Christian Life Church
July 23, 2023 at 8:30am & 10:00am
THIS PRESENT TIME #22 THE FIFTH COLUMN
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  • Christian Life Church Columbia
    2700 Bush River Rd, Columbia, SC 29210, USA
    Sunday 8:00 AM
THIS PRESENT TIME #22
The Fifth Column 7.23.23
2 Thessalonians 2:1-5 NASB Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, regarding the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit, or a message, or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3No one is to deceive you in any way! For it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. 5Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things?
Getting Started
A. “Apostasy” is usually misunderstood; often misapplied.
B. It is described as a particular event more than a general atmosphere - “The Falling Away.”
C. Apostasy (apostasia) means rebellion, defection, or abandonment.
D. A.W. Tozer: “Christians now chatter learnedly about things simple believers have always taken for granted. They are on the defensive, trying to prove things that a previous generation never doubted.”[1]
E. Apo: “away from”; histemi: “to stand or embrace”
I. Why the concept of Apostasy is usually overlooked.
A. We apply it to the world instead of the church.
B. It never occurs to us that such a sin could manifest in our lives.
C. When we do begin to understand apostasy, we recoil in fear and lose a sense of security. The end result is that we focus on the perceived problem instead of the real one.
D. The fact of apostasy is that some “defect and leave,” while others “defect and stay.”
E. Vance Havner used to say, “The problem in the church is not the woodpeckers on the outside. Our problem is the termites on the inside.”
II. In 2 Thessalonians 2, the appearance of the first problem (THE REBELLION) opens the door for the appearance of the second problem (THE REBEL).
III. Does the Scripture give “Revival” as a sign of The Lord’s Return?
IV. The description of Apostasy usually includes two common themes: (1) Corrupted Doctrine and (2) Corrupted Lifestyle.
Titus 1:16 NKJV They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.
V. Why does doctrine make a difference?
A. Rejecting truth does not leave us “UNAFFILIATED.” It opens the door for us to believe a lie.
2 Thessalonians 2:10 KJV And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
1 Timothy 4:1-3 NASB But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3 who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.
1. We are in the last times already, but there seem to be events that occur “later” in the last times.
2 Peter 2:1-22 NASB But false prophets also appeared among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2 Many will follow their indecent behavior, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; 3 and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. 4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, held for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6 and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example of what is coming for the ungodly; 7 and if He rescued righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the perverted conduct of unscrupulous people 8 (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from a trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt passion, and despise authority. Reckless, self-centered, they speak abusively of angelic majesties without trembling, 11 whereas angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a demeaning judgment against them before the Lord. 12 But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, using abusive speech where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed, 13 suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions as they feast with you, 14 having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having hearts trained in greed, accursed children; 15 abandoning the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the reward of unrighteousness; 16 but he received a rebuke for his own offense, for a mute donkey, speaking with a human voice, restrained the insanity of the prophet. 17 These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved. 18 For, while speaking out arrogant words of no value they entice by fleshly desires, by indecent behavior, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, 19 promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what anyone is overcome, by this he is enslaved. 20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. 22 It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.”
Jude 1-25 NASB Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ: 2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. 3 Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all time handed down to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into indecent behavior and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
5 Now I want to remind you, though you know everything once and for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And angels who did not keep their own domain but abandoned their proper dwelling place, these He has kept in eternal restraints under darkness for the judgment of the great day, 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these angels indulged in sexual perversion and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. 8 Yet in the same way these people also, dreaming, defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak abusively of angelic majesties. 9 But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him an abusive judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 But these people disparage all the things that they do not understand; and all the things that they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. 11 Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have given themselves up to the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. 12 These are the ones who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, like shepherds caring only for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted;
13 wild waves of the sea, churning up their own shameful deeds like dirty foam; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of darkness has been reserved forever. 14 It was also about these people that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord has come with many thousands of His holy ones, 15 to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” 16 These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. 17 But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, 18 that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” 19 These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on some, who are doubting;
23 save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh. 24 Now to Him who is able to protect you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority before all time and now and forever. Amen.
B. True Doctrine provides an Absolute Truth which is essential in our lives.
1. “The people are unrestrained.”
2. The emphasis today is on “My Truth.”
3. Something is not true just because we say it is, or even just because we believe it to be true.
C. True doctrine gives us the ability to discern between truth and error.
Hebrews 5:14 NKJV But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Titus 1:10-2:1 NASB For there are many rebellious people, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. For this reason reprimand them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed. 2:1 But as for you, proclaim the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.
D. True Doctrine nourishes you in The Faith.
1 Timothy 4:6 NKJV If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.
E. True Doctrine keeps you in orthodoxy when other voices demand your attention and defection.
2 Timothy 4:2-3 NASB preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires,
F. True Doctrine enables you to strengthen those who are struggling.
Ephesians 4:11-16 NASB And He gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of people, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, that is, Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
Christian Life Lessons
1. There is a huge difference between tolerance and compromise.
• The greatest challenge society faces today is this: “What is my source of truth?”
• “The Bar-J-Suzy-Q-Flying W-Lazy-Y Ranch”[2]
2. Jesus promised The Holy Spirit would take responsibility for leading us to truth. Therefore, we must lean deeply and completely into The Lord.
• Only The Holy Spirit can convict.
• Only The Holy Spirit can convince.
• Only The Holy Spirit can convert.


[1] A.W. Tozer, Man: The Dwelling Place of God, Camp Hill, 2008, page 118
[2] Mark Hitchcock and Jeff Kinley, The Coming Apostasy, page 41

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