APOSTASY
Definition: an act of refusing to continue to follow, obey, or recognize a religious faith

Can a child of God depart from the faith and be lost?

Some who did

Judas

Matthew 26:14-16
Matthew 26:14-16

14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests
15 and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.
16 So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.

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Simon the Sorcerer

Acts 8:13, 18-23
Acts 8:13, 18-23

13 Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized...

18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money,
19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!
21 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God.
22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.
23 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”

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QUESTION, did Simon ever repent and return to the Lord? We do not know, it is not revealed in the text.

Hymenaeus and Alexander

1 Timothy 1:18-20
1 Timothy 1:18-20

18 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare,
19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck,
20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

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2 Timothy 2:17-18
2 Timothy 2:17-18

17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort,
18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.

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Demas

2 Timothy 4:10
2 Timothy 4:10

... for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, ...

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Some returned

Israel fell from God

Jeremiah 3:12,22
Jeremiah 3:12

12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say:
‘Return, backsliding Israel,’ says the Lord;
‘I will not cause My anger to fall on you.
For I am merciful,’ says the Lord;
‘I will not remain angry forever.

Jeremiah 3:22

22 “Return, you backsliding children,
And I will heal your backslidings.”
“Indeed we do come to You,
For You are the Lord our God.

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Prodical son fell

Luke 15:24
Luke 15:24

for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

Warnings about apostasy

Those who practice lawlessness

Matthew 13:41
Matthew 13:41

The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness,

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Savage wolves will not spare the flock

Acts 20:29
Acts 20:29

For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock

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Some sheep become lost

Luke 15:4
Luke 15:4

What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?

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We must take heed lest we fall

1 Corinthians 10:12
1 Corinthians 10:12

Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

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Some Galations

Galations 5:4-7
Galations 5:4-7

4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.
7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?

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Galatians 6:7-8
Galatians 6:7-8

7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

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Others have and will fall

1 Timothy 4:1-3
1 Timothy 4:1-3

1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

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Hebrews 3:12
Hebrews 3:12

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;

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2 Timothy 4:4
2 Timothy 4:4

and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

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2 Timothy 4:10
2 Timothy 4:10

for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia

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Some are entangled in the world

2 Peter 2:20-22
2 Peter 2:20-22

20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.
21 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.
22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

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Some angeles have fallen

2 Peter 2:4
2 Peter 2:4

For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;

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Jude 6
Jude 6

And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;

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Turn a sinner from his error

James 5:19-20
James 5:19-20

19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back,
20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

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How long will these people reject Me

Numbers 14:11-12
Numbers 14:11-12

11 Then the Lord said to Moses: “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them?
12 I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.”

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A righteous man commits iniquity

Ezekiel 18:24
Ezekiel 18:24

But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.

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What causes apostasy?

Tribulation or persecution

Matthew 13:20-21
Matthew 13:20-21

20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;
21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles

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Satan

Luke 22:31-32
Luke 22:31-32

31 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.
32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

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A hardened heart

Acts 7:54-57
Acts 7:54-57

54 When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth.
55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
56 and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord;

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False teachers

Acts 20:29-30
Acts 20:29-30

29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.

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2 Timothy 4:3-4
2 Timothy 4:3-4

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

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Lusting and living after the flesh

Romans 8:13
Romans 8:13

For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

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Perversion of the scriptures

2 Timothy 4:3-4
2 Timothy 4:3-4

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

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2 Peter 3:15-17
2 Peter 3:15-17

15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,
16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;

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Love of the world

2 Timothy 4:10
2 Timothy 4:10

for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia.

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1 John 2:15
1 John 2:15

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

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Unbelief and disobedience

Hebrews 3:18-19
Hebrews 3:18-19

18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey?
19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

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Sinning willfully

Hebrews 10:26-30
Hebrews 10:26-30

26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.
28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
29 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?
30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.”

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If we say that we have not sinned

1 John 1:7-10
1 John 1:7-10

7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

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How to prevent apostasy

Keeping the word of Christ

John 8:51
John 8:51

Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”

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Bearing fruit

John 15:2
John 15:2

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

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Abide in Christ

John 15:6
John 15:6

If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

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Be fervent in prayer

Acts 8:22
Acts 8:22

Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.

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1 Thessalonians 5:17
1 Thessalonians 5:17

pray without ceasing,

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Live through the spirit

Romans 8:13
Romans 8:13

For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

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Take heed to yourself

1 Corinthians 10:12
1 Corinthians 10:12

Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

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Keep your body in subjecton

1 Corinthians 9:27
1 Corinthians 9:27

But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

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Make your calling and election sure

2 Peter 1:10
2 Peter 1:10

Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;

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Let the gospel dwell in you

1 John 2:24
1 John 2:24

Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

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Remember from where you have fallen

Revelation 2:4-5
Revelation 2:4-5

4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.

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Revelation 2:16
Revelation 2:16

Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.

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Revelation 2:21
Revelation 2:21

And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.

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Be faithfull unto death

Revelation 2:10
Revelation 2:10

Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

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He who overcomes

Revelation 3:1-5
Revelation 3:1-5

1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.
2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.
3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.
4 You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.
5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

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