Apostasy, the abandonment or renunciation of one’s faith or belief, is much akin to the splinter that gets infected and turns to gangrene. That minuscule shard of wood can unexpectedly enter your hand or foot and, though almost unnoticeable at first, if left alone can become infected, disease can set in and it can result in the amputation of an entire limb. The “splinter” that begins the road to apostasy comes in the form of a seemingly harmless little thing called compromise.
I have a friend who always talks about how the Bible isn’t like a bag of trail mix, you can’t just pick the parts you like and leave the rest. The successful Christian life requires diligence, commitment and most importantly, complete adherence to all biblical instruction in proper context, even the very difficult and controversial parts. This of course means we must start by knowing exactly what the Bible says for ourselves We must make a commitment to read it all and not just take our pastor or teacher’s word for it at face value. We also must look at the Holy Bible as a mirror that reflects back to us who we truly are, what we are capable of doing when we align ourselves with God Almighty and also what we are NOT to be and do. That way, when rotten fruit shows up in our lives, we know that it is our actions that need to be adjusted, not God’s Word.
People don’t just wake up one day, and say: “You know, I’m tired of being a Christian, I’m bored with following Christ, I’m just going to renounce my faith and go have fun!” The road to apostasy is paved in compromise, it starts with a small surrender here, a slight adjustment, amendment or allowance in our behavior there, and then that compromise begins to grow. When people fall away from the faith, they usually aren’t very quiet about it; often they choose to publicly share their rational with everyone so they can gain validation from other non-believers as they plunge back into the darkness in as guilt free a way as possible.
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” – 2 Timothy 3:1-5
As followers of Christ we must be vigilant and always keep ourselves guarded from the temptation to compromise with the world. We must remember that Jesus said there will be times we will be hated for our faith in Him. (John 15:18) We must remember not to allow that very small little splinter in our heel and begin to fester and spread the disease of complacency to the rest of our body. When we begin to compromise and side with the world, we are in a scary position indeed.
As Mark Twain said: “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority. It is time to pause and reflect.”
Friends, if we take that wrong turn toward apostasy on the road of compromise, we can end up much worse than when we started.
“For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: ‘A dog returns to his own vomit,’ and, ‘a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.’ ” – 2 Peter 2:20-22
Men will always disappoint us and we can often disappoint ourselves, so we must abide in Jesus Christ alone. The end of days draws closer and closer with each passing day. We must stand strong in our faith, fight against compromise of biblical truth and be a powerful witness for our Lord Jesus Christ in our communities. Christ our King is coming soon, are you ready?
“Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”- Revelation 16:15