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Departure from the Faith

1 Tim. 4:1-5

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. Do you see yourself as living in the last days? Do you expect Christ to return at any moment, even today? The truthful answer to those questions for most of us is “no!” Because we are 2 millennia removed from Calvary and when Christ and the Apostles were on earth, we have become at least to some degree lethargic and complacent in our theology and view of the return of the Lord. *We believe in our theology He can come today, but we live as though He won’t! That is how the folks in Ephesus lived when Paul was writing to Timothy. You and I cannot forget we are living in the last days! In chapter 4 The Holy Spirit inspires Paul to show us how some will depart from the faith, and how Christians are to be dedicated to the faith! Notice there are two very clear truths stated in verse 1: I. A DEPARTURE FROM THE FAITH. The word “depart” means simply to remove – from a relationship or from fellowship with a person. When we are talking about The Universal Church as we are here, this has serious implications. Depart can also mean: to seduce or to win away; to fall away. The departure is not an action or decision toward a person, it is an action by a person to remove themselves from the relationship or fellowship! Read Deut.7:1-5. I want to show you two serious dangers of such departure.

1st the departure is a choice made by a person within their own deceitful and demon controlled heart! Look again at v. 1. How do people make the decision to depart from sound doctrine or the faith? By devoting themselves. A personal choice on their part. The 2nd danger is that these wolves in sheep’s clothing always drag others with them. Malcontents are never satisfied just to go away by themselves! They want to drag others with them. What makes a person turn to such ungodly activity with such determination to destroy? Look at v. 1 again. The departure from the faith is caused by devotion to deceitful spirits and demonic teachings. Devotion means to consider carefully, implying agreement, to hold firmly, to continue to give oneself, apply oneself! Do you see the demonic and deceitful activity there? Now, someone might ask, can a person who professes to be a Christian really turn from their faith and sound doctrine? Yes, they could! Watch what one writer says concerning this passage; “A mere profession of faith does not guarantee the actual possession of eternal life.” Mark 4:5 records where Jesus describes this kind of heart when He describes how some seed fell on stony ground. It sprouted and began to grow, but when the sun became hot, because it had no depth of root, it withered and died.

A true Christian cannot devote themselves to deceitful spirits and demonic teachings! They cannot! The indwelling Holy Spirit will not allow it. He will not allow a redeemed heart to be filled with the works of the devil. He will only allow a redeemed heart to be filled with fruits of the Spirit! Those “some” in v. 1 were professing Christians in the Ephesian church! One of the most revealing truths about a liar and hypocrite is that their empty profession of faith becomes clearer and clearer to all those who are true Christians the longer the hypocrites are in the body! The fact they forbade marriage and required abstinence from food are examples of how these cold-hearted liars were distorting Biblical doctrine. The heresy was, that those who abstained from foods and marriage were somehow more spiritual and closer to God! The problem with that whole idea is that is pure legalism! The lying hypocrites were teaching spirituality is a result of works. Scripture teaches throughout that legalism drives people from God; and the Holy Spirit draws people to God by helping them understand what sound Biblical doctrine really is.

If we can help you with your spiritual questions, call us at 574-643-9419.

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