A falling away from the faith. The nation of Israel fell into repeated backslidings (Jer. 5:6), (RSV). The prophet Jeremiah predicted the judgment of God upon such disloyalty: Your wickedness will chasten you, and your apostasy will reprove you (Jer. 2:19), (RSV).
Some of the noted apostates in the Bible are: King Saul, who turned back from following the Lord (1 Sam. 15:11); Hymenaeus and Alexander, who suffered shipwreck of their faith (1 Tim. 1:19-20); and Demas, who forsook the apostle Paul because he loved this present world (2 Tim. 4:10).
In (Acts 21:21) the apostle Paul was described falsely as one who taught the Jews living among the Gentiles to commit apostasy (forsake, NKJV). (Second Thessalonians 2:3) declares that the Day of Christ will not come unless the apostasy comes first (NASB). This great apostasy will be the time of the final rebellion against God, when wickedness will be revealed in human form (2 Thes. 2:3),(NEB).
Apostasy is generally defined as the determined, willful rejection of Christ and His teachings by a Christian believer (Heb. 10:26-29; John 15:22). This is different from false belief, or error, which is the result of ignorance. Some Christian groups teach that apostasy is impossible for those persons who have truly accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord.
Persons who pretend to be Christ but who are actually representatives of all that Christ opposes (Matt. 24:24; Mark 13:22). False Christs are similar to Antichrist and his prophets, described in the Epistles of John (1 John 2:18; 2 John 7). These false Christs take their place in the long line of false prophets who have existed since Old Testament days.
There are some who teach that the antichrist is identified in Matthew 24:5,24, Mark 13:6,22 and Luke 21:8. In these verses Jesus is speaking of those who will come in His name and those He calls false Christs.
Vines Expository Dictionary says about the antichrist: antichristos can mean either against Christ or instead of Christ, or perhaps, combining the two, one who, assuming the guise of Christ, opposes Christ (Westcott). The word is found only in Johns epistles, (a) of the many antichrists who are forerunners of the Antichrist himself, (1 John 2:18, 22; 2 John 7); (b) of the evil power which already operates anticipatively of the Antichrist, (1 John 4:3).
What the apostle says of him so closely resembles what he says of the first beast in (Rev. 13), and what the apostle Paul says of the Man of Sin in (2 Thes. 2), that the same person seems to be in view in all these passages, rather than the second beast in (Rev. 13), the false prophet; for the latter supports the former in all his Antichristian assumptions.
Note: The term pseudochristos, a false Christ, is to be distinguished from the above; it is found in (Matt. 24:24) and (Mark 13:22). The false Christ does not deny the existence of Christ, he trades upon the expectation of His appearance, affirming that he is the Christ. The Antichrist denies the existence of the true God (Trench, Syn. Sec. xxx).
In 2 Thessalonians 2:3 the antichrist is also called the man of sin and the son of perdition.
2 Thessalonians 2:3:
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
In Revelation the beast is referred to as going into perdition.
8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
The antichrist, who is the man of sin, and the son of perdition appears to be the leader or ruler of the symbolic beast system of Revelation 13.
The false Christs and those who come in Jesus name are not the antichrist who is introduced into the biblical account in Revelation 13.
There is a complete listing of articles written in an attempt to free the individual disciple of Jesus Christ from the bondage of the institutional church mindset on the Site Map page, under Articles Index, Church Articles.
Americans religious faith in self and church, not Christ. Americans religious faith is in self and church, not Christ, the Bible or God as biblically illiterate people obey flesh strongholds not the Holy Spirit.