1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron…
Scripture teaches us that one of the signs of the end of time is an increase of apostasy. What is apostasy? John MacArthur defines apostasy as the sin of willfully rejecting the gospel. The apostate has an intellectual understanding of God’s plan of salvation, but chooses to not receive it. Paul tells us that during the last days there will be an increase of men’s deliberate rejection of the gospel. Instead of receiving Christ, men will choose to embrace the lies of Satan that will destroy them.
The book of Hebrews gives a stern warning to those who might be tempted to apostatize.
Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden underfoot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Notice what this passage says about those who willfully turn their back on Christ:
There is no other way for them to be saved. Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) It is either Christ or nothing.
They are under condemnation. Jesus said: “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.’ (John 3:18) To reject Jesus as our Savior is to sentence ourselves to spend eternity in hell.
They are guilty of trampling underfoot the Son of God. To trample under foot is to treat someone with distain and contempt. We can only try to imagine what horrible consequences must be waiting those who willfully scorn the sacrifice of God’s beloved Son.
They are treating the precious blood of Christ as something that is common and ordinary. Peter teaches us that it was with the payment of His own precious blood that the Lord Jesus ransomed us out of sin. How terrible it is to think that some would treat the sacrifice of our Savior as though it was nothing.
They are insulting the Spirit of grace. Jesus said that all manner of sin shall be forgiven, except for the sin of speaking against the Spirit. (Mt 12:31-32) It is the Spirit who convicts us of our sins and who brings to us salvation through Jesus Christ. To scorn the work of the Spirit is to reject God’s offer of grace.
They are destining themselves to one day experience God’s fiery wrath. There are many today who say they believe in a heaven, yet reject the concept of a hell. However, even in our own judicial system, we recognize the need of punishment for those who commit crimes. Scripture teaches us that the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23) and that this death will ultimately be a place called hell. (Rev 20:14-15)
I don’t know about you, but studying these truths causes me to shudder. I shudder to think of what will happen to those who willfully reject Jesus Christ as their Savior. I pray that God will use me during these last days to help many come to the truth. As scripture says – “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”