The Anatomy of Apostasy Series – Stacey Shiflett

The Anatomy of Apostasy Sermon Series

2 Thessalonians 2:3 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;

Intro: The word “apostasy” is a word we hear often, especially around here.

The word is the Greek for “falling away” that we find in our text.

Definition: apostasiaa falling away, defection, apostasy

I want to back up and let’s systematically look at this word and this concept over the next few Wednesday nights.

Part 1

I. The Expectations of Apostasy

               A. Expect a Promised Deliverance – vs. 1 “…the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together…”

  • 2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

In the heat of the battle, when you’re hurting, you can easily forget the promise of His return.

Don’t fall into the category of those that mock and scoff His promise to return.

  • Read II Peter 3:1-4

We have multiple passages of Scripture that teach that Jesus is coming.

Don’t forget it.

Anticipate it. Look for it.

Keep your eyes on the eastern sky – Jesus is coming again!

               B. Expect a Potential Disturbance – vs. 2 “…be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled…”

Paul broke down the potential disturbances into these following categories:

                              1. Shaken in mind- the mind is the first casualty of spiritual decline

                              2. A troubling spirit – there will be plenty troubling spirits to attack your mind

TROUBLED: to cry aloud, make a noise by outcry, in the NT, to trouble, frighten, to be troubled in mind, to be frightened, alarmed

                              3. A troubling word – someone saying something; things you hear

                              4. A troubling letter – even hearing the truth from God’s man or God’s word can shake or trouble you

The uncertainty causes a child of God to be troubled.

The unpopularity causes the child of God to be troubled.

The ungodly causes the child of God to be troubled.

  • 1 Peter 3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

Jesus knew that prior to His return, God’s people would be troubled.

               John 14

  • 1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
  • 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
  • 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

               C. Expect a Possible Deception – vs. 3 “…let no man deceive you by any means…”

The first warning Jesus gave His disciples about His coming and the end of the world was this very thing.

Matthew 24

  • 3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
  • 4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
  • 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Notice the words of Paul and John:

  • Ephesians 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
  • 1 John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

One of the characteristics of the last days is the level of lying and deception.

Seetext: II Thessalonians 9, 10, 11 and 12

Notice verse 13 – the emphasis placed on “BELIEF OF THE TRUTH.”

               D. Expect a Preceding Departure – vs. 3 “…except there come a falling away first…”

This phrase, “falling away” in the Greek for “apostasy.”

Several things we can notice about this.

                              1. The Unwavering Assurance – “…for that day shall not come…”

                              2. The Unmasking of the Antichrist – “…and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”

                              3. The Unmistakable Apostasy – “…there come a falling away first…”

Mark it down. It will happen.

The falling away will transpire before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ – vs. 1.

The falling away will occur prior to our gathering together unto Him.

The falling away – the apostasy – will precede the rapture of the church.

It will not be the unsaved, or the unbelievers.

The apostasy will occur with professing Christians.

If you believe that the return of Jesus Christ is imminent, then you have to believe that the apostasy is here.

I firmly believe we are squarely between verse 3 and verse 4.

The apostasy has begun, and the son of perdition is waiting in the wings to be revealed.

In this series, we will examine the Anatomy of Apostasy.

I can assure you – it is real.

It is not called an awakening – it is apostasy.

It’s not a group of former Bible believers that have seen the light – it is apostasy.

It’s not an elite group of enlightened Christians that finally have the answer – it is apostasy.

What does it look like? What constitutes Apostasy?

What is an apostate?

We will get into it in the next few weeks.

Conclusion: I want to leave you with this. Apostasy is happening. It will get worse.

Do not be soon shaken in mind.

Do not be troubled.

Neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by a letter as from us.

Mark it down. The day of Christ is at hand.

Don’t get demoralized.

Don’t be deceived.

Don’t get distracted. Jesus is coming soon, and this has to happen before He does.