It has been said that, at any given time, the church is only one generation away from apostasy. We see it happen time and time again in the Bible, and in congregations around us. Others have suggested that because of Biblical ignorance, some Christians are only one sermon away from apostasy. The apostle Paul warned, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).
God reveals several things that can lead to apostasy, including materialism (Deuteronomy 6:10-12), boredom (Deut. 6:13-15), disobedience (Deut. 6:16-19), and the assumption that faith and values are being passed on (Deut. 6:20-25). The responsibility rests with each one of us to make sure we are not being led away, and to encourage those around us to continue in the old paths.
To prevent apostasy, we must stand fast in teaching the Word of God. True, Biblical faith is only produced by the Word—nothing more, nothing less (Romans 10:17). It is in the gospel that God’s power to save resides (Romans 1:16). When we depart from the truth, we put ourselves and those around us in eternal danger (Galatians 1:6-9).
Take a moment to recognize and be grateful for the blessings that we receive from God, especially for our deliverance from sin. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17).
We need to realize how dangerous Satan really is. Yes, he “walks about like a roaring lion” (1 Peter 5:8), and we know how dangerous a beast like that can be. But the Scriptures also tell us that he “transforms himself into an angel of light,” and “his minsters also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). We must be grounded in the truth to protect ourselves from seemingly innocuous attacks from the father of lies.