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The Cycle of Apostasy. Part One. Man’s View Of God’s Commands. Man’s View. Man may innovate, change, substitute, or modify God’s commands, but it doesn’t change what God says. How God Explained It. A Practical Example. All you have to do is believe to be saved.

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man s view of god s commands
Man’s View Of God’s Commands



Man may innovate, change, substitute, or modify God’s

commands, but it doesn’t change what God says.

How God

Explained It.

a practical example
A Practical Example
  • All you have to do is believe
  • to be saved.
  • It doesn’t matter what you
  • believe.
  • Baptism is not essential to
  • salvation.
  • Baptism is a sacrament of the
  • church.
  • We don’t have to do anything
  • to be saved, because we are
  • saved by grace.

God Says

“He who believes and is

baptized will be saved;

but he who does not

believe will be

condemned.” (Mk. 16:16)



We must do what God says to be saved, no matter

what man may say or think.

sermon objectives
Sermon Objectives
  • Objectives:
    • Define apostasy
    • Review the history of apostasy
    • Introduce the cycle of apostasy along with examples
    • Identify root causes of apostasy
    • Explore preventative measures
  • Bottom Line: We need to understand the dangers of apostasy and how to prevent becoming a part of the cycle of apostasy.
what is apostasy
What Is Apostasy?
  • Definitions:
    • Apostasy/Apostatize - Desertion of one’s faith, religion, party, or principles. To forsake one’s faith or principles; become an apostate. (Funk & Wagnalls)
    • APOSTASIA (Greek) – a defection, revolt, apostasy; it is translated “to forsake” and “the falling away.” (W.E. Vines) - Used of political rebels but applied to religious apostasy.
  • Biblical Usage:
    • “but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor walk according to their customs.” (Ac. 21:21)
    • “…for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first…” (II Th. 2:3)
a history of apostasy
A History of Apostasy




Cross of


Red Sea –

Mt. Sinai






(388 Yrs)

Abraham –


(857 Yrs)



(40 Yrs)



Cain Kills



Israel in


(400 Yrs)





(120 Yrs)

Fall of Man



Church – Kingdom

Established (Ac.2;Col.1:13)

33 AD


(355 Yrs)

The Flood

2511 Yrs

1481 Yrs

2004 Yrs - Present

History provides evidence that man tends to forsake God.

the cycle of apostasy1
The Cycle Of Apostasy


We are restored to

God by returning to

a life of obedience

to His commands.

After obeying God,

we go back to a

life of sin and




We suffer the

consequences of

sin and


We decide to return

to God and stop

disobeying Him.


relapse and retribution example
Relapse and Retribution - Example
  • Relapse - “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them.’ They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshipped it and sacrificed to it and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’” (Ex. 32:7-8)
  • Retribution - “Then he took the calf which they had made, burned it in the fire, and ground it to powder; and he scattered it on the water and made the children of Israel to drink it…let every man kill his brother, every man his companion, and every man his neighbor…And about three thousand men of the people fell that day….I will visit punishment upon them for their sin…the Lord plagued the people because of what they did with the calf which Aaron made.” (Ex. 32:20, 27-28, 34-35)
repentance and rescue example
Repentance And Rescue - Example
  • Repentance – “Then Moses said, ‘Consecrate yourselves today to the Lord, that he may bestow on you a blessing this day’…on the next day Moses said to the people, ‘You have sinned a great sin. So now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.’” (Ex. 32:39-30)
  • Rescue – “Yet now if You will forgive their sin – but if not, I pray , blot me out of Your book which You have written. And the Lord said to Moses, ‘whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.” (Ex. 32:32-33)

The full cycle of apostasy includes relapse, retribution, repentance,

and rescue, yet many never complete the cycle.

remaining in an apostate status
Remaining In An Apostate Status
  • Judas, The Betrayer - “…was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver…saying ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood’…then he went and hanged himself.” (Mt. 27:3-5)
  • Hymenaeus and Alexander - “…which some having rejected, concerning the faith, have suffered shipwreck, of whom Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may not learn to blaspheme.” (I Tm. 1:19-20)
  • Disciples - “…many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, ‘This is a hard saying; who can understand it?’ When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples murmured about this, He said to them, ‘Does this offend you?’…For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him…From that time many of His disciples went back [away] and walked with Him no more.” (Jh. 6:60-66)

Many people will never cycle from stages of relapse and

retribution to repentance and rescue.

causes of apostasy
Causes Of Apostasy
  • Unbelief – “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.” (Hb. 3:12)
  • Trials and Temptation – “But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.” (Lk. 8:13)
  • Worldliness – “for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world…” (II Tm. 4:10)
  • Money and Possessions – “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith.” (I Tm. 6:10)
  • Neglect of Spiritual Welfare – “Therefore give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away…how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation…” (Hb. 2:1-4)

The root cause of apostasy is a lack of respect for divine authority.

Apostasy comes when God’s will is not followed – “My people are

destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hos. 4:6)

consequences of apostasy
Consequences Of Apostasy
  • “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some…For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries…Of how much worse punishment , do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?…It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hb. 10:25-31)
  • “For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are 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.” (I Pt. 2:20-21)

Apostates will receive a most severe punishment from God!

preventing the cycle of apostasy
Preventing The Cycle of Apostasy
  • Rely on God’s word – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Tm. 2:15)
  • Reject man-made innovations and demand to be patterned after the New Testament Church – “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Pr. 16:25)
  • Realize that we will always be a minority in the religious world – “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Mt. 20:16)
  • Defend the truth against false doctrines regardless of how it affects our popularity – “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.” (Ro. 16:16-17)

The key to prevention is to properly respect divine authority

and ensure we have a book, chapter and verse for what we do.

heed the watchman s warning
Heed The Watchman’s Warning!
  • “…I have made you a watchman…therefore hear a word from my mouth, and give them warning from Me…Yet , if you do not warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. Yet, if you do not warn the wicked, and he turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took the warning; also you will have delivered your soul.” (Ez. 3:20-21)
  • Jesus says “…unless you repent you will likewise perish.” (Lk. 13:3)

WARNING: Repent and live or perish in sin. It’s now your choice.

where do we find ourselves
Where Do We Find Ourselves?


“Now when Simon saw

that through the laying

on of the apostles’

hands the Holy

Spirit was given,

he offered them

money.” (Ac. 8:18)

“Simon himself also

believed; and when

he was baptized he


(Ac. 8:13)

“Pray to the Lord

for me” (Ac. 8:24)



“for your heart is not

right with God…you

are poisoned by

bitterness and bound

by iniquity.” (Ac. 8:21, 23)

“Repent therefore of

this your wickedness, and

pray God if perhaps the

thought of your heart may

be forgiven you.” (Ac. 8:22, 24)