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RCCG SUNDAY SCHOOL STUDENT’S MANUAL
SUNDAY 9TH OF JULY, 2023
LESSON FORTY FIVE (45)
MEMORY VERSE: “Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?” Hebrews 10:29 (NKJV).
BIBLE PASSAGE: Hebrews 6:4-6
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit,
and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
INTRODUCTION: Renouncing one’s faith is ‘apostasy.’ The term apostasy comes from the Greek word ‘apostasia’ meaning ‘defection,’ ‘departure,’ ‘revolt’ or ‘rebellion.’ Apostasy is the formal disaffiliation from, abandonment of, or renunciation of a religion by a person. It can also be defined within the broader context of embracing an opinion that is contrary to one’s previous religious beliefs. It is an act of refusing to continue to follow, obey, or recognise a religious faith. One who undertakes apostasy is known as an apostate.
1. THE CHARACTERISTICS
2.THE DANGER AND HOPE
1. THE CHARACTERISTICS
In the context of the Christian faith, there are two main forms of Apostasy: one is a falling away from key and true doctrines of the Bible into heretical teachings that claim to be “the real” Christian doctrine while the other is a complete renunciation of the Christian faith, which results in full abandonment of Christ (Heb.10:29).
Jude’s description of the character of the first Century apostates explains why he so strongly opposed them. Some believers today are toying the paths of the apostates of Jude’s day, ignoring scriptural warnings of past judgments on sins (Rom.15:4) such as that of unbelieving Israelites, fallen Angels (Jude 6; 2Pet.2:4), Sodom and Gomorrah (Jude 7; Gen.19:24-25).
They are becoming ungodly by moral perversion, defilement of the flesh, rebellion, boldly speaking evil against people and things they do not understand such as spiritual beings and dignitaries (Jude 8-10). They are ignorant about God, proclaiming false visions, self-destructive, grumbling, fault-finding, self-satisfying, using arrogant words and false flattery and they make a mockery of God (Jude 15-18). They ignore God and His word like Cain, practising greed and deceit like Balaam and rebelling against spiritual authorities like Korah (Jude 11). Apostates are sensual (Jude 19). They deny the Lordship of Jesus Christ (Titus 1:15-16).
CLASS ACTIVITY 1: The class should discuss the problems an apostate could bring to the body of Christ in particular and society at large.
2. THE DANGER AND HOPE
Ultimately, an apostate eventually falls away and departs from the truth of God’s word and His righteousness (1Jn.2:19). We can deduce from Hebrews 6:4-6 that by human intervention, it is impossible to renew those who abandon their Christian faith. However, the Bible makes it clear that with God nothing shall be impossible (Lk.1:37; Jer.32:27). Therefore, if a child of God abandons his faith for whatever reason (including apostasy), there is but one route of return -that of repentance, acknowledgement of wrong and the humble petition for God’s pardon (2Chron. 7:14; 2 Cor.7:10; 1Jn.1:9).
It is critical, now more than ever, that every believer prays for discernment, combat apostasy, and contend earnestly for the faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints.
CLASS ACTIVITY 2: The class should discuss how a true believer can guard against sliding into apostasy.
CONCLUSION: Apostasy is a dangerous trend that can lead to a point of no return. Be watchful.
* What characterises apostasy?
* How dangerous is apostasy?
FURTHER READINGS: MON: Heb. 10:26-29;
TUE: 1Ti 1:19; WED: 1Tim 4:1; THUR: 2Tim
44; FRI: Heb. 3:12: SAT: 2Pe 3:17, SUN: Ju.
ASSIGNMENT: Identify five (5) things the church of God can do to help apostates (2×5=10 Marks).
SUNDAY SCHOOL HYMN
1. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
O how I love Thee well,
I am happy, it makes me glad
To rejoice at Thy birth.
2. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
Thy friend friendship suits me well,
Both young and will sing Thy song,
We long for Sunday School.
3. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
Christ was Thy first teacher,
The Holy Spirit, great teacher,
Does manifest in thee.
4. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
This testimony is sure,
That God, the Father Almighty,
Poured His blessing on Thee
5. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
Though the sun be so bright,
Or if the clouds be black with rain,
I’ll be in Sunday School.
6. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day
I rejoice to see Thee,
Will thou pass over me today?
Without my being blest?