It’s common knowledge that a massive turning away from God will occur in the last days (2 Timothy 3:1-6).. I have been wondering if the Bible has anything to say about whether or not there will be betrayal of Christians preceding the second coming?
Yes, the turning away of the entire world from God will be devastating!
Unfortunately, most Christians don’t recognize that there will be a large-scale betrayal of Jesus by many Christians in the last days as well. Of course, many Christians will stay true to Jesus as evidenced by the martyrs described in Revelation chapter five.
“Christian Apostates” are even now in our churches. They will become more manifest as we get closer to the end.
Standing at the door step of the book of Revelation is the book of Jude. Jude is often called, The Acts of the Apostates. As such, we might say that Jude is the key that sets the stage for the entire Book of Revelation. “Apostate” is the Greek term for “falling away,” which describes those who start with Christ and then turn away for any number of reasons.
FIRST, CHRISTIANS WHO FALL AWAY FROM CHRIST DON’T LIKE THE GOD OF THE BIBLE SO THEY MAKE UP A GOD THEY CAN LIKE.”
The tendency is for every culture to make gods in their own image. It has happened in America.
American religion was founded upon the Puritan ideas of judgment, damnation and hell for sinners. Certainly, this concept has faded away in the Christian church in America.
But let’s get more recent.
Before World War Two and on in to the decade of the 40s, Jesus was the unquestioned divinity who was worshipped by the faithful.
In the 1950s Jesus was seen as family oriented. He was the man in the gray flannelled suit who strived to make every person successful with a mix of psychology and religion.
In the 1960s Jesus’ image was transformed into a long-haired, bearded young man—a radical who loved peace and not war.
In the 1970s, the so-called, “me decade,” people turned inward to discover themselves and the image of Jesus is a faded picture.
In the 80s Jesus was a conservative republican.
In the 90s He was the sympathetic listener to everyone’s hurts and problems.
From the year 2000 through the year 2018 Jesus has disappeared in a secular setting and become irrelevant to many.
Allow me to make three observations about falling away from God today which is a small picture of what will happen in the end times.
FIRST, ONCE WE CEASE TO BELIEVE IN THE GOD OF THE BIBLE, WE WILL FEEL FREE TO DESIGN A GOD OF OUR OWN CHOOSING.
Let me show you SOME APOSTATE THINKING which is creeping into American Christianity.
Seventy-six percent of all Americans believe in Heaven, only fifteen percent believe in Jesus’ teaching about Hell (G. Barna). But Jesus said in Luke 16:23, “in hell, where the rich man was in torment.. . .”
If a person is generally good or does enough good things for others during their lifetimes, they will earn a place in heaven. However, the Bible declares that no one is righteous in God’s eyes; salvation is by grace alone (Rom. 3:10, Acts 4:12).
All people pray to the same god or spirit, no matter what name they use for that spiritual being. However, the Bible teaches that here is no other name under heaven whereby men may be saved (Acts 4:12).
All people will experience the same outcome after death, regardless of their religious beliefs.
However, the Biblical teaching is that only those who believe in Christ will be saved (Romans 3:21-26).
Apostates make up their own custom-designed religions they perfect “cafeteria” or buffet spirituality.
As they go down the “line” they pick and choose a little bit of what they want to believe from a number of sources. Everyone picks out the sweets. No one wants the vegetables.
SECOND, ONCE WE THINK THAT WE ARE FREE FROM GOD’S SCRUTINY, WE WILL FEEL FREE TO IGNORE HIS STANDARDS.”
Several decades ago the US Supreme Court ordered the 10 Commandments out of the public schools. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court did not institute anything to replace them. Many cultures throughout history and even today have clear-cut ethics and values that they teach their children. Unfortunately we Americans have no set of agreed upon morals. We are reaping the whirlwind!
In my opinion, we may need a new U.S. Constitution. The draftees of the Constitution had an underlying assumption that people would live and behave properly as long as they were accountable to a “higher being”.
Our constitution is not designed to work well in a secular society where people are loosed to live with no ultimate accountability.
THIRD, WE CANNOT LOWER GOD’S STANDARDS IN THE HOPE THAT IF THE TERMS ARE EASIER, MORE PEOPLE WILL COME TO CHRIST.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Lutheran pastor during World War II, who was martyred three days before the end of the war wrote, and I’ll paraphrase: “There is cheap grace and there is costly grace. Cheap grace is the kind of grace that costs the person nothing. It leads to hell. Costly grace, on the other hand, will cost a man/woman everything they have.
Bonhoeffer wrote, “When Jesus calls a man or a woman, he bids them to come and die.”
In the 1950s, the Canadian pastor, A.W. Tozer thanked America for its special gift to American Christianity.
Again, I’ll paraphrase: “You’ve made “instant” a common word in American vernacular. You have given to us instant coffee, instant TV, instant radio, and instant dinners. You have now bequeathed to us instant Christianity whereby an individual can walk down an aisle, raise their hand, or repeat a short prayer and be left with the impression that he/she are saved and ready to meet God in heaven.
The fact is, we’ve not shared the whole gospel until people know enough to reject it.
WHAT ARE THE MANIFESTATIONS OF CHRISTIAN KILLERS IN TODAY’S CHURCHES WHICH WILL PROLIFERATE DURING THE LAST DAYS? JUDE SPELLS THESE OUT CAREFULLY IN HIS BIBLE BOOK.
Christian Killers Are Grumblers.
Christian Killers complain about the way God is caring for them. They imagine themselves to have a better plan than God. God hates this apostasy!
The antidote to grumbling is to Recognize and Submit to God’s plan at work.
Christian Killers are Fault-Finders.
Whereas grumbling is directed against God, faultfinding is directed against His followers.
Faultfinders usually start with one but they soon recruit others.
The antidote to faultfinding is to encourage at least one person every day.
Christian Killers change allegiance.
Becoming a Christian means that a person changes allegiance, and decides to “follow the Lamb wherever he goes.” These men are going back on their initial commitment to Christ. They want to live their way instead of God’s way.
So, they put away the God of the Bible and find another master to follow—themselves.
The antidote to changing allegiance is total surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Christian Killers Proudly Set Themselves Up As Superior To Others.
They portray themselves as being smarter, wiser and often privy to mysteries and knowledge that others don’t have.
The antidote to personal boasting is to pray to see ourselves from God’s perspective.
Christian Killers Flatter Others For Their Own Advantage.
The most dangerous flatterer is the person who misleads about spiritual status, and tells lies about God because he wants to convert a new follower to his cause.
Study God’s descriptions of the priests in Ezekiel 34:1-31 and in Malachi 2:1-9) to see how devious Christian Killers can be.
In Summary, Christian Killers Choke The Spiritual Breath Out Of People.
THE BIG QUESTION IS, “ARE CHRISTIAN KILLERS REALLY CHRISTIANS?”
One option is that Christian killers are actually Christians who have salvation, turn their backs on Jesus, then fall away and lose it. This perspective would reject the idea that, “Once we’re saved we’re always saved.”
Hebrews 6:1-4 is a confusing passage but often times used as evidence that it’s possible to fall away.
It’s hard to be dogmatic about this passage, one way or the other; it states that once we fall away we cannot come back to Jesus. Who wants to say that? In addition, this passage reads as a fourth-class-conditional sentence in Greek. For example, I might say, “if I could be on the moon tonight, I would have a beautiful view of Earth.” That is true but, I can’t be on the moon tonight.
In other words, “if I could fall away from Jesus, then I could lose my salvation. But the truth is, I cannot lose my salvation.
Perhaps the simplest understanding, regarding the nature of Christian killers, is found in Matthew chapter 13 in the parable of the soils.
Let me simply analyze this parable of Jesus.
The Sower sows the gospel; it lands on hard sidewalk and the birds eat it up. These people never ate the gospel seed. They are certainly not Christians.
Then the Sower cast seed on rocky ground, it took shallow root, but the hot sun burned it out.
Then the Sower cast seed on weedy ground, unfortunately, the seat sprouted, but the cares of the world choked it out.
Finally, the Sower cast seed on good ground. The seed took root, grew and produced much fruit.
Sidewalk soil was eaten up by the birds and never even sprouted. These obviously are not Christians.
The rocky and weedy soils both sprouted but died out and produced no fruit. The obvious question here is, “Do these soils represent people who started strong for Jesus and then fizzled out and fell away? Were they Christians or not?
There is no doubt about the good soil. It grew and produced much fruit. These folks are obviously Christians. How do we know? Jesus said, “He/she that endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 10:22).
Personally, I believe that Christian Killers were never Christians in the first place.
I hope that I’ve helped to answer your question with information that may prove helpful.