When the church turns its back on the Word of God, the Bible, and embraces man’s doctrines and philosophies, God in His great mercy and grace will warn and exhort the church to return to Him, but if they don’t repent and return than ultimately He will reject the church. When God rejects the church then all manner of evil will enter in and accelerate the decline into wickedness and punishment. This principle is clearly presented in the Israelites’ history, their embracing of idols and rejection of God, and His ultimate rejection of the nation by sending them into exile. The decline into perdition by the nation of Israel is a clear warning to all who claim the name Christian of the evil and judgment that accompanies the rejection of God’s Word.
There are numerous references to the apostasy of the divided nation of Israel throughout 1 and 2 Kings. In 1 Kings after the reign of King Solomon, who entered into idolatry during his later years, though God had appeared to him twice in dreams and blessed his kingdom so that there was none like it, his son, Rehoboam became king and led the southern kingdom into apostasy.
21And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother’s name was Naamah an Ammonitess. 22And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done. 23For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree. 24And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel. 1 Kings 14:21-24
Even though godly kings did arise in the southern kingdom, (there were none in the northern kingdom) this pattern of apostasy was repeated throughout the history of the nation of Israel in the land that God had given them as He had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As this history reached its apex, one last king arose whose heart was right before God, that king was Josiah. He became king when he was eight years old and walked with the Lord. During his reign, the law was rediscovered within the temple while it was being repaired. When God’s Word was read to the king, he repented of the evil of the people, made a covenant with God before the people, who joined him in that covenant, to walk in obedience to His Word and worked to destroy the idolatry which raged within the nation.
1And the king sent, and they gathered unto him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. 2And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of the LORD. 3And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant. 4And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel.5 And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven. 6And he brought out the grove from the house of the LORD, without Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and stamped it small to powder, and cast the powder thereof upon the graves of the children of the people. 7And he broke down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove. 2 Kings 23:1-7
Though there was revival in the land it was short lived and God still promised to bring judgment upon Judah because of their apostasy.
King Josiah died in his thirty’s and his sons rejected his devotion to the Lord. It was during this time period that God’s prophet Jeremiah preached a message of coming judgment. This judgment was sure and there was not any way for this national calamity to be diverted. The people did not have a heart for repentance and the Lord God did not have a heart to stay His hand. Their false prophets strengthened their hands to do evil and prophesied a false peace to them keeping them ensnared in their apostasy and judgment.
7O LORD, though our iniquities testify against us, do thou it for thy name’s sake: for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against thee. 8O the hope of Israel, the savior thereof in time of trouble, why should thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man that turns aside to tarry for a night? 9Why should thou be as a man astonished, as a mighty man that cannot save? yet thou, O LORD, art in the midst of us, and we are called by thy name; leave us not. 10Thus says the LORD unto this people, Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet, therefore the LORD doth not accept them; he will now remember their iniquity, and visit their sins. 11Then said the LORD unto me, Pray not for this people for their good. 12When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept them: but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence. 13Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place. 14Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spoke unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of naught, and the deceit of their heart. 15Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed. 16And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and they shall have none to bury them, them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness upon them. 17Therefore thou shalt say this word unto them; Let mine eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease: for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great breach, with a very grievous blow. 18If I go forth into the field, then behold the slain with the sword! and if I enter into the city, then behold them that are sick with famine! yea, both the prophet and the priest go about into a land that they know not. 19Hast thou utterly rejected Judah? hath thy soul loathed Zion? why hast thou smitten us, and there is no healing for us? we looked for peace, and there is no good; and for the time of healing, and behold trouble! 20We acknowledge, O LORD, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers: for we have sinned against thee. 21Do not abhor us, for thy name’s sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory: remember, break not thy covenant with us. 22Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? art not thou he, O LORD our God? therefore we will wait upon thee: for thou hast made all these things. 1Then said the LORD unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth.2And it shall come to pass, if they say unto thee, Whither shall we go forth? then thou shalt tell them, Thus says the LORD; Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity. 3And I will appoint over them four kinds, says the LORD: the sword to slay, and the dogs to tear, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the earth, to devour and destroy. 4And I will cause them to be removed into all kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah king of Judah, for that which he did in Jerusalem.5For who shall have pity upon thee, O Jerusalem? or who shall bemoan thee? or who shall go aside to ask how thou does? 6Thou hast forsaken me, says the LORD, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting. Jeremiah 14:7-15: 6
The people of Jerusalem feigned repentance, but refused to turn from their evil ways and there was no way that God’s judgment would not fall on them. This horrible history came about because the people rejected God and His Word and chose idolatry and the false words of smooth speakers.
When the Lord’s people reject Him and His Word evil abounds in their midst and they are under the sure judgment of God. This rejection of the Word of God can aptly explain why so many within the visible church today are so willing to accept homosexuality as normal and acceptable to God. Homosexuality reared its ugly head during the reign of apostate kings in Jerusalem, and only those who truly followed the Lord removed this evil influence from the land. Those who truly belong to the Lord Jesus Christ know and understand that sexual perversion is God’s judgment upon those who reject His revelation of Himself in His Word and chose instead to follow false gods. False gods abound within the visible church today as Jesus Christ is blasphemed and His gospel is perverted. It may be too late for many within the visible church to repent of the evil they have embraced and avert the disaster that will surely fall upon them from the hand of God. Beloved brethren we should not be surprised when apostate organizations, like World Vision, further display their apostasy by accepting married homosexual couples on their staff. If you are still involved with the visible church and haven’t turned away from this apostate institution here is what God’s Word has to say to you.
14Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. 1Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Corinthians 6:14-2 Corinthians 7:1
May we be faithful and true to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ no matter the cost. May God bless us in this dark hour.