Apostasy In The World and The True Role Of The Church

“Apostasy is the act of believers and churches who are moving away from the truths of God’s Word.”  — Anonymous

2 Timothy 2:15

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the Word of Truth.”

2 Timothy 4:3, 4

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths [NASB].”

Together, let’s review a few distinct functions of the local church: 

Love is the primary function of the Church and the believer. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). “For all the law is fulfilled in one word (love), even in this: love your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:14). “But love your enemies, do well, and lend, hoping (expecting) for nothing in return” (Luke 6:35). “That we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment” (1 John 3:23). Love means giving yourself to others as Christ gave Himself which is our next principle.

GIVING allows the believer to express the incredible love of God. We express our love for God, toward God (Psalms 107:15; 136:3). We express our love for God toward our family. We express our love for God toward the local church. We express our love for God towards fellow believers. We express our love for God towards the unsaved. There are two ways to give: A). as the Corporate Church; B). as the individual believer. Giving is much more than monetary, it also incorporates the concept of “giving of self” to the Church and the community (see below for specifics), especially the less fortunate (Luke 8:1; Romans 10:15; 12:13; 1 Corinthians 10:31; 2 Corinthians 9:13).

WITNESSING Christ to a lost and dying world includes both personal evangelism and personal lifestyle under God’s plan for each individual believer. As believers we should express the love of Christ to the world through our lives (living examples of Christ) by the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit. Witnessing honors our Savior. We are to witness to a lost world (Mark 16:15; Luke 4:18; Romans 10:15; 2 Corinthians 5:20).

TEACHING the Word of God – maturing the body of Christ by edification and exhortation. Christ taught daily in the temple (Luke 19:47.) God’s Word commands us to teach and study (Deuteronomy 4:9; 11:19; Isaiah 2:3; Romans 10:15-17; 2 Timothy 2:15; 4:2). We are to preach deliverance to the unfortunate; the unsaved; the community (Isaiah 61:1; Mark 16:15; Luke 4:18. See also Isaiah 28:13).

FELLOWSHIPWORSHIP AND PRAYER — Psalm 2:11; John 4:24; Philippians 1:4; 3:3. 4:6; Hebrews 10:23-25; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.

COMMUNION & BAPTISM – 1 Corinthians 11:23-30; Romans 6:3,4; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:5; Colossians 2:12.


Mark 15:15; 2 Corinthians 5:19.

We all need to reach out to the needy and the lost (Matthew 22:37-40; Romans 15:25-26; Galatians 2:10; James 2:15-16). 


Believers are ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20) left on earth after salvation to do God’s work – to be witnesses for Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15). We are here in place of our Savior. We are to carry on “His lifestyle” (His example) until He comes again. “In remembrance of Him” is a memorial to His Name, His love, His mercy and His life.

Ambassadorship is both corporate and personal. So, what are you doing personally? When was the last time you visited a nursing home or a hospital or a shelter for recovering addicts? When was the last time you paid a visit to the poor people down the street? When was the last time you personally prayed for the ministries at your church? Praying and/or giving money to our church does not release us from personally ministering to people in our community if we are physically able.

During the “Age of the Church” and for the first time in history the believer’s instructions do not come from visions or dreams, but from a completed canon of Scripture. The Holy Spirit directs our love of giving and sharing.” Virtually everything God has to say to us is in writing in His wonderful Word. Because the believer is left on earth to be an ambassador for our Savior we are to metabolize God’s Word. Every believer is already in “full-time service” for the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:17-20).

People today run from church to church, from one ecstatic experience to another. Hype, emotionalism, spiritual sensationalism (ecstatics), and the “prosperity gospel” have become magnets that draw unbelievers and ignorant believers alike to churches across America. This “hyping of the Word” has replaced and still does replace the teaching of God’s Word in so many churches. The “prosperity gospel” has replaced the suffering of Christ with the gospel of “self and wealth.” Churches are becoming large for the wrong reasons. Motivations and priorities are out of sequence.

The church should be, first and foremost, an academic classroom, therefore the primary function of the pastor is to study and teach. This is not the case in the majority of churches today.

The church should be an open-door social gathering place where families and individuals, believers and unbelievers, come together — a place for fellowship, worship, and praising the Lord in music and song — a place for picnics, parties, sports, and even a family fun center — a gathering place for the hungry, the needy, and the un-churched.

The un-churched people in every neighborhood should be made to feel welcome without coercion. The un-churched should be able to depend upon believers for help, guidance, direction, and love — also without coercion. The principles of love and concern, right and wrong, should shine forth from our local churches. Only when God’s principles shine through each believer will our communities see the light of the glorious gospel. Believers must, by humble example, show forth Godly behavior, but not as a “goody-two-shoes.”

Believers should witness by example, by reaching out rather than turning their nose to the air because of bigotry and arrogance. Witnessing is not just trying to save people, but doing what Christ did. Jesus was a friend of unbelievers, and of the vilest of sinners. Are you? How do unbelievers see you? How do you see them?

Every day, Christ went about the Father’s business — teaching the Word. Our Savior, Christ Jesus—The Messiah, ministered to the needy and unsaved. People flocked to Christ because He had the words of wisdom, and the proper, humble heart of a servant.

Our ambassadorship is to reconcile a lost and dying world to Christ. Are you reconciling? Christ reconciled us to God by the Cross. We are to reconcile the world until he comes. Jesus died so we could live with the Father forever. We are to share the Gospel of Salvation which is available through Christ only! God’s Word is our resource of Divine Knowledge. This was Christ’s power source – God’s Word, God’s will and the indwelling control of the Holy Spirit. This same power source is available to every believer. The Church just keeps getting off track because of the influence of the world, the flesh and the devil. Apostasy is the result of programs designed by man operating in the flesh. Mortgages to build larger and larger churches cause the churches to become big business. Show me in Scripture where big business is the calling of the Church. 

When churches operate like the world they are worldly!  When churches do not stand firm on teaching God’s Word by systematic expository instruction they become apostate and God will spew them out of His mouth (Revelation 3:16). Is your church teaching God’s Word with a systematic approach based on the historical setting of the original language? Where do you stand? Do you truly thirst for Divine revelation in God’s Word, or are you in denial, hiding behind showmanship and hypocrisy? This study has only briefly touched on the subject of apostasy. We pray God’s blessing upon churches who follow the mandates of teaching and application in their communities.

Happy Studying!  

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