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?
OPENING PRAYER: Almighty Father, please keep me from renouncing my faith in Christ.
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.
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).
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.
TEXT REVIEW: The teacher should identify five natures of people who would be difficult to be renewed again into repentance by human efforts according to the above-stated Bible passage. For example:
i. People who were once enlightened.
LESSON OUTLINE 1: THE CHARACTERISTICS
A. The teacher should define “apostasy” as defection, departure, rebellion, disaffiliation, abandonment or renunciation of a religion or faith by a person.
B.Th. teacher should identify two major forms of apostasy as follows:
i. Falling away from key and true doctrines of the Bible into heretical teachings that claim to be “the real” Christian doctrine.
ii. Renunciation of the Christian faith which results in a full abandonment of Christ. Heb 10:29
C. The teacher should identify and explain the following characteristics of the apostates.
i. They ignore the biblical warning of God’s judgment on sin. Rom.15:4
ii. They do not learn from the records of what God did to fallen angels and wicked nations.
Jude 1:6; 2 Pet.2:4; Gen.19:24-25
iii. They are morally perverse, rebellious and defile the flesh.
iv. They speak evil against people and things they do not understand like spiritual beings and dignitaries. Jude 1:8-10
v. They are ignorant about God or have become ignorant of God.
vi. They proclaim false vision and have become self-destructive, self-satisfying, fault finders and grumblers.
vii. They use flattery and arrogant expressions and mock God. Jude 1:15-18
viii. They ignore God and His word like Cain.
ix. They are greedy and deceitful like Balaam.
x. They rebel against spiritual authorities and directives like Korah, Dathan, and Abiran. Jude 1:11
xi. They are sensual. Jude 1:10
xii. They deny the lordship of 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.
LESSON OUTLINE 2: THE DANGER AND HOPE
i. The apostate would eventually fall away and depart from the truth of God’s word and His righteousness. 1 John 2:19
ii. It can be deduced from Hebrews 6:4-6 that it is impossible to restore apostates back to the faith (by human efforts).
B. HOPE FOR AN APOSTATE
i. The apostate can still return to God who can do all things. Luke 1:37; Jer.32:27
ii. The apostate who repents of his/her apostasy and humbly and genuinely call on God will receive forgiveness. 2 Chron.7:14; 2 Cor.7:10; 1John 1:9
i. Every believer must pray 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.
SUMMARY: Believers should avoid apostasy totally and those who have departed should cry to God for mercy and restoration.
CONCLUSION: Apostasy is a dangerous trend that can lead to a point of no return. Be watchful.
i. Describe an apostate
ii. Why should apostasy be avoided totally?
iii. What are the ways out of apostasy?
CLOSING PRAYER: Father, we know that nothing is impossible for You, therefore, restore the apostates in our society in the name of Jesus.
ASSIGNMENT: Identify five (5) things the church of God can do to help apostates (2×5=10 Marks).
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