(Yes, You Can “Fall Away” From The Faith!)
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. – 2 Timothy 4:7-8 (ESV)
Finish the Race. Prior chapters have touched on the need to persevere in faith (i.e., remain faithful) unto death, but we now go into much more detail. The Bible is abundantly clear and replete with warnings that you can “fall away from the faith” and that it is only those who “persevere” in faith unto death (“be faithful until death,” “keeps My deeds until the end”) who will receive their “crown of [eternal] life.”
Persevering in faith is a matter of utmost importance. You have already read that final salvation (when you receive your “crown of life”) is not the same as initial salvation (“forgiveness of sins,” when you are “born again”). Modern liberal churches are doing a poor job of explaining the difference and thereby put many at risk of losing their “crown of life.” From the sheer number of verses given in Scripture which admonish one to persevere in faith, you will see is a vitally important topic. Please also make a note that the need to persevere in faith didn’t just surface as a new requirement in the New Testament, for the Old Testament also discusses this subject (see Zephaniah 1:6, Jude 1:5).
And as you might guess by now, false teachings also abound on this subject – particularly the “once saved always saved” false teaching (also known as “perseverance of the saints” under Calvinism) which is shilled endlessly in absolutely blaring volume 24/7/365.25 from nearly all so-called “reformed” Christian churches, media outlets, books, and even seminaries! This false teaching claims that a Christian can never lose their salvation, for any reason whatsoever – even if one is blatantly disobedient to the commands of Christ, doesn’t lead a repentant life, doesn’t bear any fruit for the Lord, and even if one turns back from Christ and abandons their faith altogether! This is in clear contradiction with many verses of Scripture, one of which is:
Please understand that in order to “fall away” from something, or to leave it (go apostate), you must have once first had it to begin with, or you could not “fall away” from it! There are a number of terms used to describe this:
- “No longer walk” (John 6:66),
- “Shrink back,” “turn back,” “turn away” (Hebrews 10:39),
- Going “apostate” (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 2 Peter 2:20-22),
- “Falling away” from (i.e., quit) the faith (Matthew 24:10, Luke 8:13, Hebrews 3:12, 1 Timothy 4:1, Hebrews 6:4-6),
- “Depart from the faith” (1 Timothy 4:1 ESV),
- “Abandon the faith” (1 Timothy 4:1 NIV),
- Backsliding (Proverbs 14:14 ESV, Jeremiah 2:19, Jeremiah 3:22),
- “Looking back” (Genesis 19:26, Luke 9:62)
- Going prodigal (Luke 15:11-32),
- Becoming “neither hot nor cold,” i.e., “lukewarm” (Revelation 3:15-16),
- “Abandoning the love you had at first,” which is Christ (Revelation 2:4),
- “Being alive, but you are dead” (Revelation 3:1),
- Being “led astray,” “deceived” or misled by others such as the false teachers, i.e., the “wolves” and “vipers” (2 Corinthians 11:3, 2 Peter 2:1, 2 Peter 3:17, 1 Timothy 4:1-3, Luke 21:8, Revelation 2:4, Revelation 2:20, Acts 20:28-30, Hebrews 13:9, 2 Timothy 4:4, Revelation 3:11, Matthew 24:10-13), and even
- Having your “crown of life” stolen/seized (Revelation 3:11)!
Now I ask you, if it were not possible to lose your salvation, why is Scripture so full of warnings about this very thing? I hope you can see that those who proclaim the “once saved always saved” false teaching are doing so in the face of overwhelming Scripture to the contrary! It should be noted that false teachings almost always travel in packs, and the “once saved always saved” false teaching is almost always accompanied by the “sinner’s prayer” and the “saved by faith only/alone” false teachings.
CAUSES OF FALLING AWAY
There are several prominent reasons why a Christian falls away from or quits (abandons) their faith:
- Ignorance (and Indifference): They don’t take the warnings given in Scripture seriously – that one must “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” and to “be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choice of you,” so they fail to “grow in the grace and knowledge [understanding]” of Christ. They often stop reading the Bible, stop praying, stop going to church, etc. I’ve also heard it said it’s “boring” to read the Bible. May I kindly suggest that if it really is boring to read the Bible, then you are not really living in the Spirit. Something to consider. If you are not feeding your new Spirit with the Word of God, it will die.
- Cares of This World: They let the cares and concerns of this world along with a continued lustful desire for fame, fortune, power and wealth reassert itself as the controlling force in their life, and they stop pursuing the “things above” and once again “set their minds on things of this world” (i.e., they are “thorny soil,” see Matthew 13).
- Threat of Persecution: They wish to preserve their own life instead of “standing firm” in their faith when severe trials and tribulations come their way (even in the face of death), and they “count the cost” of following Christ to high and therefore return to the ways of this world.
- They Follow “Another Gospel Which is Not Another”: They are led astray (“tricked,” deceived”) by the false teachings of man (e.g., legalism, sabbath keeping, cults which deny Christ, etc.). This results in large measure from item #1, failing to “grow in the grace and knowledge [understanding]” of Christ, and failing to be diligent in reading, studying and meditating on the Word of God. Yes, you can be tricked out of your “crown of life.” “Be not deceived!”
WE MUST FINISH THE RACE
Scripture admonishes us not to take our eternal salvation lightly or with carelessness. We are exhorted to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” and to “test yourselves [examine yourselves!] to see if you are in the faith”:
You “work out” your salvation by serving the Lord each and every day, by seeking His will instead of your own, and always growing in the grace and understanding of the Lord. You must follow Christ by “taking up your cross” and “deny himself” and “put off your old self” each day. Also remember that “fear of the Lord” doesn’t mean to be literally afraid of Him – it means to live in humility, awe, honor and respect to God, knowing who He is (His holy and righteous nature), and doing so with worship, thankfulness, trust and obedience. The verse also conveys the sense that the closer you get to God in your walk as a Christian (by “abiding in” Christ and “He in you”), the more you realize how far away from His holiness and righteousness you really are – but that is actually a good thing, for it keeps us humble and aware of our shortcomings and weaknesses and reminds us of the need to persevere in faith through the power of Christ living in us.
It is also written:
The verses above exhort us to “be diligent” (daily) about our faith, and not take God, or our salvation, for granted. As long as you are walking towards Christ, you know that you are not “stumbling” or “falling away” from Him and back into sin and eternal death. “We must obey God rather than men” and we must seek and want to please God, not man. We must seek Godly wisdom (“the wisdom from above”), not the wisdom of man and this world. We must value “the things above [heavenly, eternal things]” over material things. We must “Worship God” and not “idols.” We must “do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father,” and “whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord and not for people” – with reverence, careful and sustained attention, persevering unto the very end to make sure we don’t “come up short” of eternal life.
The apostle Paul wrote that he had not yet “finished the race” nor had he yet “received the crown of life.” And if even the great apostle Paul tells us that he had not yet obtained the prize of eternal life in Christ, how much less should we think that we have!
To borrow a real-world analogy, you are not said to have “run” (i.e., completed) a marathon race by simply starting out from the starting line – you must also cross the finish line in order for it to count/matter and be recorded as officially completed. Is the marathon runner awarded a prize for starting the race, or for finishing the race? Being born again, you have only started the race – you must also finish! Scripture is abundantly clear that even after one is born again and starts out in faith, one can still come up short of the glory of heaven:
YOU CAN EVEN BE TRICKED OUT OF YOUR CROWN OF LIFE!
Not only must you “stand firm” in the face of trials, tribulation and persecution to the very end, but you must also withstand the false teachings of man (the “wolves,” “vipers” and modern day “Pharisees”) that you will encounter all along the way. Scripture tells us that you can be “tricked” out of your “crown of life” by false teachings (“carried away by the error of unprincipled men,”, “deceived,” “led astray,” “taken captive”):
This happens primarily through ignorance, but also through laziness in not reading and diligently studying (meditating on) God’s Word – by not knowing Scripture well enough yourself. This is partly how Satan deceived (“tricked”) Eve (and then Adam) in the Garden of Eden. This is why we are strongly admonished to always be “growing in the grace and knowledge [understanding]” of Christ, which we do through daily reading and studying Scripture. We must know what the Word of God actually says ourselves:
So yes, you can be led off of the “straight and narrow” path to eternal life by the false teachings of man – false teachings which lead away from Christ and back into bondage under sin and death. The “wolves” do this by convincing you through clever distortions of Scripture where they mix a little truth in with a bunch of man-made conjurings (by subtly adding to, distorting, or subtracting from Scripture), and devise what APPEAR to be biblically sounding doctrines, but which are really the false teachings of man which lead away from Christ. These false teachings abound in many directions and many different areas. Many of the false teachings “crucify once again” Christ on the cross! This is why the Bible contains numerous and explicit warnings about these false teachers (the “wolves”). This is also why I have devoted an entire section of this book to identify false teachings so you will not be led astray (see Beware the Wolves). You will almost surely encounter the false teachings identified in that section of the book as they are rampant today in so-called “modern” liberal Christianity.
You see, I started out once begin born again, but I fell away from Christ and back into this world of sin and addiction. I fell away through neglect of the Word of God and also through undo concern again for the cares of this world. I fell away for reasons #1 and #2 listed prior in this chapter. This is why later in this book I provide a 30-day head-start list of things that I recommend you do to get off on the right foot – so you won’t make the same mistakes I did as you begin your walk as a Christian.
In fact, there is an entire parable taught by Christ Himself on this very subject: the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-23). You see, I was the “thorny soil!” I started out in faith, but I fell away – back into selfish, worldly, fleshly, lustful, sinful pursuits and addiction. I still don’t know why the Lord pursued me and brought me back to Him again (it wasn’t through anything I did or deserved). He reached out for me and snatched me back to Him again – through His relentless lovingkindness, patience, mercy and grace. It has been truly staggering for me to see how He has pursued me.
And contrary to even more false teachings (e.g., the “prosperity gospel,” the “name it and claim it” crowd, etc.), you don’t get rich, famous, or live “happily ever after” just because you are a Christian. Not all of your prayers, desires, and wishes will be answered to your liking. However, know that God’s will is being done, and as a Christian, you will now be a part of that. Seek His will, not your own, and you will never go wrong.
PERSEVERANCE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
The need for perseverance is also demonstrated in the Old Testament. We have as an example for us the Jews whom God led out of bondage in Egypt towards the Promised Land. Many of the Jews fell away because they didn’t persevere in faith. They grumbled, wanted the things of the world again, and fell back into sin. These verses are helpful on this matter (with my comments added in brackets to assist with understanding only):
As you can see, even in the Old Testament, God required one to persevere in faith, and He rewards eternally those who do so – those who “fight the good fight” and “finish the race,” not those who “quit the faith.”
GOD IS NOT MOCKED
Be not deceived – “God is not mocked.” Christ will sort out all the imposters, the “make-believers,” the “hypocrites” and the pretenders of faith at the end of time on the great Day of Judgment. And this leads us to one of the most terrifying verses in all of Scripture:
Imagine the shock and (eternal) horror of those professing “Christians” who were Christians in name only – but not in truth, obedience, action (deed/works) and perseverance because they didn’t know the truth of what is written in Scripture. They will realize too late that they “came up short” of eternal life, that they didn’t “work out their salvation with fear and trembling” and make “their calling and election sure.” So please do not take your salvation for granted, or you too might “fall away” from or depart from the faith and then hear Jesus say on that great Day of Judgment: “Depart from me…” I personally want to hear: “Well done, good and faithful servant! Enter into My rest…” It is up to each of us individually to ensure that we hear that.
Scripture tells us very plainly that a Christian may be called to face trials, tribulation and even persecution unto death in the name of Christ:
Even further, it is written that all who follow Christ will suffer persecution:
So, brother or sister in Christ (and I’m also addressing this question to myself): Are you suffering for Christ? If not, maybe you are not serving or walking with Christ as you should be? This suffering and persecution may be manifest in various forms, from minor ridicule and mocking for telling others about Christ, to economic sanctions or disenfranchisement for not agreeing to do business in a dishonest or fraudulent manner, all the way up to threats of violence and actual martyrdom in death. The attitude and perspective of the early disciples should be very inspiring to us when we do face persecution for the sake of Christ:
For anyone who doubts that trials and tribulations may come to a Christian, I suggest reading the books The Pilgrim’s Progress and Acts and Monuments (known as The Book of Martyrs). The latter details the torture and horrible/gruesome deaths that many early Christians had to endure, all in the name of Christ, as they persevered in their faith to the very end (death in martyrdom).
WE PERSEVERE BY THE POWER OF CHRIST
The life of a Christian may certainly require courage, grit, determination, sacrifice, struggles, danger, trials, tribulations and even persecution unto death. For it is written: “you will be hated because of my name.” But know that you will be able to “stand firm” in your faith not on your own strength or willpower, but by the power of Christ who lives in you. If you trust in Him and seek Him diligently each day, He will hold you in His power through His lovingkindness. He will never leave or forsake you! It is written:
Know also that it is through your trials and tribulations that your faith is tested, strengthened and purified, just like a refiner purifies gold through fire:
In fact, it is written that you should rejoice when you face trials as a Christian; when the early apostles faced persecution, they went away “rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.” And for every temptation, trial or tribulation that you face, God will also provide you with a way out/forward.
Also, it is crucial to remember that we are at the front lines in an actual war between the spiritual forces of darkness and evil (let by Satan) vs. those of God (led by God and His Christ); In effect, we actually live behind enemy lines here in this fallen world:
We are therefore instructed to put on the “full armor of God,” (see The Armor of God Chapter) and to “stand firm” in the faith; notice that we are not attackers – we are simply to “stand firm.” We are to let God win all advances, to gain ground on the enemy, and then we fill that ground with new believers who also “stand firm” in the faith. This is how the Kingdom of God expands and grows.
While Christ victoriously defeated Satan on the cross, and he [Satan] is bound today from many things he would like to do, he still can, and will, attack Christians, to try to turn them away from the faith! This is why you must constantly be “growing in grace and knowledge of the Lord,” daily eating the Word of life, to fend off the attacks of the devil. You may even find that his attacks after you are born again are even more vigorous than before! Do not underestimate the spiritual forces of darkness in which we are engaged – make no mistake, this is a war for eternal life and death! Matthew Henry writes on 2 Peter 1:5-11: 
While those all around you who deny Christ will continue their endless lustful chase and pursuit of the fleeting lures and temptations of this world, being turned every which way by the forces of darkness and tossing and turning in every direction like the waves of the sea in great commotion, a Christian must remain steadfast on the “straight and narrow” path towards life, with his/her gaze firmly and constantly fixed on Christ, every single day:
Note that the word “hate” here is used to mean that we must value, cherish and choose Christ above all others, at all costs, at all times, even above our own family members if necessary. It does not mean to literally hate your family as some falsely teach in gross distortion of Scripture. Matthew Henry writes on the above verses: 
Press on to the goal of eternal life when you receive your Crown of life – and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for all things, for He says: “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
FALSE TEACHING(S) YOU WILL ENCOUNTER:
- Saying a “Sinner’s Prayer” saves you
- You are saved by “Faith Alone/Only”
- Once saved always saved
For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.” – 2 Peter 2:20-22
Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end. – Hebrews 3:5-6
Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, while it is said,
“Today if you hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.” – Hebrews 3:12-15
For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. – Hebrews 6:4-6
You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. 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 11:19-22
“At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.” – Matthew 24:10-13
Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. – 1 Corinthians 16:13
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. – 1 Peter 5:8
“By your endurance you will gain your lives.” – Luke 21:19
“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’” – Matthew 25:23 (ESV)
“And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.” – Revelation 12:11
When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained. – Revelation 6:9
Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you. – 1 Timothy 4:16
But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:7-14
But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated. For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one. Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
For yet in a very little while,
He who is coming will come, and will not delay.
But My righteous one shall live by faith;
And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.
But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul. – Hebrews 10:32-39
…for now we really live, if you stand firm in the Lord. – 1 Thessalonians 3:8
…but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death, as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things. – 2 Corinthians 6:4-10
They took his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them. So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. – Acts 5:40-42
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” – Galatians 2:20
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” – Matthew 16:24-26
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
The wicked flee when no one is pursuing,
But the righteous are bold as a lion. – Proverbs 28:1
This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. – Ephesians 3:11-12
Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. – 2 Corinthians 3:4-6
But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” – Acts 5:29
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. – 1 Corinthians 10:13
So that we confidently say,
“The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.
What will man do to me?” – Hebrews 13:6
“And those who have turned back from following the Lord.” – Zephaniah 1:6
“But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.” – Acts 20:24
“In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.” – Mark 4:16-17
That day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea. And large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach.
And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.” …
“Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” – Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 [the parable of the sower]
For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. – Romans 14:7-8
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For 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, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. – 2 Timothy 4:1-8 (ESV)
“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” – John 15:18-19
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. – Hebrews 10:23-25
And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister. – Colossians 1:21-23
You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. – 1 Corinthians 7:23
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. – Romans 5:3-5
Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.
Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. – 2 Peter 3:3-16
“But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.” – Luke 8:15
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. – Galatians 6:9
For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. – Romans 15:4
“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.” – Matthew 10:21-22
“‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary.’” – Revelation 2:2-3
“‘I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first.’” – Revelation 2:19
Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me! Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. – 2 Timothy 3:10-12
Do not fret because of evildoers,
Be not envious toward wrongdoers.
For they will wither quickly like the grass
And fade like the green herb.
Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light
And your judgment as the noonday. – Psalm 37:1-6
Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. – 1 John 2:28