Wednesday, April 9, 2008

An Exposition of the Symptoms of Apostasy (part 1)

In Hosea 8:1-14, God reveals the symptoms of apostasy as seen in the apostasy of His people in that day. The symptoms are: (1) Apostates depart from the Word of God (1-7), (2) Apostates defile themselves with the world (8-10), and (3) apostates deceive themselves with their works (11-14). As we reason from the Scriptures and search them daily to see if these things are so we will begin to see and understand the dangers of the Postmodern Movements of our day that are fanning the flames and fueling the fires of apostasy in our days.

Apostates depart from the Word of God (Hosea 8:1-7)

First, apostates transgress God's covenant and law (8:1). Apostates do not stay in the boundaries of God's Word. They replace theology with philosophy and obedience with rebellion. Apostates are not interested in and will not "stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it" (Jeremiah 6:16). Apostates are interested in "new paths" (neology) and not "ancient paths" (theology)!

Apostate churches and movements depart from God's Word in three major areas: (1) instead of a sound doctrinal theology of soteriology (salvation), they have a philosophy (strange doctrine) of soteriology (Pelagianism, inclusivism, and ecumenism) rather than the sound biblical doctrine of the depravity of man, the exclusive nature of salvation in Jesus Christ alone, and the separation of God’s people from religious harlots, (2) instead of a sound doctrinal theology of ecclesiology (the church), they have a philosophy of ecclesiology (man-centered, seeker-sensitive, purpose driven, emerging church) which exists for the entertainment and assimilation of the sinner rather than the equipping and sanctifying of the saint, and (3) instead of a sound doctrinal theology of eschatology (end-times), they have a philosophy of eschatolgy (no persecution, no tribulation, and possibly even no rapture – just the ushering in of the millennial kingdom). Totally neglected is the biblical doctrine of the apostasy that must come first before the Lord returns, the great increase in deceiving spirits, and the ushering in of the Antichrist.

Next, apostates profess to know God but are unwilling to be obedient to His Word (8:2). They are loud in profession of faith but lean in possession of faith. They claim knowledge and obedience while in disobedience.

Then, apostates reject the good (8:3). They reject God's will and God's way as found in God's Word. They lean on their own understanding and scheming and strategizing and it will result in their captivity to the enemy. They replace theology with philosophy.

Also, apostates leave God out of their decisions and bring idols into their religion (8:4-6). They choose their leaders without the direction and input of God as found in His Word and depend on political maneuvers and power wars in their attempt to get “their man” to the top. Apostate churches today leave God and His word out of their decision making processes for selecting leaders, they lower the standards of God, and look to the world as a model for leadership principles. They trust in their beautiful buildings, big budgets, and better blueprints for ministry – “with their silver and gold they have made idols for themselves.”

Finally, apostates sow to the wind and reap the whirlwind (8:7). They sow to the flesh and reap judgment. Instead of trusting in the Lord with all their hearts which would result in their obedience to God’s Word, they lean on their own understanding (sowing to the flesh) and reap corruption (judgment).

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