matt. 28:18). If Christ has all power, or authority, we have none. This is why the apostle penned “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Col. 3:17). When one decides to do things his way, not seeking authorization from God’s Word, he is well on his way down the “Road to Apostasy.”
2) He Is Drawn Away. Paul warned about this very thing in Acts 20:30 when saying “Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” When one allows himself to be “drawn away of his own lust” (Jam. 1:14), he is a step away from apostasy.
3) He Changes God’s Set-Up For Organization. God declares the need for “elders in every church” (Acts 14:23). These men are to meet the standards set in I Tim. 3:1- 7 and Titus 1:6-9. God also affirms the need for deacons to serve the local body (I Tim. 3:8-13). When some, like Jeroboam of old (I Kings 13:26-33) change God’s setup, apostasy is just around the corner. May we learn to appreciate and put into place God’s way of organization, leaving our ways behind.
4) He Speaks Where The Bible Is Silent. “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God” (I Pet. 4:11). From this may we realize, the silence of God is prohibitive, not permissive. Early leaders made a plea to the silence of God in Acts 15:24. Nadab and Abihu paid with their lives for abusing the silence of God (Lev. 10:1- 2). May we not do the same.
5) He Agrees To Disagree. Contrarily, God’s Word calls us to “speak the same thing” (I Cor. 1:10). When it comes to doctrinal matters, there is no room to “agree to disagree.” We are commanded to abide in “the doctrine of Christ” (II Jn. 9). Agreeing to disagree demonstrates a man’s unwillingness to study (II Tim. 2:15) and lack of love for mens’ souls (Rev. 3:19).
6) He Admits Worldliness Into His Life. James admonishes a man must “keep himself unspotted from the world” (Jam. 1:27). One’s faith is threatened when this occurs, so do not let it in!