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Apostasy's Autopsy

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apostasy’s autopsy

INTRODUCTION:

1.     Read Jeremiah 8:1-12.

2.     Regarding text:

(1)         Approximately 100 years after the prophet Isaiah cried out to the kingdom of Judah, Jeremiah the prophet was called into service for God.

A.       Samaria, and the northern kingdom of Israel fell to Assyria (722 BC).

B.       Jeremiah lived to see Assyria fall to the power of Babylon.

C.       Jeremiah wept because he knew that the nation of Judah would now fall.

(2)         During the beginning of his “career,” Josiah, the last “good” king of Judah, rose to the throne.

A.       Josiah re-discovered the book of the Law (2 Kings 22:8f).

B.       Josiah with the assistance of Jeremiah made reforms, but they were short-lived.

C.       Josiah was killed by Pharaoh Neco of Egypt, followed by Jehoahaz, Johoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah.

(3)         Jeremiah was a prophet of God (1:9-10).

(4)         Judah’s rejection of God was two-fold (2:13).

(5)         The depth of Judah’s sin  / apostasy was irreparable (3:25).

(6)         The people of Judah had drifted from God and grown wise in wrong things (4:22).

(7)         The situation paralleled that of Abraham at Sodom and Gomorrah (5:1).

(8)         The apostasy was complete (6:13-14).  Their sanctuary was their cemetery (7:4).

A.       God does not us want us to “do religious things.”  God wants us to be righteous!

(9)         Now, the devastation, and contempt that would be poured out upon Judah would be complete (8:1).

3.     1 Cor. 10:11-12.

4.     Cf. C.S.I.  In this lesson, we return to the scene of the “crime” in an effort to understand how and why other generations have engaged in apostasy in hopes of avoiding it ourselves and understanding it when it does happen today.

DISCUSSION: JUDAH SUFFERED THE SHAME OF APOSTASY BECAUSE OF --

I.            CASUALNESS (Vv. 4-6).

1.      In secular matters, we’ve all had jolting experiences that “wake us up!”

(1)           Red flags are raised that cause us to consider our path or turn when wrong!

A.         Cf. Petting a growling dog, touching a hot stove, trust a certain employee, lighting a gas grill, Columbia shuttle disaster (Feb. 2003).

(2)           We learn not to travel certain paths at “rush hour” if possible.

(3)           We learn not to affix the suction cup from our child’s bath toy on our forehead for an extended period.

(4)           We make plenty of the same old mistakes, but all in all, we are pretty good to learn our lessons.

2.      Why is it that in spiritual matters, we often fail to exercise the same common sense.

(1)           Read - Prov. 6:26-32.

A.         Secular / physical – Once burned, twice shy!  Lesson learned.  No play with fire!

B.         Spiritual – We grow complacent, impatient, insulated.  We toy with sin.

(2)           Gal. 6:7 – God is not mocked… that shall he also reap.

(3)           Eph. 5:11; Phil. 4:8;

3.      Notice v. 6:

(1)           They knew what to do (listened and heard).

(2)           They wouldn’t do it!  They would not repent.  They refused to do.

(3)           In fact they say, “What have I done?”

4.      We must not grow casual:  In approach to God, worship, sin, evangelism…

II.          CARELESSNESS WITH THE SCRIPTURES (VV. 7-9).

1.      Judah possessed the Law, but possessed little understanding or application.

(1)           Notice they had the Law of the Lord with them, but they rejected it!

(2)           The Law had become nothing more than ceremony to them (cf. Lord’s Supper).

A.         Baptism, praying, singing, giving, study, etc. are not merely ceremonies.

B.         Christian living, evangelism, benevolence, forgiveness, etc. are not merely…

2.      I ask you to consider all the divisions, hurts, sins, damages, distractions that have occurred in the body of Christ past and present.

(1)           Now, consider, were the majority committed out of ignorance of or carelessness with the Scriptures?

(2)           The Bible is not hard to understand, but neither is it hard to misunderstand!

A.         Depends upon one’s attitude and motive.

B.         Cf. Acts 17:11; 2 Pet. 3:16.

3.      Now I ask you personally to consider your knowledge of the scriptures, and how well you are doing for your eternal spirit with that wisdom.

(1)           Many times we do our emotions good and grasp / desire the concept of God’s grace, but we are not willing to do our soul any good and grasp / desire God’s concept of obedience.

III.        COVETOUSNESS (V. 10).

1.      Cf. Lk. 12:15-21; Mt. 19:16-28; 1 Tim. 6:7-10.

2.      We live in a material world and need to search the Scriptures and our hearts for practical application of God’s truth about covetousness (Col. 3:5).

(1)           It is possible to covet your own goods (i.e. contribution).

3.      Prophets, priests, people of Jeremiah’s day were all guilty of greed and they would pay / lose!  Surely we have more than they did.  Could we be guilty?

IV.       coldness (V. 11).

1.      Jeremiah preached the need for repentance, but false prophets proclaimed, “peace, peace, where there wsa

(1)           How often do we know the scriptures, but cry Peace, peace…

A.         It is not right when or if we do it.  We must fight to maintain the balance.

B.         I believe I erred in balance when I first began preaching.  I fear erring in the other direction (weary, aware, etc.). 

C.         BUT, we have an obligation!!!!  To God!!!  To others!!!  To self!!!

2.      There is such a thing as sin and it is lawlessness (1 Jn. 3:4).

(1)           It must be relinquished (Lk. 13:3).  (2)  It must be removed (Acts 2:38

3.      There is such a thing as doctrine and some abide outside (2 Jn. 9-11).

4.      The path to peace is not paved with complacency, but with torment!

V.        CALLOUSNESS (V. 12).

1.      Judah traveled a road that led her to no longer be ashamed of sin.  They didn’t even blush!

(1)           They were a people who called evil good and good evil.  They put darkness for light and light for darkness (Isa. 5:20).

(2)           They were a people who had become useless to God in their current state.

(3)           They departed from God, and they declined morally and spiritually.

2.      They might not have been able to blush at the degree of their evil, but I can’t help suspect that they would “blush” at the degree of our evil today!

(1)           Approx. 44 million legal abortions in the U.S. since 1973 (Roe V. Wade).

A.         1,400,000 per year.  3,800 per day.  Each of us would have to dig 25 graves per day.

B.         90 X  American casualties of WWII;  48 X annual death due to firearms.

(2)           With an estimated 24 million children now online, one out of five has been solicited for sex in the last year. (Congressional Study submitted June 8, 2000)

(3)           One in four children were sent pictures of people who were naked or having sex. (Congressional Study submitted June 8, 2000)

(4)           13 million Americans use illegal drugs, 13 million have a drinking problem.

A.         33% of drivers involved in auto accidents are under the influence.

B.         U.S. government profits from the sale of alcohol ($8 Billion annually).

(5)           “SEX” = most common term entered on the large internet search engines.

(6)           DURHAM, N.H., Nov. 2 — With the ceremonial laying on of hands by a cluster of bishops, the Rev. V. Gene Robinson was consecrated the next bishop of New Hampshire and the first openly gay prelate in the Episcopal Church U.S.A.

(7)           The Supreme Court of Massachusetts has ruled that homosexual marriage is now legal in that state.

3.      Moral decline, natural disaster and enemy invasion…

CONCLUSION:

1.     Read Jeremiah 8:13-17.

2.     The end result of Judah’s apostasy was destruction.  Apostasy spells doom and destruction to its victims today unless they will repent.

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