2 Thes 2:3 “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;
Mat 24:24 “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”
Every journey has a point where it doesn’t make sense to turn back. There’s a point of no return. ‘I can’t turn back now.’
Mat 24:37-39 “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”
Not knowing is the same as being deceived.
Mat 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”
Don’t worry. The witness will hit every area of this world, then the end shall come. There’s a prophecy in Scripture of a ‘falling away.’
‘Falling Away’ is intentionally receiving the Word and then turning away. It is because of deception. It’s because of the spirit of Anti-Christ.
1 Tim 4:1-2 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;”
If you stay broken and sensitive in the presence of God, you will be less likely to be deceived.
You hear the Word and It convicts you, but if you reject it over and over, you won’t be convicted anymore, like a hot iron searing your conscience. You’ll be more likely to be swayed by lies. Don’t just hear the Word, do it.
Hebrews 3:12 “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”
God doesn’t use fear to teach lessons. He did not give a spirit of fear, but gives us power, love, and a sound mind. The fear God gives is an alarm, ‘to arms.’ There is a spirit at work that is trying to deceive you.
Heb 3:13-14 “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;”
Encourage one another every day. Hold onto your confidence stedfast until the end.
Luke 8:13 “They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.”
Repentance is a good u-turn.
Apostasy is tragic and willful. It is deciding to turn back. It’s like a pig who goes back to his slop or like a dog that goes back to its vomit. It’s disgusting when a Christian goes back to his old life. There are no u-turns in Jesus.
Because of no depth, people fall away. ‘My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.’
1 John 2:18 “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”
Rom 1:16-19 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.”
The Bible was not originally written in chapters. In some places, it’s broken up in a bit of strange way, too early or too late.
Hebrews 10:38-11:1 “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
We will not draw back!
Sometimes, you’re in a rough place in your life and all you want to do is complain. Job said he looked left and right, forward and back, but he couldn’t find Him. But, he knew that God knew where he was.
Exodus 14:14-15 “The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. 15 And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:”
The people were complaining to Moses because they thought they were going to die.
Somewhere between verse 14 and verse Moses he had a prayer meeting. God said, ‘Shhh. You know what to do. Go forward.’
When you don’t know what to do, just go forward.
Exodus 14:16 “But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.”
Prov 4:25 “Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.”
You’ve got to cry out to God.
Luke 16:16 “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.”
Press in. Cry out. God will take you and heal you, but it doesn’t happen by accident. You’ve got to cry out to the Lord. You’ve got to press into it. ‘The violent take it by force.’
1 Tim 4:7 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:”
If you are in Christ, go forward. Keep the faith. The anti-christ says to turn back, you’re just stupid to believe.
The church is the body of Christ working in the earth. The Bible says the body is Christ, but the head is Jesus.
King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream and demanded an interpretation. Daniel was able to tell it. The king of Babylon was the golden head of that statue in the dream. The head was really satan. That dream shows that there’s a body of the anti-christ that is already in the earth and Lucifer is the head. It’s already at work.
It’s in schools, movies, books, workplace, music, sports. There is a spirit at work to pull you from God.
It is possible that even some of the elect should fall. You’ve got one sure thing that you’ll never fall and never fail. That one thing is put one foot in front of the other towards Jesus Christ. When it’s time to pray, pray. When it’s time for church, go. Encourage one another. When it’s time to read the Bible, read it. Press forward.
More Questions for Personal or Group Study:
- What are some things in your life that you’ve completed? Was there ever a point where you knew there was no turning back?
- How can you tell the difference between ‘backsliding’ and ‘apostasy’?
- Read Hebrews 12:1-3. What are some of the ‘weights’ you have a tendency to carry around? Why? How can you be more diligent in recognizing and then setting aside the weights and sin in your life in order to ‘run with patience’?
- Is there anyone in your life that needs encouragement? What will you do to encourage them?
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.