“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them–bringing swift destruction on themselves.” – 2 Peter 2:1,NIV
The word apostasy appears twice in the New Testament and means the falling away, withdrawal or abandonment of the Christian faith.Jesus was the first to sound the warning against the departing away from the faith when addressing his disciples and later on prominent apostles such as Peter and Paul.Most Christians understand that apostasy has been around since the inception of the Christian Church but the Bible is also warning about a final apostasy, a final departing from the faith at the end of times.What is this final apostasy and when will it be?
Two stages of the fallen Church
The Apostle Peter writing to Christians of the first century condensed two thousand years of Christian history down to one sentence describing the 2 stages of the fallen Church. Immediately after the death of the last apostle, Satan started seeding weeds amongst the genuine followers of Christ and his human agents in the form of false teachers introduced destructive doctrines splintering the original Christian faith into many different denominations large and small each with its slightly different flavor of faith.This process of breaking down and fragmenting has been the modus operandi of Satan’s servants.This is not though the final fallen state of the Church.The ultimate betrayal will reach its crescendo with the denial of Jesus as the Lord and Redeemer.This has not happened yet, this is a future development.No matter how many false doctrines a Christian denomination has, at its core all Christian denominations proclaim Christ as their Lord and Saviour but this is about to come to an end as we enter the final fallen state of the Church ,the point in history in which the Christian world will morph into what the book of Revelation calls Babylon the Great.
Another apostle of Christ, the apostle Paul, referred to the same development as the great and final apostasy.Writing to the church of Thessalonians warned the local Christians: ” Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction” (2 Thess. 2:3, NISB) Although most apostles preached about apostasy and the corrupting influence of apostates here apostasy is described as one singular event (ἡ ἀποστασία = THE apostasy) denoting an event of great significance and lasting impact. Notice too that this final stage of the Church is closely linked to the appearance of the man of lawlessness, the man of destruction”. There can’t be a great a great apostasy without the man of lawlessness and that is why we know for a certainty that this event is still future. As many discerning Christians know, this man is no other than the foretold Antichrist, a fearsome ruler that will appear on the world scene right prior the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
There is a good reason why Christians will ultimately deny Jesus Christ as their Leader and will embrace a false Messiah. Christians will be forced to abandon their faith. As Paul further warned this ruler sets his eyes to the ultimate price, that of being worshipped as a god.We read in 2 Thessalonians 2:4: “He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”This is not the first time the Church encountered this issue.There is a president of such a development back in the 2nd century AD and the reason why the first apostolic Church was persecuted by the Romans. The were asked to offer insence in the emperor’s
The introduction of destructive heresies prophesied by Peter is a process that lasted for almost 2,000 years .Different Christian denominations introduced different doctrines at different times.Notice though how the ultimate heresy , the “denying of the sovereign Lord who bought them” will happen simultaneously. How is that possible? That can only be explained if we take into account the developments within the Church during the last days. The book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, describes an entity that goes by the name “Babylon Great” that will exist prior to Jesus second coming and will be a composite body of religions that will incorporate all Christian religions and denominations.With this structure in place, it is then possible for all Christians to embrace the last and final apostasy at the same time, the denying of “the Lord who bought them” for the counterfeit Antichrist.