People, whether Christian or not, can change quite drastically. Sometimes very quickly. Sometimes unnoticeably. Look what Paul had to deal with concerning two of his fellow laborers in the gospel, Demas and Mark (John Mark). Mark deserted him, but later came to his senses. Demas remained faithful for quite a time, but deserted him in the end. Look how Paul handled it:
Paul’s Second Journey AD 52-53
After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing.” Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark. But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work. Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated. Barnabas took John Mark with him and sailed for Cyprus. Paul chose Silas, and as he left, the believers entrusted him to the Lord’s gracious care. Then he traveled throughout Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches there. (Acts 15:36-41 NLT)
AD 61 Paul In Prison In Rome
Luke, the beloved doctor, sends his greetings, and so does Demas. (Colossians 4:14 NLT)
Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you his greetings. So do Mark (John Mark), Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my co-workers. (Philemon 1:23, 24 NLT)
AD 67 Paul’s Last Letter Before His Execution By Nero
Timothy, please come as soon as you can. Demas has deserted me because he loves the things of this life and has gone to Thessalonica….Only Luke is with me. Bring Mark (John Mark) with you when you come, for he will be helpful to me in my ministry. (2 Timothy 4:9-11 NLT)
We are truly living in the time of the last apostasy (abandonment or renunciation of core beliefs). I have been a Christian for 37 years. I have seen many Bible Teachers and Ministers of the Gospel change over time. The change is usually for the bad. They started off so well and rose to prominence. Then they claim they were enlightened and began to teach another gospel.
When their present ministries are examined in the light of God’s Word, they very clearly do not stand up anymore. But their followers will protect these apostates and they will tenaciously support their antics. It is all in fulfillment of Paul’s last warning before his execution:
For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. (2 Timothy 4:3, 4 NLT)
The problem is, some of these men, like Billy Graham, are held in very high esteem both by the religious and secular worlds because of past accomplishments. But the uncompromising gospel they once preached in their early ministries, is no longer intact. They now pedal a false gospel, a soft gospel of ease. When devout Christians sound the alarm of warning, they are met with disgust and labeled unloving and cruel.
This is not just with renowned ministers. This also happens quite frequently in local churches. I especially see it where aged ministers should of stepped down years ago, but now lead their flock to disaster. Their loyal following has taken their eyes off of the unchangeable Word of God and kept them on a changeable man.
Christians are to be faithful to Jesus Christ and the Word of God above all else. Many faithful Christians have been martyred for their stand.
I want to make this clear. I am not talking about disputable doctrines concerning the gifts, or baptisms, or observances, or end times beliefs. I am referring to the true gospel itself. Jesus is the only way. He literally became God in the flesh. He suffered, died, buried, and rose again to pay the price of sin. All are destined for the final Hell because of our sins. The only escape is for an individual to make a conscience decision to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord by faith. Then and only then is their life turned around where they will inherit eternal life in Heaven in God’s presence. They will no longer live a life of sin and disobedience to God. Any twist from this is a false gospel.
In conclusion, please do not get caught up by time and loyalties. Test where you are at now. If a false gospel is preached, confront leadership in a biblical manner. If you are ignored, you have no choice but to move on to where the true gospel is preached. Shake the dust from your feet. The destiny and health of your soul is most important. Please do not become a victim of time!