During the seven year tribulation event identified as "Daniel's seventieth week" and the years immediately
preceding this final seven years, beginning with the opening of the first four seals of Revelation, there will be a massive
"falling away" from the faith by those who will reject and deny Christ because of severe persecution and spiritual
Many evangelical believers have interpreted this event as a falling away of "nominal" believers reported in prophetic
scripture on a par with the revealing of the Antichrist. According to Paul, the "apostasy"
is an end time signpost event equal in significance, and related to, the revealing of the Antichrist.
“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the
falling away (apostasia) comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,
who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of
God, showing himself that he is God.” 2 Thess. 2:3-4
G646 Apostasia: a falling away, defection,
rebellion, abandon, apostasy
AV — to forsake
Literally, apostasia means to depart from a previous standing of faith,
i.e. departing from a position of standing in faith by the rejection of a previously-held belief of salvation through faith
resulting in unconditional eternal security.
Eph. 6:11: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand
against the wiles of the devil.”
G2476 histēmi To Stand:
1) to cause or make to stand, to place, put, set
to bid to stand by, [set up]
i) in the presence of others, in the midst, before judges, before
members of the Sanhedrin;
ii) to place
b) to make firm, fix establish
to cause a person or a thing to keep his or its place
2) to stand, be kept intact (of family, a kingdom), to escape
3) to establish a thing, cause it to stand
to uphold or sustain the authority or force of anything
However, Matt. 24:10-12 states that “at that time, many will fall away (apostasia)
and will betray one another … but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.”
hupomenō Endures: Literally to bear up under
a) to tarry behind
to remain i.e. abide, not recede or flee
a) to preserve: under misfortunes and trials to hold fast to
one's faith in Christ
b) to endure, bear bravely and calmly: ill treatments
1 Tim. 4:1 “the Spirit explicitly
says that in latter times, some will fall away (apostasia) from the faith, paying attention to deceitful
spirits and doctrines of demons …”
John 15:6: "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are
1) to remain, abide
in reference to place
i) to sojourn, tarry
not to depart
a) to continue to be present
to be held, kept, continually
b) in reference to time
to continue to be, not to perish, to last, endure
a) of persons, to survive, live
in reference to state or condition
1) to remain as one, not to become another or different
to wait for, await one
G906 ballō Cast out:
1) to throw or let go of a thing without caring where it falls
to scatter, to throw, cast into
b) to give over to one's care uncertain about the result
1) to pour, pour into of rivers
to pour out
2) to put into, insert
Rev. 2:11 "He who has an ear,
let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death."
1) to conquer
a) to carry off the victory, come off victorious
of Christ, victorious over all His foes
2) of Christians, that hold fast their faith even unto death
against the power of their foes, and temptations and persecutions
3) when one is arraigned or goes to law, to win the case, maintain
AV – overcome 24
thanatos Death: death; deadly
the death of the body
that separation (whether natural or violent) of the soul and the body by which the life on earth is ended
b) with the implied idea of future misery in hell
the power of death
since the nether world, the abode of the dead, was conceived as being very dark, it is equivalent to the region of thickest
darkness i.e. figuratively, a region enveloped in the darkness of ignorance and sin
2) metaph., the loss of that life which alone is worthy of the
the misery of the soul arising from sin, which begins on earth but lasts and increases after the death of the body in hell
the miserable state of the wicked dead in hell
4) in the widest sense, death comprising all the miseries arising
from sin, as well physical death as the loss of a life consecrated to God and blessed in him on earth, to be followed by wretchedness
This does not mean physical death, but has an implied figurative meaning of death in the sense of eternal separation
No sin can cause God to reject the believer from inheriting
the promises of Christ because the covenant between God and the Son of Man Jesus Christ who is the Mediator of the covenant.
However, unconditional eternal security is promised to those who abide by faith, but does not include
those who intentionally do not abide in Christ. The phrase ‘once saved always saved’
is not a true statement; it depends upon the choice of the individual believer. In other words, one might
be guilty of a sin leading to death, but in his repentance he might be spared from that fate unless he ‘falls
away’ (apostasia) and rejects his faith in deliberate disobedience.
Let no one in any way deceive you,
for it...(the last day resurrection-"rapture" of all the saints)...will not come unless the
first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed,
the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying
himself as being God. 2 Thessalonians 2:3.4 NASB.
May He grant you a spirit of
wisdom and revelation as you examine the scriptures to see if what is being written here is true or not.
There are two popular explanations for the numerous passages in the New Testament related to apostasy:
The first is that "apostasy" is nothing more than the
rejection of a belief system, whether Christian or otherwise, and, therefore, any reference to Christians rejecting the
faith, such as 2 Thessalonians 2:3,4, is a reference to "nominal" Christians who have not been born again.
The second explanation, popular with dispensationalists, is that 2 Thessalonians 2:3,4 is related to the Jews
during the tribulation who will reject God and has no application for Christians.
The word, "apostasy," that Paul uses in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is the word transliterated
from the Greek as apostasia (Strong's # G646) - from "apos" - away and "stasis"
- standing. This word is also translated as "revolt", "defection", and "falling away."
Literally it means to depart from a previous standing, and, as we have learned from Paul's definition of "the
faith" in 2 Corinthians 13:5 as being "Christ in you", then an expanded literal translation of 2 Thessalonians
2:3 could read as follows:
Let no one in any way deceive you, for the
last day resurrection-"rapture" of all the saints, living and dead, will not come unless the massive rejection
of Christ by born again believers comes first, and the man of lawlessness, the Antichrist, is revealed...(paraphrase is the author's)
And we desire that each one of
you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end,
so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Hebrews 6:10-12 NASB
Inherit the promises HOW? Through (continuing, diligent) faith and (continuing, diligent) patience. And if we are not diligent? In this passage it is diligent faith and patience that allows the believer
to realize (cause to become a fulfilled reality)..."the full assurance of hope." And how long must we continue
in diligent faith and diligent patience? This scripture passage says, "until the end."
Examine the message to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3. What do you see again and again? To him who overcomes, I will grant...he who keeps my deeds until the end...he who overcomes
(I will not erase his name
from the Book of Life)...
It is difficult to ignore
the implication that the one who does not overcome, the one who does not persevere, the one who does not
keep His deeds, is in danger of having his name "erased" from the Lamb's Book of Life. This erasure
would not take place because God rejects the sinner who was once saved, but because the sinner rejects his/her faith in
The erasure, therefore, is not initiated by the Lord, but by the one who has not been diligent in his faith.
The Lord's threat of erasure is proof that names can be erased from the Lamb's Book of
The Greek word for "death" in this
passage is transliterated as thanatos (Strong's #2288). This does mean physical death, but it has
an implied figurative meaning of death in the sense of eternal separation from God. Strong's reveals
that the word does mean physical death, but with the implication of a future eternity in hell.
The physical death
of a Christian, though of some concern, does not have negative eternal consequences, and it is, therefore, not the
concern John is expressing in this passage.
We should note,
too, that John speaks of a sin "leading" to death. The sin itself does not cause instantaneous death, either the
death of the body or the eternal separation from God. In other words, one might be guilty of a sin leading to death,
but in repentance, be spared from that fate
However, it was not the sin of adultery
that was "leading" the man at Corinth in the direction of ultimately rejecting his faith. It was the development
of a seared conscience through deliberate disobedience to the Spirit-revealed will of the Lord, which would ultimately result
in the man being unable to "hear" the voice of the Lord in his spirit.
At that point the man's faith would
no longer be "real" to him, and Satan, aware of the opportunity, would eventually influence him to renounce Jesus
Christ just as will happen on a massive scale during end time tribulation.
A second example is found in 1 Timothy 1:18-20: This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance
with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, keeping faith and
a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. Among these are
Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme. 1 Timothy
1:18-20 NASB (emphasis is the author's)
We also note in this passage that it is the loss of a "good conscience" that is leading them toward
death, meaning that they are no longer able to "hear" the voice of the Lord or the still small voice of the Holy
let us be clear about one thing. I find absolutely no fault with the specific phrase, "the unconditional, eternal security
of the believer" until it is paraphrased with the implications of "once saved, always saved."
This is important: From God's covenant promise point of view He will not reject any born-again
believer in Christ from the covenant promises in Christ, no matter what degree of sin the believer commits.
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give ...(present perfect tense)...eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.
My Father, who has given...(past perfect tense)...
them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. John 10:27-29 NASB
No sin you can imagine will cause God to
reject the believer from inheriting the promises in Christ, because the covenant is between God and the Son of Man, Jesus
Christ, who is the mediator of this covenant. And HE cannot fail. Therefore, all who are in Christ will
be saved...IF...they continue in Him (continue in the faith).
In John 3:16; John 3:36; John 5:24; and 1 John 5:13 those who have (present tense) eternal life are those who believe
in the Son. Our question, then, would be is it possible for those who once "believed" by faith to lose their faith
in the Son, to stop believing in the Son?
Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denies the Father and the Son. Whosoever
denies the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledges the Son hath the Father also.
Therefore If that which ye have heard from the beginning...(the gospel truth concerning Jesus Christ)...
shall remain in you...(the condition of the promise)..., ye also shall continue...(implying
the possibility of not continuing)... in the Son, and in the Father...(which is the promise). 1
John 2:22-24 NASB.
This theme is repeated in Colossians 1:21-24 NASB: And although you were formerly alienated and hostile
in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you ...(and you are currently born again)...in
His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach-- if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast,
and not moved away from ...(becoming apostate from and rejecting...)...the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was
proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.
The key word in the first passage is transliterated
as menos (Strong's #3306) meaning to abide (live in, remain in, or continue in) then
you will continue in the Son and in the Father, period, no matter what level of sin is in
that time many...(believers)... will fall away ...(be offended by the gospel of Jesus Christ)...and...(those who become
apostate)... will betray
one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased,
most people's love will grow cold.But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. Matthew 24:10-12 NASB.
It is in this crucible of affliction and persecution that many in the body of Christ will fall away from the faith. These
are the "foolish virgins" who do not perservere in tribulation, and who do not make the necessary
preparations and corrections to maintain the oil of the Spirit in their lamps. And these, who do not continue
in the Lord will be told at the last resurrection, Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.(i.e. He did
know them at one time, but, because they rejected their faith in Him, He does not know them at the time of their resurrection.)
But the Spirit explicitly
says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits
and doctrines of demons...1
Timothy 4:1 NASB.