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through the lens of Scripture”

Summer of Service 2020

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Apostasy

Apocalyptic topics seem to be the favorite of many who are trying to navigate through this increasingly confusing world. But, of all the end-time themes revealed in the Bible—such as global disasters,1 the rise of a global super-state,2 the revelation of the Antichrist,3 the mark of the beast,4 and the Magog invasion5 — the topic of deception is referenced to more times than any other “sign of the end times.”

Jesus warned in His Olivet Discourse saying, “...Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many,”6 He then continued to warn, “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”7

In both his letter to Timothy and his letter to the Thessalonians the apostle Paul warns that “in latter times some will depart from the faith,”8 and “Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”9

In both of these admonitions, Paul is writing about apostasy.
In describing the “falling away” he uses the Greek term apostasia which is a word that means to forsake, abandon or renounce a previously held belief. I believe that Paul is identifying two types of apostasy in these two letters. To Timothy, he warns of apostasy in the Church, and to the Thessalonian Church he warns of the apostasy in the world that will lead up to the revelation of the “man of sin.”

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Your Issachar Toolbox

“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”1 This verse underscores that the mere acquisition and accumulation of facts is insufficient to understand the times in which we live and (with that understanding) to know what to say and how to behave.2 Paul warns Timothy of this syndrome when he wrote of those who are “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”3 According to one online source:

“Buckminster Fuller created the ‘Knowledge Doubling Curve’; he noticed that until 1900 human knowledge doubled approximately every century. By the end of World War II, knowledge was doubling every 25 years. Today things are not as simple as different types of knowledge have different rates of growth. For example, nanotechnology knowledge is doubling every two years and clinical knowledge every 18 months. But on average human knowledge is doubling every 13 months. According to IBM, the build-out of the ‘internet of things’ will lead to the doubling of knowledge every 12 hours.”4

Whatever the precise rate is, this upward trajectory of information cannot be surprising. Along with the addition of information to the knowledge pool, many see a disturbing pattern of amendment and misrepresentation of what was traditionally accepted. Let the chanting begin! — “Believe nothing! Challenge everything!” This disconnection from the moorings of truth leads us to today’s drift in critical thinking. Steven Spielberg is reported as saying:

“My primary purpose in making Schindler’s List was for education. The Holocaust had been treated as just a footnote in so many textbooks or not mentioned at all. Millions knew little if anything about it. Others tried to deny it happened at all.”5

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