Is the Falling Away From the Faith Happening Today?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Is the great falling away happening in the church today, and if so, what does it look like?

Falling Away

Is the great falling away happening in the church today, and if so, what does it look like? What are churches and Christians “falling away” from? They are falling away from the truth of the gospel or the original, once-delivered gospel. The Apostle Paul warned about a time when people will no longer want to hear the truth and begin to believe lies, saying “the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions” (2 Tim 4:3). Paul said, as a warning to all, “Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction” (2 Thess 2:3). It appears that in the last days preceding Christ’s return, there will be a great falling away from the truth and people will be falling for lies. Many of Jesus’ last teachings before Calvary was to prepare the church for a coming time of apostasy or falling away from sound, biblical doctrine. Jesus said, “I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away” (John 16:1).

Another Gospel

Jesus referred to the last days in the Olivet Discourse or the Olivet Prophecy as it is sometimes called, and our Lord warned His disciples (and by extension, us!) that in the last days, “many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matt 24:10-12). The Apostle Paul was saddened and shocked that the church in Galatia was “so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel” (Gal 6:1). Paul wasn’t really saying there was a different or better gospel or that “there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ” (Gal 6:2). Today, “another gospel” is being preached and taught that mentions no need for repentance, confession, living in holiness, so it’s not really another gospel but a seeker sensitive gospel that doesn’t want to offend, even though Jesus said it was necessary that offense must happen or that it was impossible that no offense would come when proclaiming Christ (Luke 17:1).

Perverting the Gospel

Jude wanted to write about the church’s common salvation (Jude 1:3) but he “found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). Why was it “necessary?” It was because “certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:4). It wasn’t obvious about these deceivers were bringing in another gospel because they “crept in…unnoticed.” Jude couldn’t sit idly by and say nothing, nor can we. We too must contend for the faith once and originally delivered by God. It was too serious of an issue for the church for Jude to say nothing. The gospel must include the sinless life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:1-5).

Doctrines of Demons

Any other gospel message other than the original one (a call to repent and belief – Mark 1:15) is not from God but from Satan himself. The Apostle Paul was apparently warned by God when He said that “the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons” (1 Tim 4:1). Any other gospel that doesn’t require repentance and faith in Christ alone is not going to save anyone. Paul was “afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (2 Cor 11:3), so we must all “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God” (Heb 3:12). What do we do when we see a brother or sister in Christ compromising the truth or falling away from it? We are told that “if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20), even if that sin was believing a lie or believing a different gospel.

Last Days

Near Peter’s last days, he warned “false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep” (2 Pet 2:1-3). Sadly, many churches want to water down the gospel and make it into another (satanic) gospel. A non-offensive gospel can fill the pews and parking lots, but we must be interested in filling the book of life. We must proclaim the whole gospel, even if it offends (and it will!) We can never compromise the gospel nor can we improve it. The power is in the gospel not in methods or plans (Rom 1:16; 1 Cor 1:18).


I pray you have put your trust in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, but if you haven’t, you are in real mortal danger of hell fire. You’re one breath, one heartbeat…one accident away from eternity when it will be too late to repent. Today is the best day to believe (2 Cor 6:2) since tomorrow is no guarantee. If Jesus Christ came today, here is your fate (Matt 7:21-23). This is why I plead with you as you read this, repent today…and I mean right now. Put your trust in Jesus Christ. If you do not, you will face God’s judgment after death guaranteed (Heb 9:27) or at Jesus Christ’s appearance (Rev 20:12-15), which could happen at any moment.

Here is some related reading for you: How Churches Are Falling Away From Biblical Truth

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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