By Roy Burner (Minister of the Gospel)
A castaway is one who has rejected the inner moral conscience; having strayed from the truths of God's Word, with other influences having intervened, diverting one's moral compass towards acceptance of the previously unacceptable.
Many ministries have become a castaway, rather than a continued influence, with the growing trend of acceptance of a secular society, instead of maintaining biblical standards. The influx of worldliness has enticed many from previous held convictions.
There is growing acceptance of worldly standards that are attempting to outweigh godly values established in God's Word. The persuasive methods of the serpent, in the Garden of Eden utilized by Satan as a tool, are still very much in evidence today!
Scripture reveals: This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come (2 Timothy 3:1). The last days began with the birth of Christ and will be finalized with His return to earth to set up His kingdom. The prediction of perilous times denotes what will come in the final days of the church age.
Men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy. Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent (or without self-control), fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady (or reckless), high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:2-4).
All of these characteristics could cause one to become a castaway; rather than a follower of God! Scripture reveals: Having a form of godliness; but deny the power thereof: from such turn away (2 Timothy 3:5). A form of godliness is mere religion without power or spiritual life. The church, in many Western nations, has evolved into such because of forsaking a walk with God that would have prevented such from taking place.
We live in a world which is fast becoming of a pagan nature; having allowed the corruptness of the world to dominate, rather than godliness.
Many ungodly lifestyles are now proclaimed with pride; as well as demanding acceptance. Scripture reveals: Professing themselves to be wise, they become fools (Romans 1:22). Wherefore, God gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves (Romans 1:24).
The apostle Paul instructed Timothy, a young evangelist: To hold faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away (or rejected) concerning the faith, have made (or suffered) shipwreck (1 Timothy 1:19). Such action would usher in a time that one would not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned into fables (or that which is fictitious) (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
We are seeing a growing indifference because the Word of God is no longer being promulgated, as it once was, under the power and demonstration of God's Spirit. Sometime prior to his death, General Booth of the Salvation army, uttered this significant prophecy:
I consider that the chief dangers that confront the coming century will be Religion without the Holy Ghost; Christianity without Christ; Forgiveness without regeneration; Morality without God; and Heaven without Hell.
We are seeing the fulfillment of this prophecy! There is a devilment being unleashed as that of Pandora's Box. In Greek mythology a story is told of a box sent by the gods to Pandora, which she was forbidden to open. She opened the box out of curiosity that loosened a swarm of evils upon mankind: a prolific source of troubles.
Many are no longer tuned into the instructive Word of God falling into the category of being a castaway. Scripture reveals: For there are certain men crept in unawares (or unnoticed), who were of old (or long ago) ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness (or a license to immorality), and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ (Jude 1:4).
Jude wanted to warn his readers the cost of becoming a castaway: As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication (or sexual immorality), and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance (or punishment) of eternal fire (Jude 1:7).
The sin identified in Jude's day has exploded in vast portions since that time. There is an influx of ungodliness that far surpasses yesteryear! There is a growth that should awaken Christians to its reality; those who have not become a castaway to the truth.
God's Word ensures salvation to the believer in Christ; who walks uprightly in accordance with God's Word. Such will never be a castaway, or shipwrecked in faith; unless one allows the influence of this world, and sin, to reign in their life, without repentance.
Scripture reveals an antidote for such: If any man sin, we have an advocate (or intercessor) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And he is the propitiation (or atonement) for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:1-2).
Thank God, for the one who is not a castaway, or shipwrecked, but on a spiritual course towards a heavenly gain through Jesus being Lord and Savior! God equips us, through His anointed Word, of His Spirit, and His Son (the Lord Jesus Christ), to see us through all the trials of life, towards a Heavenly gain.
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