Apostasy refers to a person who has once heard, understood, followed, and professed the gospel of Christ, and yet turned away. This is not the same as a person who hears an evangelistic plea and says, “no, thank you.” This is a person who has been walking the walk and talking the talk before abandoning the faith.
The Greek word for apostasy is closely related to the word for divorce.
Be clear: Apostates do not lose salvation, rather, they demonstrate that they never knew Christ at all. These are the people of whom John explained, “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 become plain that they all are not of us” (I John 2:19).
Pastors must warn their people to be careful and to “be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election.”
Recently, I heard a friend preach on apostasy from 2 Peter 2:9-10. He explained that in verse 10, where Peter describes apostates as “indulging in the lust of defiling passion and despising authority,” the Greek word translated “indulge” is the same word translated “go” in the Great Commission. In other words, instead of going to make disciples, apostates go in the opposite direction –indulging in their own passions and rebellion.
My mind immediately raised the question, “which way am I going?”
We all sin. Yet, for the believer who is in Christ and kept by the Holy Spirit, we can never continue in sin for the long run. The Spirit convicts and we are brought to repentance.
This is why I constantly come back to God’s Word as the standard of my life. It is the reason I must be involved in a local church for mutual edification. This is why I strive to “bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8).
While Bible reading, good works, and church attendance in no way save me –they are evidences and measurements by which I can be encouraged in my assurance of faith.
I am a vile sinner redeemed by a glorious Savior. Praise God He affords us assurance (I John 5:13) and warns us of apostasy!
If you are continuing in sin without any conviction, you must be concerned for your soul. Ask yourself, do I really know Christ? Which way am I going –obediently making disciples or rebelliously indulging in sin?