Q: Are we in the time of the great falling away?
A: As many Bible Scholars today consider the events in the world and the condition of the church, they would concur that we are in the time of the falling away. The Apostle Paul made reference to this in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. He stated that before the unveiling of the man of perdition (the anti-Christ) there would be a falling away from the truth. He goes onto say that the only remedy against falling away in such times is to love the truth. The truth is Jesus Christ and His Word (John 14:6; 17:17).
If you follow the Apostle Paul’s reasoning and warning in light of Jesus’ coming, he warns that believers must not be shaken in their minds as to what has been established as truth and troubled by what they hear in regard to the approaching of the day when Christ comes. Paul’s first exhortation in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 was, “Let no man deceive you by any means.” He goes on to say certain things must happen before all of these events will come to fruition.
Jesus warned that many would be deceived by false prophets before His second coming and the Apostle John in his first letter stated that many false prophets have already gone out into the world (Matthew 24:11, 24; 1 John 4:1). There have always been false prophets, but there is a warning that there will be an influx of them in the last of the end days, trying to lead many away from the true Jesus. I have to admit I have seen many false prophets stand behind pulpits warning people to beware of false prophets as they set up their web of seduction, propaganda, indoctrination, and delusion to take people captive.
It is important to understand what falling away means. The idea of falling away is the same as going apostate from the truth established in God’s Word. An apostate, as far as Christianity is concerned, is a deflector from the truth established in God’s Word. Hebrews 6:5-6 makes this statement about becoming apostate, “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.” I did not quote this Scripture to get in a big debate about eternal security, but what I want to show is that there is a grave seriousness in falling away from the truth. It is clear that those who do, do not love the truth as established by God in His Word. After all, it is clear that the Word of God will abide forever, while all other beliefs, philosophies and doctrines will be shaken by judgment and brought down into a pile of nothingness (Psalm 119:89; Hebrews 12:26-27; 1 Peter 1:23-25). Man should shake before God’s Word, soberly handle it, and urgently obey it, but instead he is busy debating it while putting it into theological boxes and doctrines in order to lay some claim as to having a corner on some truth and revelation that has eluded the rest of the fundamental church for over 2,000 years. People who do not love the truth will adjust it to their take on God, religion, and pet doctrines to fit it into their preferred reality. Those who do this mishandle the truth and the wrath of God abides on them (Romans 1:18).
However, there has never been a time in history where man has not been falling away from God and the truth of His Word. There has never been a time in history where God’s Word has not been under some type of attack somewhere in the world. It is man’s natural bent to adjust everything about God and religion to his particular preference that serves his preferred reality, while trying to undermine the unadulterated truth in other people’s lives. Sadly, at such times it is never about truth, but about someone justifying his or her own ideas by convincing some uninformed person that he or she is right.
I must admit that much of the fundamental beliefs I was taught are still part of my foundation, but my understanding of God is not limited to such beliefs. God and His ways and works will never fit into theological boxes, pet doctrines, and the cemented theology of men. God is living, eternal, and is not a one-dimensional idea; therefore, He will never work within man’s concept of Him.
God is the center of all truth, Jesus is the living essence of all truth, God’s Word the written record of all truth, and His Spirit the One who reveals and confirms all truth. If a person moves away from any aspect of the heavenly truth, he or she will begin to fall away from it, and if he or she does not repent and come back to center out of love and faith, then that person can eventually become an apostate of the truth.