Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Symptoms of Apostasy (part 2)

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 Defile Themselves with the World (Hosea 8:8-10)

Since apostates depart from the Word of God - the first symptom of apostasy - the next logical outcome is that they defile themselves with the world - the second symptom of apostasy.

These verses show us in reverse order the influence of the world on people who compromise with it! The order of being influenced by the world is shown to us in the Bible as first, becoming friends with the world (James 4:4); second, becoming lovers of the world (1 John 2:15); and third, becoming conformed to the world (Romans 12:2). We will take them in the reverse order as seen Hosea 8:8-10.

Apostates conform to the world (8:8). Against the clear admonition of the Scriptures, apostates conform to the world and become unclean vessels unworthy of dispensing the Gospel. Instead of transforming the world, apostates conform to the world and in their attempt to be relevant they become irrelevant! Instead of having contact without contamination - they become a vessel in which no one delights. "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..." (Romans 12:2).

Apostates are lovers of the world (8:9). No one is conformed to the world who is not a lover of the world. Bringing in the “esteemed of the world” in order to be “seeker-sensitive, purpose-driven, or emergent” is nothing short of loving the world that is anti-God and anti-Christ. Apostates hire lovers - "Ephraim has hired lovers" (8:9). "Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world the love of the Father is not in him" (1 John 2:15).

Apostates are friends with the world (8:10). Apostates do not get to the point of being conformed to the world and loving the world overnight. They start with a step in the wrong direction – they start by being friends with the world. God is never pleased with the attempt of His people to be like the world in order to win the world. “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility towards God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4-5).

No comments: