Trials are never pleasant within themselves and sometimes difficult to process. Each trial carries its on degree of mental, emotional, financial, physical and relational pain, whether it's a personal sickness, the death of a loved one or some other personal trial. In facing trials we should do so like anything else, and that is we should begin with the end in mind. What should we expect to be changed in us on the other side of the trial?
The end result of trials should be that they produce faith, purity, Christ-likeness, and steadfastness within us. The path of trails is never easy to follow. This is the path that our Lord Jesus Christ calls all of His DISCIPLES to follow. This is the path of true OVERCOMERS. First I want to say that there are no shortcuts. We all have faced the same things, are facing the same things, or will face the same things. There is nothing new under the sun. However, some will fall away from the faith because of the trials, tribulations, and persecutions.
1 Corinthians 10:12-13 ESV (12) Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. (13) No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 ESV (9) What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. (10) Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new"? It has been already in the ages before us.
We live in a society that tells us to get rid of pain and discomfort as soon as possible. We have a pill for almost anything that can attack the body, the mind, or the emotions. It is only “natural” to want to escape discomfort. But in life there is no real way of escape discomfort. Many have fooled themselves by wrapping their pain and discomfort up in a package of drugs, alcohol, sex, work, entertainment, family, or anything else that can used to “MEDICATE” the body, emotions, and thoughts.
Trials will come to the saved and to the lost person. Trials come to those who are Children of the Most High God and trials come to those who are children of the enemy. Our Lord Jesus said that God causes the rain to fall on the righteous and the unrighteous.
With that I can only leave us with this thought. ANYONE CAN COMPLAIN, IT DOES NOT TAKE TALENT TO COMPLAIN: we are called to REJOICE in and through our trials. We need to trust God that we stand through the trials so that we grow in faith, instead of seeking temporary relief as we seek to escape the trials. My new book "FAITHFUL?" addresses how to stand fast in the coming trials. Jesus was about to leave the disciples to go to a cruel cross to die. He spent a lot of time, which is recorded in John 16, preparing the disciples for His departure. The two areas that He keyed in on with the disciples were; (1) That they would not fall away from the faith and (2) That they would not be overcome with a sorrowful heart. Click link to order your copy and learn how to walk as an overcomer. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1650184034/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0
James 1:2-3 ESV Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, (3) for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV (16) Rejoice always, (17) pray without ceasing, (18) give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Romans 5:3 ESV Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
We in the first two studies that apostasy was a falling away or defection. The Biblical Greek explains it this way a-pos'-ta-si, a-pos'-tat (apostasia, "a standing away from")
It is a falling away, a withdrawal, a defection. Used twice in the New Testament, in the Greek original, to express abandonment of the faith.
I just finished reading R C Sproul's definition of apostasy and according to him only lost people can apostatize. His argument was emotional at best using ten dollar words that said nothing. When we are emotionally and mentally bound to a certain doctrine, we need to find intellectual and emotional answers for Scriptures that doesn't fit our doctrine. I call those Scriptures our "Embarrassing Scriptures." These are the Scriptures that blow holes in our man-made intellectual belief system, yet we either ignore them or use some lofty explanation to dummy them down to fit our doctrine.
So, to those who believe that a lost person commits apostasy here is my question. Exactly what is a lost person falling from, revolting against, defecting from? A man is never as bad as he can be, for no matter what immoral word, deed or thought he commits, he can outdo himself and be worst. However, even though a man is never as "BAD" as he can be, when he is spiritually lost, he is as "BAD OFF" as he can be. There are no degrees of lostness. A man can't fall deeper into being lost. A lost man can't defect to another level of being lost.
Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke about a great apostasy from Christianity in the last days in the Book of Matthew. Remember that He is warning His followers. If this message was for lost people why didn't our Lord find a group of heathen or religious lost leaders and deliver it to them?
Matthew 24:9-13 ESV “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. (10) And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. (11) And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. (12) 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.
Let's look at what our Lord said without our preconceived denominational biases. In verse 9 who is being delivered up for tribulation to be put to death? The believers. In verse 10 it will be the believers who will fall away. In verse 11 the lost false prophets will lead believers astray. It certainly can't be lost religious people leading lost people astray, they are already deceived. In verse 12 the love of many will grow cold. Only believers know the love of God. What love do lost people have? Phileo, Eros, and Epithumia, all of which are emotional and conditional. In verse 13 again we see that our Lord is speaking about saved people. What are they enduring? The tribulation of verse 9. The watching of many falling away and betraying one another of verse 10. The temptation to follow false prophets and becoming deceived of verse 11. The watching coldness of fellow believers of verse 12.
The Apostle Paul piggybacked on Matthew 24, in his warning to the church about the coming tribulation.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 ESV Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, (2) not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. (3) Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.