APOSTATE OR APATHETIC CHRISTIAN
November 16, 1997
INTRODUCTION: What is an apostate? Two thoughts:
Some believe an apostate is a person who has been saved and
then apostatized from the faith, and in so doing, lost his
salvation. According to this interpretation, these verses mean
that it is possible for a person who has been saved to depart
from the faith and to forfeit salvation. If you take this view,
you also have to take the view that such an individual cannot be
saved again. Verse 4 reads, “it is impossible.” The word
apostasy is not used in the text, which means to “fall away.”
The word used in v.6 for “fall away” means to “fall alongside.”
Another definition - and the one I prefer - of an apostate is one
who professes salvation but has never truly been born again.
This is profession without possession. He has head knowledge,
but never truly born again.
I John 2:19, “They went out from us, but they were not of
us; for if they had been with us, they would no doubt have
continued with us; but they went out, that they might be
made manifest that they were not all of us.”
While I do not wish to give a false assurance to any professed
Christian who is not truly born again, neither do I want to cause
some true believer to stumble and miss God’s best.
Since this is such a difficult passage, and realizing that many,
or most, great scholars and Bible teachers disagree on each
other’s interpretation, I wish to teach a major principle. “Never
allow an obscure passage of Scripture to override clear
Or, always interpret the obscure by the obvious. There is
virtually no difference of opinion about some verses in the
Bible. They are completely clear in their teaching. We must
not let difficult verses cause us to lose the blessing of verses we
do understand. Mark Twain said, “It is not the verses in the
Bible I don’t understand that bothers me; it’s the ...
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