Today’s message summary of March 8, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:
Lord, Your Word is able to reach into the deepest sin and transform those who are in sin. May we be a people of The Book that trusts the Word in The Book. We want to be doers of the Word. Thank you for strengthening us and ministering to us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
We’re discussing today the word ‘apostasy,’ which means “to fall away.”
Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me.
Note that the Lord is referring to churches where He is on the outside looking in. These will be the places where churches will indeed be open, but God’s Word will not be in them. These are places where church will take place, but God is not present because His Word will be absent.
When a person falls away from truth, it is a falling away from God, who will keep you.
We’re in a day now where you can’t say anything about God’s Word in public places or areas. It is causing division and strife in those areas where people do not want to hear God’s Word anymore.
God is going to bring people to see Him in a miraculous way.
2 Thessalonians 2:3
Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. For that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.
We are to be alert as to what is going on around us. If you know that you are saved, there will be something that will try to draw you away from your faith.
Strong’s Dictionary on apostasy: a defection from the truth; forsaking the truth
Greek English Lexicon: a falling away from the truth
Your own evil will discipline you; your own apostasies will reprimand you. Think it over and see how evil and bitter it is for you to abandon the Lord your God and to have no fear of Me. This is the declaration of the Lord God of Hosts.
Apostasy is a departure from the truth. It is to stand away from it. You have to make a choice to do so.
On the contrary, what does it say? The message is near you, in your mouth and in your heart. This is the message of faith that we proclaim: If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Apostasy can result from being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
The goal of the Antichrist is to move you (society, church, individuals) away from the Word of God. He could care less if the church is full or not full. It’s about people who decide to devalue God’s Word.
He said, “Even more, those who hear the word of God and keep it are blessed!”
Satan wants to diminish or lessen the value of God’s Word because it becomes easier to believe in lies or what is false. If you believe in what is false, you will rebel against truth.
When people fall away from the truth, here is what happens:
- They function under a made-up truth of their own creation.
- If truth sets you free from sin (John 8:32), then the rejection of truth only promotes more sin in your life.
- When truth is denied and not received in your life, you no longer can present yourself as an instrument of righteousness in your home (including before your children or your family), your workplace or within society (Romans 6:13).
- It is the word of truth that sets us apart from the sin of this world (John 17:16). If you reject the way of truth, you accept the ways of the world. Who is the God of this world? Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4).
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
And do not offer any parts of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness.
They are not of the world, as I am not of the world.
2 Corinthians 4:4
In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of believers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
The bottom line: you are under someone’s authority–God’s or Satan’s.
When you fall away from truth, all that is left is self-reliance (self-truth).
- Self-truth will not stand the test of time.
- Self-truth will never take the place of God’s Word. In God’s Word, you have the victory over Satan.
- Self-truth will not remove your sadness. In God’s Word, there is joy and peace.
- Self-truth will not allow you to stand and hold your ground.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.
Unless the Lord builds a house, its builders labor over it in vain; unless the Lord watches over a city, the watchman stays alert in vain. In vain you get up early and stay up late, working hard to have enough food–yes, He gives sleep to the one He loves.
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is God’s power to us who are being saved. For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will set aside the understanding of the experts. Where is the philosopher? Where is the scholar? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn’t God made the world’s wisdom foolish? For since, in God’s wisdom, the world did not know God through wisdom, God was pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of the message preached. For the Jews ask for signs and the Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles. Yet to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is God’s power and God’s wisdom, because God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
When you fall away from God, are you mocking Him?
Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows he will also reap.
1 John 5:10
The one who believes in the Son of God has this testimony within him. The one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony God has given about His Son.
To fall away is to rebel from God.
1 Samuel 15:23
For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and defiance is like wickedness and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has rejected you as king.
Witchcraft is trusting in works taught by demons (spells and curses). It is to trust in the word of another person outside of Christ.
Numbers 23:11, 19-20
“What have you done to me?” Balak asked Balaam. “I brought you to curse my enemies, but look, you have only blessed them!”
God is not a man who lies, or a son of man who changes His mind. Does He speak and not act, or promise and not fulfill? I have indeed received a command to bless; since He has blessed, I cannot change it.
Though they curse, You will bless. When they rise up, they will be put to shame, but Your servant will rejoice.
When you fall away, you fight against the Spirit of Truth.
When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will also declare to you what is to come.
He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you.
Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus, because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
2 Corinthians 3:6
He has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit produces life.
When you fall away, you fall from grace.
You who are trying to be justified by the law are alienated from Christ; you have fallen from grace.
The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
When you walk away from truth, you walk away from God’s favor in your life. God’s grace and His truth are tied together.