Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12
I’ve been a Christian long enough to have seen many people fall away from the faith. Some have been well-known ministers or speakers who built large organizations or churches before falling into outright unbelief or into impenitence for serious sin. Others have been close friends who have decided to abandon their profession of faith along with their spouses. Still others have been former students in Bible studies and Sunday school classes who embraced worldly values and never darkened the door of an orthodox, gospel-preaching church again even if they claimed some sort of Christian allegiance.
Usually the apostasy comes with such suddenness that it seems as if it happened overnight. As circumstances unfold, however, it normally becomes clear that this was no sudden change. Sometimes it began with a male friend spending lots of time alone with a female friend who was not his spouse, confiding in her about his marriage struggles. In other cases, the individual started entertaining doubts about God’s Word and made no real attempt to find answers. Failing to gather regularly for corporate worship alongside God’s people started the slide into faithlessness in other instances. I could list different circumstances that led up to the apostasy in other situations. What they all have in common, however, is how they show that apostasy wasn’t a decision out of the blue. It was the culmination of many steps, the first several of which likely went unnoticed. Apostasy is normally not a sudden fall off a mountain of faith into the valley of unbelief. More often than not, people tiptoe into apostasy.