What does it mean to depart from the faith? To ‘depart’ in the Greek is aphistēmi which means to revolt against, remove from, desert, depart or draw away from.
You can’t depart or leave something unless you once were in something. Now its debatable whether the one who departs was once really saved or not but they had some understanding. They were enlightened. Scriptures tell us that if one has been enlightened and tasted of heavenly things and falls away it is impossible for them to repent.
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. Hebrews 6:4,6
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. 1 Timothy 4:1
This “departing” is departing from the faith or pistis. That is the conviction of reliance upon Jesus Christ for salvation. Instead those who depart give heed to demonic doctrines which do not rely on Jesus Christ for salvation.
Some departing doctrines are obvious to most Christians but others are very subtle. That devil is a wily one.
The main theme to look for is if the teacher or preacher, prophet or apostle, pastor or evangelist moves away from trusting in Jesus Christ for salvation. Even a teeny weeny bit.
There is no specific day of the week, no ritual or rite, no performance, no other way, no other man made book, no self help principle, no personal preference, no successful endeavor, no jot or tittle, no other name, no addition, no subtraction. NOTHING.
There is nothing that can give you salvation with eternal life but complete trust and reliance on Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
It is written.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9,10
In Luke chapter 7 of the Bible, Jesus goes to Capernaum and finds a centurion’s servant is dying.
The centurion had sent elders of the synagogue to ask Jesus to come heal his servant.
These elders told Jesus that this man, the centurion was “worthy” to be healed because of the good deeds he had done for their people. He had even built a synagogue for them.
Jesus went with these religious leaders and when he was almost there the centurion sent a message. He said, “Don’t trouble yourself to come because I am not worthy for you to come under my roof. I know that you have authority in your kingdom to make a command just as I have authority in my kingdom and it will be done. Just say the word and I know what you command will be done. ” (My paraphrase)
Jesus marveled at the centurion’s faith. Now it is true that the centurion did not have to see Jesus in person to know the command of healing would be done ( which it was ) but the faith Jesus marveled at was that the centurion recognized a greater authority than the Roman world authority.
The centurion recognized this because he considered himself to be unworthy for Jesus to enter his house. The centurion recognized that the kingdom of God is greater than the authority of Rome or the world system.
The centurion saw himself as a man of worldly authority who submitted to the greater authority of the kingdom of God and the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
The centurion recognized that even though he was put in a position of prestige having worldly authority in the land, that he was considered unworthy in the kingdom of God. His position he held in the world held no weight in the kingdom of God.
This recognition of the human sin nature (being unworthy) allowed the centurion to humble himself as an unworthy person or in other words he put himself in a subservient position to a greater authority than the authority of Rome.
In other words the centurion recognized that Jesus was other worldly or from a kingdom not of this world. Therefore being familiar with athourity he knew that Jesus just had to say a word and the healing would occur.
This is the gospel message. Recognition of one’s sinful or unworthy nature, recognizing the need to be in subjection to Jesus Christ and his authority and trusting in Jesus Christ as the head of the kingdom of God with the power to save and to heal.
Jesus marveled at the centurion’s faith because he knew the steps to salvation. Recognizing one’s unworthiness and inability to save one’s self and being in submission to the authority of Jesus Christ for salvation.
What about you? Are you trusting in your “worthiness” because of all the good works you have done like those religious leaders did?
Jesus marvels at the faith of the person who recognizes their unworthiness and looks to his authority to be saved and healed.
Call on Jesus Christ to save and heal you. All the authority and prestige of the world system will never get you into heaven.
Simple recognition of your inability to save yourself is the first step to salvation. Once you recognize that then you can call on Jesus Christ the King of all kings to save you from your sin.
If you do that then you can be saved, forgiven. healed and given eternal life. You will become a member of the kingdom of God!
Whoever calls on the Lord shall be saved. Roman’s 10:13
When someone offers a free gift automatically we ask, “What’s in it for you?”
Human nature is not so trusting. Most of us have not fallen off the turnip truck yesterday! Something free usually has a benefit for the giver in there some where.
I would like to point out that God’s free gift has no benefit for the giver at all. In fact quite the opposite. All the benefits go to the recipient!
What could one possibly give to the God who made everything and owns everything? Ever try to buy a rich friend a gift? Quite impossible actually. Even if you gave a home made card all you have given is sentiment. Nice to know they are thought about but still you can’t measure up. They can get anything they want for themselves!
God has given a gift to the world in the person of Jesus Christ. Everyone who puts their trust in him for salvation will be given eternal life. They will pass from death to life.
This free gift of God’s salvation is motivated by his love and is an expression of his mercy. This free gift of salvation is God’s undeserved unmerited gift.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, but it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9)
The gift of God is not earned! We can’t work for it! We don’t need to do penitence or any kind of work or ritual to get it. A gift is simply received! That’s it!
The great thing about receiving God’s free gift is that not only are we saved by grace or undeserved mercy BUT a part of the gift is the empowerment to live a life that pleases God! He gives us the ability by his power to endure all trials and tribulations in this world because we have the assurance of an eternity spent with him.
He provides all our needs because he is our all in all! God gives us his free gift of salvation and he takes care of us while we are in this world as well!
“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me,” 2 Corinthians 12:9
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
God’s grace saves us and also empowers us to live a life that pleases him! As we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit we are blessed with God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.
Saved by grace is different than being saved by faith as some in error preach. They put the cart before the horse!
This difference is very important. If we are saved by faith we make the salvation experience about our own effort, our own ability, but God has chosen grace because it involves no effort on our part at all.
“For by graceyou have been saved through faith, and that NOT OF YOURSELVES; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
If we had anything at all to do with our salvation we might have reason to boast but God has made salvation a free gift to those who receive (through faith) this gift of his mercy.
“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. John 15:16
Not only does God give us grace to be saved but he also gives us grace to stay saved!
Are you trusting in God’s grace through Jesus Christ for his salvation? All you have to do is ask! Turn to Jesus with all your heart for he is mighty to save!
In Matthew chapter 10 Jesus is instructing his disciples on how they would minister in his name after he was not with them anymore in physical form .
Jesus told them that they would have power over devils and be able to heal the sick but they would face great persecution for it.
Jesus tells his disciples not to be afraid because God will provide for them.
“You are more valuable than sparrows.” Jesus tells them.
This is a significant metaphor because not only are sparrows very tiny but they are the most common bird in the world. Their value on a monetary scale is less than a penny. You can buy two for one.
This metaphor reminds us that even though we may not consider ourselves to be very important in the grand scheme of things, Jesus puts great value on us. He says that if God cares about even a sparrow that falls to the ground, and makes sure that their needs are supplied then why wouldn’t he care for us? Our value to him is so much more!
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31
Not only are sparrows common birds but they live in any small area they can find. Sparrows particularly like to live near human populations.
The sparrow metaphor is used by the Lord because the sparrow signifies humanity. There are masses of people on the earth just like the common sparrow.
One has only to look at the parallel of the sparrow to realize that humanity is in a decline situation. The environment for sparrows is being effected by sin in the same way as it is for humans.
As humanity turns away from the living God they decline in every way in the natural realm. This in turn affects the sparrow who lives along side of humans.
The decline in sparrow populations today is significant. It is reflective of the human population turning away from God. This is a prophetic sign that we are indeed in the end times.
Sparrows feed predominantly on seeds. They do eat insects when they can find them but their mainstay is seed. Without seed sparrows perish. This is another reason for the metaphor.
Jesus said that the word of God is like seed that a sower sows. The receptivity of the heart determines the outcome of the seed. Whether the seed goes on to produce a good crop or whether it does not. All is dependent on the soil of one’s heart.
God’s word is like seed. Planted in good soil the seed will grow into the abundant life promised by Jesus Christ. Planted in not so good soil the seed will die. Matthew 13
Just like sparrows need seed to survive so does humanity need the seed of God’s word to survive. Without God’s word humanity will die both physically and spiritually.
In John Chapter 4 is the story of the Samaritan women who encountered Jesus at Jacob’s well.
Now there are many symbolisms in this story but I am going to zone in on something in particular.
Notice how it was Jesus who approached the Samaritan woman first. It was he who sought her out.
Jesus got the attention of the Samaritan woman by asking her to give to him a drink of water.
The woman was flabbergasted. Why would this man be asking me for anything?
Jesus in effect did more than just approach a woman he did not know (which was not a common occurrence in Israel) but he also offered that woman to partake of his living water.
Notice how Jesus calls this woman going about her daily life. This woman probably had a whole bunch of things on her mind and was not exactly expecting to see the Messiah that day. She was however seeking him out and was just about to get her answer.
According to the gospel of John it was important for Jesus to go to Samaria.
“And he must needs go through Samaria.”
Jesus had an appointment.
The very first thing that Jesus does is go to Jacob’s well. There he meets the Samaritan women.
After the Samaritan women asked Jesus why he would ask her for anything Jesus replied, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that I am then you would have asked me for living water.”
Jesus was pointing out to the Samaritan women that he was the gift being sent to her. Coming along at a time in her life when she was not expecting it.
Jesus had a divine appointment with this Samaritan women. An encounter that was about to change her life.
Jesus watching the Samaritan women draw water asks her for a drink and then he offers to the Samaritan women his living water. He tells the Samaritan woman that if she drinks of his living water then she will never thirst again. Jesus also tells the Samaritan women that his living water would spring up for her into everlasting life.
Right away the Samaritan women replied. “Give to me this water so I don’t have to come here and draw water any more.“
Women had to walk a long ways sometimes to get water. Then they had to walk back home again carrying the heavy vessel filled with that water. In effect what the Samaritan women was asking is for Jesus to take her burden. She was worn out. Life for her had not been easy.
Knowing this Jesus asked her. “Give me to drink.”
Even in her own struggles this Samaritan women took the time to minister to the need of another.
Jesus then let the Samaritan women know that he understood her problems. He revealed her life story. This then caused the Samaritan woman to realize that Jesus had supernatural ability to help her.
When Jesus revealed to the Samaritan women that he knew her heart issue he also revealed to her the solution.
Jesus pointed out that all the husbands that the Samaritan woman had in her lifetime were a poor substitute for the need she really had which was to be loved and cared for.
One can only imagine the harsh life the Samaritan woman must have had. No body could have had that many husbands without some sort of hardship going on.
Jesus in effect was pointing out that if the Samaritan woman drank his living water then her heart’s need would be met.
The Samaritan women was looking for Messiah. She knew that Messiah was to come. She even acknowledged that Messiah had the answer to her problems.
“When Messiah comes he will tell us all these things.“
Jesus answered. “I am the one you are looking for.”
Jesus told the Samaritan women the answer to her life’s longing. What she needed was to worship God in the Spirit. She needed to come to him to have living water. Only his living water could satisfy the longing of her heart.
When the Samaritan women recognized that Jesus was indeed the Messiah she could not help but share the good news. She ran to tell everyone about Jesus and his ability to help them with their problems too. He was the Messiah they had been waiting for!
There is something important I would like to point out about this encounter at Jacob’s well.
The Samaritan women was a seeker. She was thirsty for Messiah to come. She wanted to have his living water to ease the burdens in her life.
Jesus was sent to the Samaritan women. He sought her out because she was looking for him. She was thirsty for Messiah to tell her the things she needed to know. The Samaritan woman knew Messiah had all the answers!
Encumbered by her heavy load and searching for answers the Samaritan Women had the right heart condition to be open to the gospel message.
Jesus did this same thing with the people who were seeking him when they were hungry. He saw their need and wanted to meet their need. He asked the disciples. Do you have any bread? Mark 8:16
When a blind man sought out Jesus he asked him, “What is it you want me to do? “ Mark 10:51
Again when a crippled man wanted to be healed Jesus said. “Take up your bed and walk.” John 5:8
Notice the pattern?
Seek. Ask. Do. Miracle.
Are you seeking God for something? Are you thirsty? Heavy burdened? Sick? Hungry? In need of a miracle?
Then Jesus has an appointment with you today! He says I am the one you are seeking for. I am the Messiah. I am the one able to meet your need.
Give to me your heart. I am knocking. I am here to help you. I know your problems, struggles, life issues.
Come to me in faith. Believe that I am and that I am able to help you. Turn to me with all your heart. I will give you living water to drink that will spring forth into eternal life.
“For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matthew 7:8
Are you saved? You might ask yourself, “What do I need saving from?” The first thing every one needs saving from is the wrath of God. What? You mean God is mad at me?
God is mad at behaviors that are destructive. Both to us and to others. Would you like to invite an infected person with a contagious disease to take up residence in your house? I did not think so.
Destructive behaviors are corrupting. God calls it sin or a disease of the heart. You might say to yourself. “Well I’m not that bad! There are worst people than me out there!”
While that may be true, you are still infected. Just one little symptom! One little bad deed. One little bad thought. One little bad attitude is enough to disqualify you from God’s presence both now and eternally.
Ever wonder why you do not see God or hear from God or feel God? Ever wonder why you feel condemned deep in your heart no matter what achievements you attain in life? Its because you have that dreaded spiritual disease!
The Bible says that sin separates us from God! Unless you are inoculated with a spiritual antibody you are toast!! Sounds harsh but well, life is harsh. Sugar coat it all you want to, but the reality is life is not so easy. This world is full of all kinds of dangers. All kinds of really horrible things!
God has the answer for your situation no matter what it is. You need God to save you! Yes, you need to be preserved and delivered from ruin! You need to be saved from God’s wrath!
So, if you need saving then it only stands to reason that you need a Saviour!
Who you may wonder can save if we all need saving? The answer is God himself. Once God gives you his inoculation then you can be disease free! You can have relationship with God both in this life and in eternity!
Jesus is God who took on human form. He became the antibody for sin. If you receive Jesus, then you can be accepted by God and get to know him in a personal relationship. God will make himself known to you. If you reject Jesus, well I do not have to tell you how that will turn out, now do I?
Another thing. You can try to hide from the disease by wearing a mask, washing yourself till your skin bleads, hide away in your own little world but a contagious disease will eventually find you out any way. After all disease without an antibody spreads like hell.
God is offering you his salvation today. Its free. God has a great health plan! There is nothing you have to do to earn it either! All free with great benefits!
How do I sign up for this great salvation? The Bible says that whoever calls on Jesus Christ will be saved. Saved from sin, saved from God’s wrath and saved for eternity!