The Falling Away
God warned the Church in the days of Paul that before the Lord Jesus Christ should come, there would be a falling away first [2 Thessalonians 2:2-3]. Even so, Paul continued to warn the saints of a time when they would "not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." [2 Timothy 4:3-4].
Paul, along with Peter, never ceased to warn the Church against perverting the doctrine of Christ [Acts 20:29-31; 2 Peter 2:1-3]. For they both feared that the saints would leave the simplicity of Christ [2 Corinthians 11:2-4]. However, despite their best efforts, they could not prevent the falling away. As Isaiah prophesied, there would come a day when the Church would transgress the laws of God, change the ordinances, and break the everlasting covenant.
In the years following the formation of Christ's Church in the book of Acts, a number of incorrect doctrines began to enter into the Church and corrupt the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some of these incorrect doctrines include:
the concept that baptism is unnecessary for eternal life,
the altering of the sacrament from a remembrance of Christ and our covenant with God, to the belief of transubstantiation,
the belief that authority and priesthood are no longer required,
removing the need for the gifts of the Spirit; and
the idea that God no longer speaks to man and that there is no more need for angels.
Scriptures to Consider
Isaiah 24:5-6 (KJV)
24:5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. 24:6 Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.
2 Thessalonians 2:2-3 (KJV)
2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first,
2 Timothy 4:3-4 (KJV)
4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Acts 20:29-31 (KJV)
20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.