Arminian Today

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Dogs Who Return to the Vomit

For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”
– 2 Peter 2:20-22

One of the difficult people to evangelize are those who claim to have once been Christians.  Whether they were ever saved to begin with is another debate but these apostates are hard to talk to.  They are antagonistic toward Christianity, toward God, toward faith of any kind, and of course, they despise the Bible.  They claim that Christianity “just didn’t work for them.”  Living in the southern United States, I meet these apostates often.  I work with one of them.  He is a guy who claims he was even studying to be a minister.  He claims that the church he was attending would not stand with their doctrinal statement and were hypocrites so he just gave up.  He is now a cursing, bitter man who said to me once, “I use to just like you.  All into God, all into wanting to see others believe in Jesus, but now I am content just to live my life and not worry about God.  If He wants to ‘save’ me then let Him save me otherwise who cares.”

Peter the Apostle calls these apostates dogs and pigs.  That is tough.  In our age of politically correct language, we are cautious not to put another person down.  We avoid language such as we see here in 2 Peter 2:22.  The Apostles did not.  Even Paul the Apostle was tough with his words on false converts or apostates.  He even said in 1 Timothy 1:20 that he had turned Hymenaeus and Alexander over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.  He wrote in 1 Timothy 5:20, “As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.”  Paul even mentions those who abandoned him in 2 Timothy 1:15 and 4:10.  Apostates do more damage than the unsaved do.  They lie about Jesus, lie about His grace, lie about His salvation, lie about His goodness.  Apostates lie about the Bible, lie about prayer, lie about sin, lie about forgiveness, lie about the Church, and lie about faith.  They claim to “know” the way of righteousness (2 Peter 2:21) but they lie.

An example of this is the man at my work.  He is a man who is an apostate but he goes around telling people that he use to be like me.  He claims that he once proudly walked around with his Bible like I do at work.  I don’t carry my Bible for others merely to see, I carry my Bible because I actually read it.  We have some down time often on my job and I read my Bible during those times.  I really want to grow in my knowledge of God and His grace (2 Peter 3:18).  I don’t carry my Bible because I just want these sinners to see that I am a disciple of Jesus but I also want them to know that I do love God and His Word.  I fear God.  I want to be holy before Him and before them (1 Peter 2:11-12).  I do want them to test my faith and to see if I live to the glory of God.  This apostate damages this when he claims that he use to be a Christian but he gave up on Christianity.  I do believe the Lord will judge him more severely for the damage he is doing against the name of Jesus (Romans 2:9-11).

How do we true disciples of Jesus deal with apostates?  My first reaction is to ignore them.  When I have encountered them in evangelism, I simply move on.  I have no time to cast my pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6).  Apostates often are tough to take through the Law of God because they will say they know the Commandments but then they will claim all kinds of reasons why God will not cast them into outer darkness when they die.  “God is love” is the most dominant argument I hear.  Because God loves, says the apostate, He will not judge us and cast us into hell.  Because God is loving and good, He will not care if we humans live in fornication, in drunkery, and indulging the flesh.  He will understand and forgive us and let us into His presence.  When I have countered with the holiness of God and His hatred for sin, they often counter with “Jesus died for my sins and all our sins so we are forgiven in Him.”  Amazing how Satan pours lies into apostates minds.

I do pray that apostates repent.  I am not sure they will.  Hebrews 6:4-20 seems to suggest that apostasy is without repentance.  I can see why.  Apostates are truly dogs and pigs.  They truly bring shame to the name of Jesus by claiming to be in Him while living in apostasy (1 John 2:3-6).  The apostate at my work is doing much harm and I pray that God will save him or judge him.  The damage he is doing is eternal as these sinful men that I work with listen to his lies about Christ and His salvation.  Just like his father Satan, he is a destroyer (John 10:10).

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Written by The Seeking Disciple

09/29/2012 at 11:03 AM

Posted in Apostasy

Tagged with ,

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