Why would anyone write and ask me to do a blog on apostates? But she did, and so I guess I should say a word or two. We know about such people from 1 John. They went out from us that it might be made known that they were not of us, John tells us. So, there you have one test. John also looks at their doctrine—if they refuse to say that Jesus came in the flesh, reject them; if they confess it—accept them. That had to do with one particular heresy of the time. It’s not a general test, but a highly specific one. The specific test was if they agreed – or didn’t with the apostles. You can check out the verses for yourself—wouldn’t hurt you to study 1 John on the subject. (Also check out Deut. 13).
An apostate is one who once claimed to adhere to the truth, then turned his back on it and walked away. Or, perhaps, did all he could to destroy it. You don’t hang around with such people lest you become corrupted (1 Corinthians 15:33). Of course, if it’s a husband or wife, you’ll need to do all you should in your role as such, but you’ll need your church’s help. Otherwise, you’ll have a very hard time of it.
Of course you want to win apostates to Christ, if possible—but you simply must heed the warning in 1 Corinthians as well.