So what does it mean to fall away from the faith?
Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. ~~Luke 8: 13 (New American Standard)
Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. ~~ Romans 11: 2 (New American Standard)
But I have this against you: you have lost the love you had at first. Therefore, remember where you were before you fell, turn from this sin, and do what you used to do before. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your menorah from its place — if you don’t turn from your sin! ~~ Revelation 2: 4-5 (Complete Jewish Bible)
But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons ~~ I Timothy 4: 1 (New American Standard)
My brothers, if one of you wanders from the truth, and someone causes him to return, you should know that whoever turns a sinner from his wandering path will save him from death and cover many sins. ~~ James 5: 19-20 (Complete Jewish Bible)
Falling away is becoming apostate, or no longer having enough faith to be counted as a follower of God. It does not mean making a mistake, committing sins or stumbling in your walk. It’s renouncing or leaving the faith in one way or another.
Some churches minimize some of these verses by saying those who fell away were not real believers in the first place, just pretenders. But, how do you fall away from something if you never had it? This line of thinking does not match up with Scripture.
No outside human or spiritual force can make you lose your salvation in Messiah Yeshua. But each person can willingly and deliberately turn away and remove him or herself from the faith. It is very controversial, but Scripture seems to indicate this is so. Yeshua says in the verse above from Revelation that He can (and will at times) remove someone’s menorah or lamp stand. From what I understand, that indicates Him removing His presence and the Enlightenment He brings. He does this when someone willingly turns away from their love and belief in Him, stopping it on their own and choosing to return to sin.
The last days “falling away” means a person expressly disavows Yeshua as Lord and chooses to put faith in man-made deceiving doctrines of one kind or another. Mankind has freewill and YHWH allows people to reject Him. He doesn’t force faith on anyone. Just as some people 2000 years ago who eagerly followed Messiah eventually found His teachings to be too “hard” and turned back from following Him, it will happen in our day too. It is already happening.
One of the main purposes of this blog is to encourage brothers and sisters in the faith. Regardless of the sober reality that falling away will indeed happen, we can find encouragement. Hold tight to Yeshua. We know what the source of Truth is, and we are able to hold written copies of this Truth in our hands. No man-made doctrine can compare. But don’t just hold the Truth like an ornament. Dig into it. Learn the deep and meaty things it contains.
Know what the source of your beliefs are. If they are false or man-made, reject them. If it is rock-solid Biblical truth, hold on with both hands and don’t let go. Days will grow even darker, but our light must grow brighter in that deep night! Whatever happens around you or to you, keep your eyes, heart and mind in the Word, keep on loving YHWH and Messiah Yeshua, keep on obeying His commands out of your love, and you will stand in the end. Shalom!