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What is an apostate?

2 Thessalonians 2:3; 1 John 2:19 QA78

What is an apostate?

The word "apostasy" comes from the Greek apostasia, which is translated "falling away" in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. The word is closely related to the Greek word for "divorce."

Apostates are those who fall away from the true faith, abandoning what they formerly professed to believe. The term describes those whose beliefs are so deficient as to place them outside the pale of true Christianity. For example, a liberal denomination that denies the authority of Scripture or the deity of Christ is an apostate denomination.

True Christians do not apostatize. Those who fall away into apostasy demonstrate that their faith was never real to begin with (1 John 2:19).