Pastor Warns 'Exvangelical' Trend Could Be Start Of 'Major' Falling Away As End Times Approaches

Dr. David Jeremiah
Dr. David Jeremiah |

A California pastor warned that the current occurrences of notable Christians leaving the faith could signify the start of the great falling away as predicted in the Bible.

David Jeremiah, the pastor of Shadow Mountain Community in El Cajon, discussed the pressing issue about "exvangelicals" during his sermon on Sunday for the new series, "Where Do We Go From Here? - How Tomorrow's Prophecies Foreshadow Today's Problems," Christian Headlines reported.

Without mentioning the name of Joshua Harris, the minister spoke about the famous author and former pastor who declared his desertion from Christianity in 2019. Jeremiah said that Harris' story "cuts [him] to the heart" since he has also seen other pastors did the same before.

He added that such example of falling away is not a new phenomenon, citing Demas who left Paul for his love for the "present world" in 2 Timothy 4:10.

Further, he mentioned about the book of Jude, where it was written that even some angels have fallen away from their allegiance to the Lord.

He also talked about Judas Iscariot, and also a former pastor who decided to become an atheist.

"As we know from the Scripture, one of the signs of the end times is the rising of self-proclaimed Christians who ultimately reject Christ," the pastor said.

He supported his statement by quoting 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, wherein Paul prophesied the "falling away" before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

He then discussed about the tribulation and the great revival. But he pointed out that there will be a defection in the end times. Citing 1 John 2:18-19, he warned of people who come to the church but are not really Christians.

The minister then outlined three points why people fall away from their faith.

First, because people were deceived, particularly with spiritual deception as written in 1 Timothy 4:1-2. The verses, he said, warn of false teachers "who traffic in lies and hypocrisy," trying "to cause spiritual damage," and manipulate the people of God.

"That's the reason why some people fall away. They get caught up in a spiritual scam," he continued.

Second, because people are disillusioned. Jeremiah mentioned about the parable of the sower, wherein some seeds fell on the pathway on the road, rocky soil and thorny patch. The seeds on these areas encountered challenges but are not sufficiently rooted so they died. In the same way, those people who received the Word of God but are not properly rooted fall away when problems arise.

"They want their problems to go away but they don't want to surrender their [lives] to Jesus... They want the blessings of belief without the burden of swimming against the cultural stream and so they feel delusion," he further said.

Third, because people are distracted, citing Luke 8:14. The pastor said that these are individuals who "simply just don't have time for their faith" and are distracted.

"When they're forced to choose between spiritual things and the physical care and riches and pleasures of life, they can't see past their own noses... They are pulled by the desire that is so strong, they let loose of their faith in order to grab hold of the world," the minister stated.

He went on to say that if one really wants to be a follower of Jesus, the person must do it on purpose and has to be intentional.

Jeremiah then gave three factors for Christians to ensure that they are not "classified" as people who have fallen away.

First, they must "examine" themselves whether they are "true Christians," as 2 Corinthians 13:5 says. He said that believers must make sure that they have "personally" invited Jesus Christ as their Savior.

"Christianity is a moment of decision," he added.

The minister pointed out that it is necessary to test oneself since, as Matthew 7:21-23 says, not everyone who calls on the Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven.

Secondly, Christians must encourage themselves in the Lord, as David did in 1 Samuel 30, when his people thought of stoning him after the Amalekites raided Ziklag and captured the families of his soldiers. Distressed, "David strengthened himself in the Lord."

Finally, Christians must "exercise" themselves "toward godliness," as Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:7-8.

 Jeremiah said that it is important for Christians to "keep growing and moving forward" because "stagnant faith is the devil's playground."

Earlier, Francis Chan also spoke about the matter and urged Christians to bring back the sacredness and awe when they worship God, and to grow in their intimacy with God. This, Chan said, will enable them to fear God.

"The world is going to get worse; persecution is going to get worse. And when they're alone with Him, is there enough of this awe and enjoyment of Him, and a fear of Him, that they can survive anything?" Chan reasoned.