LAWLESSNESS CAUSES A DEPARTING FROM THE FAITH:
This is a continuation of POST #6 of how a lawless heart causes believers to depart from the faith. This will be a lot of Scriptures but we need to ground or anchor our hearts in what the Father says instead of some emotional doctrine not based fully on the Word of God.
It only takes a little leaven to leaven the whole bunch. Remember, I said that we cannot "sin away" our salvation. There is no sin that is big enough for God to say say "That is it, I am done with you". But through a continual heart of sin we can become hard-hearted and faithless. That is why our Lord did not address all the "sins" of the disciples in His 3 1/2 years with them. But He addressed faith issues continually.
It is ONLY by faith that we can please God and ONLY by faith can we be saved. This means that no prayer we repeat from someone can save us.
Hebrews 11:6 ESV And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, (9) not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Why is this teaching so important? The spirit of Lawlessness within the church is fed through the large number of lost people within the church. The teaching in Matthew 13 of the Wheat and Tares reveals that the wheat and tares (weeds, false wheat) are sown together and grown together. This reveals the close contact we have in our daily lives with lost people who claim to be saved. There are Pastors who have been really guilty of producing Tares. We become so quick to get people to pray prayers, get them baptized, and to join our churches that we try to do the work of the Holy Spirit for Him. Yes we get a statistic to report, but we also get more lawlessness within our church body.
2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 ESV Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, (2) and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith.
However, there are those who have embraced truth and were genuinely born again whose heart has hardened and they departed from faith. Remember, apostasy means to "fall away, depart from." You cannot fall away from something you never had. I cannot fall off of a ladder I never climbed on. Let's look at some of the Scriptures that warns of falling away and gives examples of falling away.
Matthew 24:12-13 ESV And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. (13) But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Hebrews 3:12 ESV Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.
Luke 8:13-14 ESV And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. (14) And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.
1 Timothy 1:19-20 ESV holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, (20) among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.