1st Warning Sign of Apostasy
Sheba and Joab are both traitors to the crown, FROM WITHIN THE CHURCH, one outwardly walking away, the other continuing on and being tolerated to some degree, but having left off obedience and faith. This happens in the modern day church as well and we should be aware of this so that it does not take you by surprise, and that you may watch out for the warning signs in your own life and in the lives of believers around you. The word apostasy comes from the Greek word apostasia ("ἀποστασία") meaning defection, departure, revolt or rebellion. We believe that some people in the outward church will walk away from faith and never return and that these people will prove in doing so that they were not elect of God and that they never truly believed in the first place (though they may have been self-deceived and extremely skilled at deceiving others) and were never truly born again. No true believer who is elected by God can ever lose their salvation, but the warning always applies to everyone because we always have to watch out for self-deception. Backsliding, on the other hand is when an elect believer goes astray in sin for a time, possibly even years on end, but then repents and comes back to Christ and to his church. It is important to understand and talk about these sobering things.
We find 4 Warning Signs of apostasy in our passage this week...let's look at the first one:
Bitterness And Resentment Against Other Christians (Israelites vs Judah).
These quibbles and squabbles are unnecessary and are harmful to the kingdom of God. We should be very very slow to even speak against another christian.
However, when we have our eyes fixed on God himself (and his purposes and plans) the annoying shortcomings of other christians won’t bother us so much! And watch out where this resentment will lead you! Apostasy?
In Prayer Today:
Pray against the sins of bitterness and resentment against other Christians.