Living Biblically in an Apostate World


By Dr. Ken Matto


(Rom 6:4 KJV)  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.


One of the facts we must face is that we live in a world which is becoming more and more sinful with each passing day.  This is because the world is being readied for judgment day.  As Christians, unless our head is in the sand, we must confess that this world does affect us in our Christian walk.  While Satan cannot have us because we are sealed with the Holy Spirit, he and his kingdom can and will try to cast before us as many stumblingblocks as possible.  (Eph 1:13 KJV)  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,


There are certain things in this world which can pave the way for the Christian to fall into both sin and apostasy.  Once we identify these things, we will be able to spot the traps which are being set for the purpose of causing us to stumble and rendering our witness ineffective.  The times we live in are very hard for living a Christian life but hard times does not mean impossible times nor easy capitulation.   Let’s look at some of the traps which can cause us to stumble so easily.  (Heb 12:1 KJV)  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  Once we identify these traps, we can be on our spiritual guard and avoid any spiritual deterioration.  I offer ten traps which Christians must be on their guard against.


Friendship Trap

(2 Sam 13:3 KJV)  But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother: and Jonadab was a very subtle man.


Amnon was a son of David and had a half-sister named Tamar.  He loved Tamar and wanted to have her but did not know how to go about it.  Enter the friend Jonadab who was about to give Amnon advice on how to get her.  He told Amnon to feign sickness and get Tamar to minister to him, so that is what he did.  When Tamar came to minister to him, he then attacked and raped her.  He then hated her instead of loving her.  The moral of the scenario is that a Christian must be very careful who they befriend.  It is possible and has happened many a time when friends have influenced Christians to do things which have ended up in disaster.  If you have friends, then you really need to sit down and judge those friendships.  You need to know which of your friends is a positive biblical influence on you and which ones could eventually lead you into disaster.  I have used this example before in a different article but it bears repeating.  During the roaring 20’s in Chicago, there was an optometrist named Reinhardt Schwimmer who liked the company of gangsters.  He had struck up friendships within the North side Mob which was the gang of Bugs Moran.  One morning he decided to close his office and go to the garage where the gangsters were hanging out waiting for a whiskey shipment.  While he was there, the police had come in and raided the joint and made them all stand against the wall while they were being disarmed.  Then two other killers came in along with the phony police and started machine gunning all seven men and killed them all including Reinhardt Schwimmer who was not a gangster.  It came to be known as the St. Valentines Day Massacre.  If Schwimmer had not closed his office and gone there, he would have lived but he made a bad choice in befriending gangsters and it cost him his life.  The same situation exists in the spiritual realm.  If we make bad alliances, it could cost us our testimonies and get us into deep trouble.  There are many Jonadabs out there and that is why we must be very careful as to whom we befriend, because it could either benefit us or hurt us and sometimes that hurt is permanent.


Church Trap

(Acts 20:29 KJV)  For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.


Already in the middle of the first century, the Apostle Paul had warned the Christians in Ephesus that grievous wolves were going to enter the flock and will not care about their spiritual well-being.  These false teachers had to be dealt with quickly and were not to be given a hearing.  Today we live in a time when anyone can start a church and make preposterous claims such as miracles or tongues or whatever.  It behooves a Christian that if they are a member of a church which at one time was reasonably faithful to the word of God and had a true worshipful spirit, then if that church goes apostate, they are to leave.  The trap is that many of our friends might still remain and we might become outcasts to those relationships we have cultivated over the years.  If a church goes apostate, our responsibility is to be faithful to God and His truth, not to those who are apostate and have accepted a false Gospel.  If we continue to remain there it will become harder and harder to leave.  Remember it was Christ who died for you and not the apostate pastor and his cronies.  Don’t fall into the mindset that you owe your allegiance to an apostate church because your allegiance is to Christ. 


Liberty Trap

(Gal 5:1 KJV)  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.


One of the most ridiculous understandings in Christianity is that Christian Liberty means that I can do what I want.  Some take it to mean that it is okay to drink alcohol, wear suggestive clothing, run my life as I see fit, etc.  The reality is that Christ did not go to the cross for the purpose of allowing us to continue in sin.  He died to save us from our sins and the penalty of those sins.  Christian liberty has nothing to do with living a loose lifestyle but has to do with the fact that we no longer have to keep any tenets of the law for salvation.  Christ fulfilled all the demands of the Mosaic Law and that means we do not have to keep it for salvation.  The Christian liberty trap is only operational by those who know more about Dancing with the Stars than they do their Bible.  Whenever we come into contact with someone who believes Christian liberty is a license to do as we please, then you need to drop that teaching as fast as you drop them as a potential friend.  (2 Th 3:6 KJV)  Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.   Remember 2 Thessalonians 3:6 is a command to withdraw from every apostate brother and is not a suggestion.


Preacher Trap

1 Corinthians 3:4 (KJV) For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?


One of the most egregious traps in today’s churches is the idol of preacher worship.  Oh people don’t bow down to them physically but they do bow down to them in their spirits and emotions.  Christians tend to gravitate toward a preacher and continue to support them no matter what they preach.  In 1980 I became saved through the ministry of Jack Van Impe but will never send him a dime since he has turned Roman Catholic and claims himself to be a prophet to the churches as I heard him say on his broadcast on 9/30/18.  Take another example such as Joel Osteen who never teaches about sin or judgment simply because that would constitute preaching that the people need to hear instead of what they want to hear.  He has a congregation of about 30,000 people who go into his assembly spiritually starved and come out the same way.  They have been pandered to for donations.  One must never follow a preacher, they must follow Christ and if the preacher they are following begins to teach things which are against the Scriptures, then you must leave or if they are in the media ministry, then stop sending support.  Now I am not speaking of an occasional error a preacher might say but I am speaking about becoming immersed in false teachings and adopting them as a steady diet.  Following a preacher will always lead to disappointment as I have seen many fall in my 38 years of being a Christian.  Falling does not always mean they have fallen into sin but also fallen into apostasy.


Family Trap

Genesis 27:15-16 (KJV)   And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son:  {16} And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck:


Another major trap that Christians succumb to is the family trap and what I mean by that is if you are the only one saved in your family, they might try to guilt manipulate you into doing things which you no longer can do as a Christian.  Suppose you have a mother or father who lies to get things and before salvation, you went right along with them but now since you have become saved you refuse to lie and they will either get angry with you or attempt to guilt manipulate you into doing what they want.  Sometimes family values are against the teachings of scripture and as a Christian it is our responsibility to be faithful to the Lord, not our parents.  This does not mean that we do not show them respect or care for them, it means we don’t join them in anything which goes against scripture.  Growing up in a family means the other members know you very well and they will always try to use your past as a weapon to get you to do the things they want you to do but always keep in mind that your past is their now.  If we continue doing the wrong things we did before we became saved, then how could we show the difference between the saved and the unsaved.  Ezekiel 22:26 (KJV) Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.  Remember according to Revelation 1:6, every true believer is a priest.  Revelation 1:6 (KJV) And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.  So never let family members influence you to do wrong, because as a priest of God you must put a difference between the holy and profane.  This does not mean you can’t go on a family vacation or go on a family picnic but it does mean you must assess all and every outing and if it is not according to the Scriptures, then you cannot go and if they try to guilt manipulate you, then you must stand strong and give them the reason you do not want to attend whatever event is planned.


Religion Trap

John 6:66 (KJV) From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.


Jesus was giving a major discourse about salvation and how it is God who gives him his followers and also about drinking his blood and eating his flesh, plus that he was the bread which came down from Heaven.  He had made these statements in the synagogue in Capernaum and when he had finished this discourse, many that followed him went back and no longer followed him.  Since they were in the synagogue, these would have gone back to Judaism which would have been comfortable and familiar with them.  Many become saved from different religions around the world.  Many become saved from Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Mormonism, New Age and many others around the world.  There are times when a person becomes saved and still wants to hang on to their old religion in fear that completely leaving it behind would displease God and they would not make Heaven.  Many times there are people saved out of Catholicism but choose to remain in their church instead of leaving that apostasy and finding a true church where they could grow spiritually.  I was born and baptized in the Hungarian Reformed Church.  I was confirmed at age 14 in 1967 and became a member by means of Confirmation and then took my first communion.  I had to leave that church because it became totally apostate.  Today they have Bingo and the church I attended in Perth Amboy had a bar in the hall basement where I got drunk once at the Grape Festival.  One of the most apostate points in the service is when they had communion and the minister would ask 4 questions and the people would respond.  Then based upon that response, the minister actually said that he pronounces “the absolution and remission of the sins of the people,” in other words it is an attempt at a salvation program without Christ.  This was nothing more than the Protestantizing of the Roman Catholic Confession where the priest gives absolution to the confessor or at the moment of death in the last rites.  This is why religion is such a trap because it gives false hope.  Those who are saved have been delivered from all religion and apostate religion is running rampant in this world.  This is why if you are saved in a church with traditions, you need to assess those traditions to see if they are biblical or apostate.


Wine Trap

Proverbs 23:31 (KJV)   Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.


Another trap that Christians fall into is the wine trap.  The Bible talks about wine in the Bible but Christians who drink will interpret that to mean a keg of beer at a Super Bowl Party or mixed drinks or going out on a weekend and drinking because they claim Christ drank wine.  I am still looking for one passage in the scriptures where it states openly that Christ drank wine.  The wine of today is 12% alcohol making it 24 proof which in no way compares to the wine of ancient times.


Mark 14:25 (KJV)   Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.


Luke 22:18 (KJV)   For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.


Notice what both verses say, “fruit of the vine” and not fruit of the wine.  Luke 22:18 describes what they drank at the Last Supper.  Many Christians claim that there is no prohibition to drinking wine in the Bible and yet Proverbs 23:31 above states that we are not even to look at the red wine in the cup.  Dear reader, looking comes before drinking and God is telling us not to even look at the alcoholic beverage because it is not a good testimony for the Christian.  Can you honestly tell me that if you have a Bible in one hand and a beer in the other, that you are being a good witness?  Remember about us being priests of God and to separate the profane from the holy.  When we become Christians, God deems us as holy people.  1 Peter 2:9 (KJV) But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 


Let’s say you are not a Christian and a Christian you know came up to you with their Bible and drinking a beer and claiming they are delivered by God’s power, how would you react to that scenario?  You would deem them a hypocrite and a liar.  Let us be real, any and all alcoholic drinks are of this world because they minister to the flesh in a damaging way.  Romans 13:14 (KJV) But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.  We are cautioned not to make any provision for the flesh.  Of course, this does not mean you are to stop eating and drinking water but it means to maintain your testimony for Christ, then you need to eliminate what is detrimental from your daily life and alcoholic drinks are extremely detrimental. 


Bible Trap

Psalm 138:2 (KJV)   I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.


I realize this sounds like a weird section but actually it is not.  Many churches have followed their pastors concerning their favorite Bible version.  Many have now gone to the English Standard Version (ESV) simply because John MacArthur and the late R.C. Sproul pushed them on their gullible, non-thinking followers.  Psalm 138:2 states that God has magnified his word above his name.  The word “magnified” carries with it the meaning of “enlarged, increased, or heightened.”  This means God takes his word very seriously and those who tamper with the word of God in the modern versions are actually fighting against God who does not endorse any changes in the text.  The modern versions twist meanings, omit words, and adds words to the text which means they have tampered with God’s word making those versions of non-effect.  What has been done in the modern versions constitutes sin and God does not bless sin which means he cannot bless the work of any Christian who uses one of those modern versions.  If you are using the King James Bible and all of a sudden your pastor decides he wants to switch to the Christian Standard Bible and 90% of the dumb sheep go along with him, then you stand strong and do not switch just because the majority has forgotten how to think or to challenge.  It seems media ministries and local pastors seem to have some type of control over Christians that they do whatever they are told like good little sheep.  God does not want his word tampered with and just because others are switching, you remain faithful and God will begin to magnify your ministry over those others in the church, if they even have ministries.


Matthew 12:47

Matthew 17:21

Matthew 18:11

Matthew 23:14

Mark 7:16

Mark 9:44

Mark 9:46

Mark 11:26

Mark 15:28

Luke 17:36

Luke 23:17

John 5:4

Acts 8:37

Acts 15:34

Acts 24:7

Acts 28:29

Romans 16:24


Above are 17 verses which are omitted in the ESV.  Can God bless a Bible which has taken his word and omitted 17 verses?   Now man sits in judgment of the word of God deciding what should be in and what should be out.


Malachi 2:11-12 (KJV) Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.  {12} The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the LORD of hosts.


Judah had committed an abomination in the sight of God and had married the daughters of a strange god.  They intermarried with the strange women which would be the Ammonites, the Amorites, Philistines, the Moabites, etc.  Instead of them marrying within their own people, they brought in strange women.  Then in verse 12 God states openly that those men who have done this will be cut off, that is, they will be utterly punished for doing this.  Then notice what two groups God names, the master and the scholar.  These two groups are the ones who teach and the ones who follow.  The master is the one who teaches and the scholar is the one who follows.  There is a parallel here.  The master of today teaches that the King James Bible is out of date and needs to be replaced with a modern version.  The scholar learns this and goes forth and brings that teaching to others.  How many today are pushing the modern versions who claim they are scholars?  James White and Albert Mohler pushes the NASV; John Piper and John MacArthur push the ESV; Alistair Begg pushes the CSB; Chuck Swindoll pushes the NLT and I am sure there are many others who have gotten in on the big pay days from the publishers.  God says he will cut them off and they will be rewarded for their causing the Christians to drop the real word of God and take up their counterfeit versions.  Now another parallel is the daughter of a strange god and that would be the fact that all the modern versions are translated from Roman Catholic manuscripts and the Roman Catholic Church has Mary as its co-redemptrix.  The concept of Mary being a deity in Catholicism goes back as far as ancient Babylon.  Here are seven parallels of virgin deities from around the world which constitutes a daughter of a strange god. 


When Christians use the modern versions which are made from Roman Catholic manuscripts, they are in essence marrying the daughter of a strange god.  


1. Isis - Egypt

2. Shing Moo - China

3. Parameta - Hindu (many others also)

4. Diana - Ephesians

5. The Celestial Virgin - Blavatsky - New Age

6. Mary - Roman Catholicism

7. Ishtar - Babylon


This is why it behooves a Christian to stay with the King James Bible so there is no adultery in our marriage to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Trying to be faithful to Christ and then serving the daughter of a strange god at the same time only brings confusion and frustration and spiritual weakness.


Culture Trap

John 14:6 (KJV)   Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.


One of the synonyms for culture is philosophy which means our understanding of life or our philosophy of life.  Christians have become saved only through the Lord Jesus Christ and John 14:6 states that Jesus is the only way for salvation and coming unto the Father.  In our modern times, we have many cults and false churches which have shunned that belief even though it is found in the word of God.  God states it plainly and there is no vagueness in that verse and cannot be interpreted any other way than the way God wrote it.  Unfortunately, since many churches and denominations are starting to team up with Rome, they have adopted the belief that good works do play a part in one’s salvation.  Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  {9} Not of works, lest any man should boast.  However, the Bible is very clear that works do not play a part in salvation.  Good works come after salvation and not before.  Ephesians 2:10 (KJV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.


Many Protestants believe that Mother Teresa is in Heaven when in reality she is awaiting the judgment because she was a lifetime member of a false church and never preached the truth of Christ to any of those she served simply because she herself did not know the way.  She was determined to make a Hindu a better Hindu and an Islamic a better Islamic but never was salvation through Christ taught.  She adapted to the culture she was in and it cost her the price of her soul for eternity.  So no matter where you serve, whether it be in the USA or in another country, never let the local culture override your Christian beliefs because the souls of who you are ministering to will be in peril and you will have made no impact on them.  The idea of ministry is to bring the Lord Jesus Christ to the place where there is only darkness and make it light.  Matthew 4:16 (KJV) The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. 


Political Trap

Genesis 41:41 (KJV)   And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.


This particular section is not against Christians running for political office.  There are no biblical prohibitions in the Bible concerning a Christian running for political office.  Joseph was Governor of Egypt; Daniel was made third ruler in Babylon; David was king over united Israel so we see that these three men served their countries in high office while fulfilling the plan of God in their lives.  What I am concerned about and what I have personally seen are Christians who immerse themselves in politics and place their salvation in second place in their life.  I have known Christians who have studied groups like the Trilateral Commission, The Bilderbergers, The Council on Foreign Relations, Yale Order of the Skull and Bones, etc., which resulted in them almost falling into depression.  These groups may be made up of wealthy people and families such as the Rothschilds and Rockefellers but they are not gods and they can only do what the Lord allows them to do, but many Christians, because of their biblical illiteracy, become worried about these groups and what they are planning.  Isaiah 29:15 (KJV) Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?  Is it possible to hide any devious plans from the Lord?  Isaiah 29:15 gives us the answer to this question.


Let us look at two more verses.  Psalm 24:1 (KJV) A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.  Haggai 2:8 (KJV) The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.  Both of these verses teach that the Lord is the one who owns the earth and that includes the silver and gold.  When Christians elevate politics over their study of the scriptures, it can cause depression because modern politics is nothing less than political fatalism.  This is why Christians must never raise the study of politics over their study of scripture because they will suffer depression and discouragement.  I have personally known Christians who know more about politics than they do the Bible and that has resulted in extreme biblical illiteracy and no working knowledge of the Bible.  When tough times come, politics will not help.  I am not saying that we should stick our head in the sand and not know what is going on but that must never overtake our Christian life.



I have given ten traps which Christians must be on guard against which will help them maintain a strong Christian life.  If you have ever seen an animal trapped in a trap, you see that they cannot get loose unless someone on the outside frees them.  Where I live I have a problem with crickets and cave crickets so I purchased some Roach Motels which contain maple aroma and a strong glue.  When an insect goes into the trap, their feet get stuck in the glue and cannot move.  The same things happen to Christians when we allow ourselves to be caught up in any of the ten traps.  Our spiritual life becomes stagnant and we will be unable to move until we make a conscious effort to get out of the trap.  By avoiding these traps, you will continue to advance in your Christian life instead of living in a trap like a trapped insect.  May the Lord give you mush wisdom to spot a trap.