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Bible Dictionaries

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary


One characteristic of true Christians is that they persevere to the end. They never give up their faith in Christ. Those who profess faith in Christ and then wilfully give up that faith are guilty of apostacy (Matthew 24:10-13; Colossians 1:21-23; 1 Timothy 1:19-20; Hebrews 3:12-14; 2 Peter 2:20-22; 1 John 2:19; see PERSEVERANCE).

Apostacy is not backsliding in the sense of a temporary lapse in Christian practice. Nor is it a denial of Christ in a moment of weakness, such as Peter’s failure at the time of Jesus’ arrest (Luke 22:31-34; Luke 22:54-62; cf. John 21:15-19; see BACKSLIDING; DENIAL; TEMPTATION). Rather it is the deliberate rejection of the faith that a person once professed to have in Christ. It is a sin that the Bible severely warns against, for apart from Christ there can be no salvation. Once people have deliberately renounced Christ, no other way of salvation is available to them. They have disowned and shamed Christ by an action similar to that of those who crucified him (Hebrews 6:4-6; Hebrews 10:26-29).

There may be many damaging influences that lead people away from God and cause them to commit apostacy. Two of the most common are false teaching and persecution (Matthew 24:9-11; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Peter 2:1-3; Judges 1:3-4; Judges 1:17-23).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Apostacy'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. 2004.

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