There are several Scriptures that forewarn or speak on the concept of Apostasy. Thus, it would be best to look at the definition of Apostasy:
Apostasy, from the Greek word apostasia, means “A standing away from”. A “falling away from”. A defiance of an established system or authority; a rebellion; an abandonment or breach of faith.
The abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political belief. Renunciation of belief. An act of refusing to continue to follow, obey, or recognize a religious faith. Abandonment of a previous loyalty. The state of having rejected your religious beliefs or your political party or a cause (often in favor of opposing beliefs or causes).
Faithlessness, Disloyalty, Betrayal, Defection, Desertion, Heresy
There are those who try to lessen or twist what the word apostasy means, to try and defend their belief that Christians cannot commit the act of apostasy. Those who reject the concept of a Christian committing apostasy will state that the person was never a Christian in the first place.
However, it should be clear by the above definitions that an unbeliever, an agnostic, an atheist, cannot commit apostasy since they never acknowledged or made a commitment to Christianity. You cannot ‘fall away from’ something you were not a part of in the first place. You cannot breach a faith you never had in the first place. If you were never loyal to the Christian faith you cannot abandon your loyalty. If a person is rebelling, they had to have belonged to what they are rebelling against.
If Christians cannot commit the act of apostasy there would be no reason to give warnings in Scripture in regard to apostasy to non-Christians. In the next article we will be looking at the Bible verses regarding apostasy.
Two Forms of Apostasy
It should be noted there are two main types: (1) a falling away from key and true doctrines of the Bible into heretical teachings that claim to be “the real” Christian doctrine, and (2) a complete renunciation of the Christian faith, which results in a full abandonment of Christ.
A denial of key Christian truths (such as the divinity of Christ) can start a downhill slide into a full departure from the faith, the second form of apostasy. The second form almost always begins with the first. A heretical belief becomes a heretical teaching that splinters and grows until it pollutes all aspects of a person’s faith, and then the end goal of Satan is accomplished, which is a complete falling away from Christianity.
Apostasy-Part One, Definition
Apostasy-Part Two, Biblical Warnings
Apostasy-Part Three, Conditional Verses
Apostasy-Part Four, Lordship of Christ
Apostasy-Part Five, An Example
Apostasy-Part Six, Extremes
Apostasy-Part Seven, Summary