A. The wicked king Jeroboam, when establishing his new religion,
made two golden calves.
1. He set one in Bethel and the other in Dan and said to the
people, "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here
are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land
of Egypt!" (1 Kings 12:28).
B. Thus, king Jeroboam beguiled the people by making things
convenient for them.
C. It seems strange that the people of Israel would easily accept
Jeroboam's false religion.
1. Let us examine the history which caused these events to
I. THE BIBLICAL NARRATIVE REGARDING JEROBOAM'S NEW RELIGION.
A. At the close of his life, Solomon introduced idolatry into
Israel. 1 Kings 11:4-8
B. The prophet Ahijah made a prophecy to Jeroboam. 1 Kings
1. Notice especially verse 33.
C. This blessing to Jeroboam was conditional. 1 Kings 11:38
D. Solomon died, and his son Rehoboam reigned in his place.
1. Rehoboam consulted the elders and they gave good advice. 1
2. Rehoboam chose to follow the advice of the young men he
grew up with. 1 Kings 12:13-14
E. The kingdom divided and Jeroboam is made king of the northern
F. Rehoboam gathered an army of 180,000 men to fight against the
northern tribes. 1 Kings 12:21
1. They acted wisely and obeyed the voice of the prophet. 1
G. Jeroboam thought that if the people went up to Jerusalem to
worship, they would reject him as king. 1 Kings 12:27
1. Thus, he devised a religion that was much more convenient
for the people. 1 Kings 12:28-33
a. He changed the object of worship, the place, the
priesthood, the feast day, and offered sacrifices on an
altar which he had built.
2. This thing became a sin to the house of Israel from which
they never recovered.
II. CONVENIENT DOCTRINES AND PRACTICES IN RELIGION TODAY.
A. Jeroboam said, "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem."
Thus, he made things convenient for them. We ask, are there
convenient doctrines and practices in religion today? We list
several of them.
B. Sprinkling or pouring for baptism. Substituting sprinkling or
pouring for baptism seems to be a very easy and convenient way
to accomplish baptism; however, it is not what the Lord
commanded. Col. 2:12; Rom. 6:3-4
1. Bible baptism requires a going down into and a coming up
out of the water (Acts 8:38-39).
2. God did not give man a choice in this matter, but plainly
stated what He wanted.
C. Can't fall from grace. This would be a very convenient and
comforting doctrine if true.
1. There would be no need for a pure life or faithful service
for none of those things would matter.
2. On the contrary, Paul said, "You have become estranged
from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you
have fallen from grace." (Gal. 5:4).
3. Some try to evade this by saying, "If one falls away, he
wasn't saved to start with."
a. However, Paul is speaking of "brethren" in Gal. 5. See
5:1 and 5:13.
b. James 5:12, 19-20; Heb. 3:12 and many others passages
speak of brethren falling away.
D. Death bed salvation or repentance.
1. How convenient it would be if one could enjoy the pleasures
of sin and neglect all forms of worship and duty, but at the
last breath call on the Lord and be received up into glory!
2. There is no indication in the Bible that the one who has
been stubborn and rebellious to God's will all his life and
waits to the last minute to repent will be saved.
3. There are only passages to the contrary. Ezek. 8:17-18;
4. Some ask, "What about those who were called at the
eleventh hour in the parable of Jesus in Matt. 20? Weren't
they rewarded the same as the others?"
a. There is no comfort in this for those who trust in death
b. All those in the parable obeyed and went to work when
called. Death bed repentance is equivalent to the first
hour man saying, "It's too early; I'll wait until the
eleventh hour." Would he have been accepted?
E. Sincerity is sufficient.
1. Many think that it doesn't make any difference which church
one is a member of so long as he is honest and sincere.
2. However, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its
end is the way of death." (Prov. 16:25).
3. It would be very convenient indeed if only honesty and
sincerity were required, but needless to say, men can be
sincerely wrong and honestly mistaken.
1. The word "visit" (James 1:27; Matt. 25:35-36,43) involves
actually going to see and looking upon (Thayer, p. 142;
Vine, p. 190).
2. One has not "visited" an orphan, widow, or prisoner unless
he has personally gone to see them and while there
ministered to their needs.
3. Sending a donation to a human institution is a very
convenient dodge of what God requires.
A. In closing, we ask, "Is your religion a matter of conviction or
B. Let us serve God from true conviction of heart, and be willing
to sacrifice and expend ourselves in the cause of Christ.