The ‘deathbed epistle’ is how Dr J. Vernon McGee describes the book of 2 Timothy. It is witten by Paul from a Roman prison to the young pastor he has mentored. Dr. McGee says an ominous cloud hangs over the book – the apostasy, a dark cloud on the horizon then which has broken like a tornado on the world today.
He defines apostasy as the total desertion of the principles of the faith and says it is not due to ignorance, but to heresy, deliberate error, intentional departure from the faith. He says ‘An apostate is one who knows the truth of the gospel and the doctrines of the faith, but he has repudiated and rejected them.'
Dr McGee says: ‘The final fruition (of centuries of Christianity) will not be the total conversion of mankind, nor will it usher in the Millennium. On the contrary there will come about apostasy which will well nigh blot out THE faith* from the earth…
‘And in fact there are two departures at the end of the age. One is the departure of the church, which is called the rapture, caught up to meet the Lord in the air. That’s the departure that leads the old shell of the church that’s left down here to a total departure from the faith, and that enabled the Lord Jesus Christ to give these startling words: When the Son of God cometh, shall He find THE faith on the earth?
‘That is couched in the Greek language in such a way that the answer is - No, He will not!
‘We are now in the midst of an apostasy which is cut to the pattern of Paul’s words. The visible church has entered the orbit of an awful apostasy. The invisible church today is still here and it’s on the way to the epiphany of glory. It’s on the way to the rapture and it is a very comforting thought in these days.’
Dr McGee is scathing about liberalism in the pulpit and the social gospel.
In the realm of better race relations, he says: ‘You can’t create it by forcing people together. Only the gospel of the grace of God makes a man a brother of mine’ and then skin color makes little difference.
You can get all of Dr McGee's teachings at ttb.org and ttb stands for Through the Bible.
*The true faith is that all men are sinful but can be transformed and regenerated by faith in the atoning death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.