The Present Apostasy
by Don Costello 4/11/2013 / Bible Studies
The Present Apostasy
The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, that before the second coming of Christ Jesus two things would occur, a "falling away" and the unveiling of "the man of sin", the anti-Christ. "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;" The first thing would be a falling away. The Greek word for "falling away" is "apostasia". W.E. Vine's Expository Dictionary defines it this way: a defection, revolt, apostasy. In Acts 21:21 it is translated "to forsake". The Greek word for "falling away" is where our English word "apostasy" comes from. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary it means "renunciation of a religious faith" or "abandonment of a previous loyalty". The second event that would occur is the revealing or unveiling of the "man of sin" the "son of perdition" who is more commonly known as the anti-Christ, who would be embraced and believed by multitudes, by hundreds and hundreds of millions of people. What some do not grasp is that some of those believing and embracing of the anti-Christ by millions would not happen unless they first fell away and abandoned their previous loyalty to Jesus Christ.
Christians who have embraced some of the issues surrounding homosexuality such as accepting unrepentant homosexuals into the church and endorsing same sex marriage have slipped into apostasy. There is just too much revealed truth in the Scriptures that is being denied to come to any other conclusion. We are not talking about a few isolated verses that are ambiguous in their meaning as some would argue. We are talking about a large segment of revealed truth in the Old Testament and in the New Testament filled with clear instruction as to the will of God concerning homosexuality. It is the amount of revealed truth that is being rejected that makes this so much more dangerous.
In the book of Leviticus Moses records how God warned the Jewish people of not adopting the sexual practices of the Egyptians where they had just come from, and also not adopting the sexual practices of the Canaanites whose land they were about to enter. Within the verses of Leviticus 18:6-23 is a list of practices mostly sexual that include incest, adultery, child sacrifice, homosexuality and bestiality. Most believers miss some of what is being said in this chapter. Read very closely the first 5 verses of the 18th chapter.
Leviticus 18:1-5 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the Lord your God.
After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.
Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the Lord your God.
Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the Lord.
The Hebrew words for "ordinances" in verse 3, "ordinances " in verse 4, and "statutes" in verse 5 are all the same word. The Hebrew word is "chuqquh" the Strong's number is 2708, and it means, "statute, ordinance, limit, enactment, something prescribed", Gesenius defines it this way, "that which is established or defined, a law, an ordinance, a custom, a practice, a right or privilege." Now we must remember that these ordinances or laws concerned the sexual practices of incest, adultery, homosexuality and bestiality. If the ordinances or laws of God said don't do them, what did the laws or ordinances of Canaan say about them? I don't believe they consisted of commands forcing the citizens of Canaanite nations to participate in these sexual behaviors. I am fully persuaded it was more on the lines of if you want to do these things it is ok with us. Similar to what is happening in the United States recently with the Supreme Court striking down all State laws prohibiting homosexual conduct and creating a Constitutional right to practice homosexuality, and currently with the cases attempting to strike down State laws forbidding homosexual marriage. In other words, the laws of Canaan were of the sort that, if you want to have sex with your mom or dad, sister or brother, aunt or uncle, the man or woman next door, your horse or cow, its ok, our laws protect you so that you can practice all these sexual behaviors. They codified their immorality into their legal systems, they legislated their immorality. The last four verses in the chapter are a solemn warning to God's Covenant people about not engaging in these behaviors. In Leviticus 18:27 it is said very clearly that when these behaviors are practiced it "defiles" the land. When evangelical Christians engage in enacting laws giving individuals or groups the "right" to practice homosexuality or any these behaviors in one manner or another, they are more Canaanite in their citizenship than of the Kingdom of God.
The 7 nations that codified their immorality that comprised the land of Canaan are listed in Deuteronomy 7:1, as the Hivites, the Girgashites, the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hittites and the Canaanites. Scripture clearly says these nations weren't always that bad, sure we see from the pages of Scripture that they had issues, but not enough that they were vomited out of the land. In the Covenant of the parts in Genesis 15, the Lord spoke to Abram and gave him some things that would happen to his seed, the Jewish people.
Genesis 15:13-16 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.
But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.
In these verses the Lord is telling Abram the Jewish people would be afflicted in a land that wasn't theirs, in other words, not there in Canaan because God had already told Abram He was giving this land to Abram's seed. He said that four generations from Abram's present time they are going to come back here into this land that is theirs. Then he said, "for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full." As I previously showed, there were 7 different nationalities living in the land of Canaan, but the Amorites were the dominant one. What God was saying to Abram is that right now in these nations there is iniquity, but 4 generations from now it will be so bad, their behaviors are going to be so ungodly, the land is going to vomit out the inhabitants. What God did not tell Abram is he was going to use Israel to accomplish it.
The point in all this is these nations became much more morally corrupt over a 400 year period, and when during that time they codified their immorality into their legal systems is unknown, but it surely accelerated the moral corruption. A case in point and the only modern example I am aware of is right here in America. In 2004 Massachusetts became the first state in the United States to legalize homosexual marriage. As a result the Public Schools from the Elementary level through High School changed their curriculum to incorporate the normalization of homosexuality into all students education. As late as last year the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued a 13 page directive to meet with the recent changes in state law concerning transgenders, those are boys who were born biologically male but think they are female, and girls who were born biologically female but think they are male. (http://www.doe.mass.edu/ssce/GenderIdentity.pdf). The whole document is a directive on how to handle transgender issues. In the section regarding Restrooms, Locker Rooms and Changing Facilities we find this part of the directive:
"Each situation needs to be reviewed and addressed based on the particular circumstances of the student and the school facilities. In all cases, the principal should be clear with the student (and parent) that the student may access the restroom, locker room, and changing facility that corresponds to the student's gender identity."
This is a directive to Elementary Schools, kindergarten through 5th grade, and it means that children in Massachusetts schools may have to use the restroom with children of the opposite sex because those children think they are the opposite sex. As the level of grade goes higher they may even have to shower with them! This is the immoral insanity awaiting all of America if it adopts homosexual marriage, it will only accelerate the moral descent of our nation.
The body of revealed truth in the Scripture concerning homosexuality is enough to declare emphatically that any Christian who is cheering and assisting this progression is apostate in their views and they are contributing to the defilement of this nation before God. They are not helping the homosexual community, they are in reality hurting them, just as the prophet Jeremiah condemned the religious leaders of Jerusalem, comparing them to the religious leaders of Sodom.
Jeremiah 23:14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.
My name is Don Costello. Ever since I received Christ in November of 1976 I have had a passion to study and know God's word.My wife Melissa and I have 5 children.