I was recently reading the passage in Mark in my Greek New Testament where Jesus is explaining the parable of the sower. Verses 16 and17 got my attention:
“Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.”
The thing that jumped out at me was that the word translated “fall away” is the Greek word “Scandalizo” from which we get the modern English word “scandalize.” In the passive voice it means to “be shocked,” “take offence,” or “fall away.” What Jesus seems to be saying here is that these fake Christians believe the gospel only as long as things are going well for them, but as soon as difficulties come their way they are “scandalized” and they leave the faith.
They do not appear to be real Christians at all, since their “faith” only sustains them when things are going the way they want.