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The great falling away
- Jacob Ninan
The Bible says that the second coming of Jesus would not occur till apostasy takes place first (2Th.2:3). Apostasy refers to a falling away from the faith. In a sense, falling away from God has been there always. But here it is referring to a great, accelerated movement--great falling away (Amp), a definite rejection of God (JBP). We must also be clear that to fall away from God, one must have been with God to begin with; in other words we are referring to believing Christians, and not to unbelievers becoming more and more wicked.
All generations of Christians have had reason to believe that this apostasy was taking place in their time. But along with the other signs of Jesus' return taking place around us, it makes us believe that apostasy is greater and more rapid now than ever before.
There can be two major reasons for this falling away from God. One is a disillusionment with God. Perhaps someone finds some apparent contradiction or error in the Bible and throws away his faith. For another it is because God didn't answer some urgent prayer he made or didn't do something he expected Him to do. Someone else finds the general state of the world to be too unjust or unfair to account for an almighty and loving God. Whatever be the specific provocation, this kind of falling away can be attributed to a lack of understanding of God and His ways, and has really nothing to do with anything wrong with God! All that the man needs to do is to ask the right person or read the right material to clear his doubts.
The second reason could be that the people have been drawn away to some other 'more important' or 'more interesting' stuff! Due to the pressures of life or the craving for more money or status, work may take on top priority. Taking care of the body becomes very important with exercises and diet control of all types. Overload of stress will call for relaxation and entertainment. Even when these things start as 'legitimate' activities soon one finds that they have somehow managed to crowd out God from one's life. One realises that there is no time for God, for prayer, reading the Bible or going to worship God. Suddenly when we need God, we can't find Him.
Satan knows his time is short, and he is out to get us back to his kingdom (Re.12:12;1Pe.5:8). He has perfected the technique of injecting doubts and questions into our mind and then distracting us with many activities or thoughts so that we don't have time to think properly, pray or get help. If we go along in that direction soon it will not be just being away from God but also falling into sin. He ties knot after knot around us and soon we get immobilised!
How important it is to keep on the alert, keep a lively contact with the Lord through prayer, Bible and fellowship with other believers! Let us not imagine that we can't be caught in the falling away (1Co.10:12). Let us keep checking ourselves to see where we stand and which direction we are heading.