Dr. Couch, with all the confusion going on in the world today, do you think the church knows what its main task is all about?
No, absolutely not! I could not help but think of 1 Timothy 3:15 where the apostle Paul says the church is "the household of God, … the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth." But two verses down (4:1), Paul then adds these disquieting words, "But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from THE FAITH, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines (teachings) of demons."
The expression "fall away" is the Greek word "aphistami" which is in the Future Middle Indicative form, meaning, "they will in the future themselves withdraw" from the faith! Paul is clearly speaking about those who are "religious" and could even be those who were born again, but who will apostatize and no longer give credence to the truth. They could be then the Christian Blind! Paul was concerned about those Timothy was ministering to. He warns Timothy to be concerned for the brethren: "In pointing out these things, you are to be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of THE FAITH and of SOUND (healthy) DOCTRINE which you have been following" (v. 6).
By using the Middle Voice, Paul seems to be implying that when this departure takes place (in the future) those who do so, are somewhat aware of what they are doing. They will not be innocent!
This is the apostasy that I believe we are presently moving into quite rapidly!
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch