The things we face are no accident. Long ago, the Lord saw a Church, that would increasingly come under unfair attack. And part of that attack would come from the Church itself. In the days before the return of Jesus, there would be a great Apostasy, lead by a Church that abandoned its love of Scripture.
The Apostate Church would lose its way and lose its testimony of salvation through Jesus Christ. Christians around us would love themselves and their comforts, but they would not love God, and in a time of great knowledge and travel, few would know the Lord or understand His ways.
While this may be the last round of apostasy, it is certainly not the first. Both Scripture and History are littered with this delusion repeating itself time after time. It is in the testimony of the faithful during such times we find direction in how we ought to respond as Christians when the Church has lost its way.
Jonah was sent by God, to confront the evil of Nineveh. Knowing that he could not do this in his own strength and resources, he ran in the opposite direction. His fate for disobedience was far worse than what He imagined the cost of obedience would be. Confronted by God, he was returned to his task and the City repented.
Luther understood this, his response to apostasy was to stand and speak the truth. Luther and his
followers never sought to separate from Rome. Yet Rome could not bear the pain of hearing the truth spoken and expelled them. Unlike Nineveh, they at that time did not repent.
What should we do, when the Greater Church embraces apostate teachings and rejects the clear
teaching of Scripture? We must stand. We stand on God’s Word. Paul reminds Timothy, how everyone at one point abandoned him. (2 Tim 4:16-19) Did he give up? Did he throw in the towel? Did he decide this was all too much? No! When no one else stood with him, God did.
Our call is to speak the truth, to preach the Word, ‘In Season and Out of Season’. What that means, is that we stay faithful to Jesus and keep our message, even though those around us do not want to hear it. Paul tells Timothy, that there will come a time when people will not tolerate sound teaching. Imagine that! A time when the Church will say to some of its preachers, ‘You cannot tell people about salvation in Jesus. You must be silent on this.’ It will be a time when they gather preachers who will tell them, that they should follow their desires. They will turn their ears from the truth to wanting to hear fables and fabricated ideas. (2 Tim 4:2-4)
Though the Church and the World be as cold as winter, to the Gospel of Salvation, we preach just the same. Though they turn their backs on us, we stand by our message. Though they refuse to listen, we must not abandon Christ.
At times we must choose. Do we stand with the ungodly, or do we stand with Jesus?
If we abandon Jesus to please an apostate Church, then expect Jesus to abandon us in our hour of need. But if we stand with Jesus, He is faithful, and though we are alone, He will stand with us.