1. There is always a tendency for God’s people and the church to decline and fall away from the truth. This is because we are not yet perfect and sanctification is a process. 

2. The cause of decline is always forgetting first principles. The first principle is justification by faith alone. When this is forgotten, problems arise.

3. Those who fall away from the truth always persecute those who hold to it. The Jews persecuted the early Christians. The apostate church has always persecuted the true church.

4. We must always apply the Bible and its teachings. We should never approach the Bible in a detached or theoretical manner. The Bible is meant to speak to us and influence us. 

5. The history in the Bible illustrates eternal principles. We should see ourselves in the examples of the Jews, Pharisees and others. The Bible is always contemporary. 

6. There is always a struggle between the spirit and the form. The form must express the spirit but there is a danger of the form killing the spirit. This has happened many times in church history. 

7. The supreme example of decline is the nation of Israel. They rejected and crucified their Messiah. This has been repeated in church history many times. 

8. The cause of decline in Israel and the church is always forgetting justification by faith alone. They began to rely on their own works, deeds and organizations. 

9. God often delays in acting against those who have declined from the truth. He is patient and gives further opportunities to repent. But judgment eventually comes.

10. The modern ecumenical movement shows the same errors as Israel. It relies on the external organization and tradition, not belief in the truth. This is a repetition of Israel’s sin. 

11. We cannot know when God may act in judgment against the apostate church. But his principles of judgment still operate. The apostate church will eventually be “spewed out”.

12. The way of safety is constant self-examination, fear of falling away, and holding to first principles. We are only responsible for our own time, not the future. 

13. We must have nothing to do with an apostate church that has departed from first principles and relies on tradition and organization. To do so is to partake in its sin.

– Martyn Lloyd-Jones