Speaking the Truth in Love

Speaking the Truth in Love

Conviction or Convenience?

   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

   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
         Kings 12:6-7
      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
         Kings 12:24
   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.

   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;
         Prov. 1:24-28
      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
            bed repentance.
         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. 
   F. Institutionalism.
      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.