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9:45 am Sunday School
10:45 am Sunday Worship

Echo Evangelique

(590AM WEZE Boston)
Saturday 9:00-10:00PM
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7:30pm Bible Study
8:30am Bible Study
Sunday School
9:45am  10:30am

The Consequences of Apostasy and Backsliding

Text: Jeremiah 2:14-19

Key Concepts:

  • Is Israel a servant?
  • Israel forsakes her God
  • Sin, being evil in itself, can destroy you

The book of Jeremiah reveals a pattern of God confronting the sin of His people and calling them to repentance. He then warns them of the judgement that will fall upon them if there is no repentance. The hope for forgiveness and restoration follows repentance. However, too often the people chose to remain in their sin, and consequently face God’s judgment. In the days of Jeremiah, Judah had an insistent problem of idolatry, immorality, and backsliding. Since, similarly to Judah we currently face the same issues, their warning of judgment is acutely pertinent to our society, church, and families. Jeremiah (2:14-19) challenges us to reflect on the condition of our hearts and life around us. Indeed, we cannot live on without questioning what is happening around us. What happens around us, to us, to our families, our church, and within our communities; concerns and affects us. The difficulties and trials we face are wasted when we fail to ponder their meanings and consequences. Are you being warned of God’s judgment? Are you hearing the invitation to repent? Are you being given an opportunity to conform to God’s mandates?

Is Israel a servant?

There is a dramatic difference between a slave and a son. A slave has no rights, no privileges, no inheritance, no will. A slave lives by the mercy of his master. Slavery bears many distinct negative connotations. Whereas a son is in a position of privilege, dignity, and receives good treatment. Likewise, Israel was given the status of son. Their identity had to do with being God’s children and chosen people. Their position was one of dignity. This reality should have caused them to wonder why they were living as slaves. Israel was once bound into slavery in Egypt but was miraculously delivered by God. They were mistreated by Pharaoh and lost their dignity.  Through Moses, God sent a message to Pharaoh, saying (Ex. 4: 22-23) Israel is my firstborn son, and I told you, “Let my son go, so he may worship me.” The identity of slaves and victims of Pharaoh was no more. Why then though sons, were they now living as slaves? As redeemed of the Lord in the time of Jeremiah, how were they living as the lost? Indeed, the land was invaded and ravaged (Jer. 2:15). Israel was subdued and was subservient to their enemies. It was a time for contemplation. How did they get to that point?

Israel forsakes her God

“Also the people of Noph and Tahpanhes have broken the crown of your head” (Jer. 2:16, NKJV). These were powerful principalities of Egypt. These cities were associated with false gods. Israel was submissive to and humiliated by a people that should not have been their equals. After all, God had miraculously delivered them from Egypt and removed them from the domination of these same false gods. It was a step backwards; they had returned to the same system God had previously freed them from. This accusation was a call, not only for self-examination, but for personal responsibility. Indeed, unless one examines his/her life and accepts responsibility for his/her own choices and actions, he/she will not be able to take the necessary steps to get out of the bad situation. “Have you not brought this on yourself, in that you have forsaken the Lord your God when He led you in the way?” (Jer. 2:17, NKJV). When you’ve been warned and given several opportunities to repent but choose not to, there is no one to blame for the outcome but yourself. Repentance begins with personal responsibility for one’s sin. Forsaking the Lord only brings misery to the life of the believer. How does one forsake the Lord? You forsake the Lord when you seek your deliverance at the hand of wicked men, when you embrace the world system at the expense of biblical teaching. You have forsaken the Lord: When you forsake true worship for entertainment, when you choose the world’s solutions over God’s protection through His Word, when you forsake your love for God, when you put your race, gender, and own needs above God. A country, a family, an individual that has forsaken God cannot hope to get better. Things may seem to be better for a while, however, sooner or later you will face the music. Israel forsook God and worshiped false gods when they chose to trust their enemy instead of God. Beware child of God, forsaking God bears dire consequences!

Sin, being evil in itself, can destroy you

Israel trusted in things that could not satisfy, could not benefit them (Jer. 2:18). However, life does not get better away from God. forsaking God is never the answer. “Your own wickedness will correct you, and your backslidings will rebuke you. Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing that you have forsaken the Lord your God, and the fear of Me is not in you” (Jer. 2:19, NKJV). It is an act of love, grace, and mercy when God warns us of His upcoming judgment. Take heed brethren, lest you pay the consequences. Wickedness has to do with what is evil from God’s point of view. The world or popular opinion is not fit to define what is wicked or not. It was Israel’s own wickedness that led to its destruction. If God removed His restraints on humanity, we would all likewise perish by our own hands. Backsliding happens when the child of God reverts to a former sinful habit. A backslider will eventually repent since true believers can never remain apostate. Unfortunately, believers are still able to commit heinous sins. The Holy Spirit convicts of sin, which is torment to the soul, until the believer repents. An apostate, on the other hand, will not repent since that person was never truly a child of God and therefore does not have the guidance of the Spirit. Peter, the Apostle, was a backslider, whereas Judas Iscariot was an apostate. Both the backslider and the apostate will experience God’s judgment. The backslider will experience chastisement, while the apostate will be destroyed.  “Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing…” This refers to the nature of sin as being evil and producing bitter consequences. Indeed, sin causes pain and yield terrible results.

In conclusion…

If you choose to forsake God, know that you will answer for that choice. No man can mock God and get away with it. If He gives you an opportunity to repent of your sin, stop making excuses, stop blaming others. Rather, seize the occasion to turn back to God. There will be universal, natural, and disciplinary consequences to our choices. All of which will be painful. Won’t you take the opportunity today, while you still can, to repent? If you heed the warning, though you may not be able to erase the past, His mercy will cover your sins. If you sincerely want to be forgiven, simply ask, the God of grace and mercy delights in a contrite heart. He will hear your cry. Your Father in Heaven is not only warning you, but He is encouraging you to accept the hope of forgiveness and restoration. If you continue stubbornly to harden you heart, know it is a terrible thing to fall under God’s judgment.  

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Roslindale, MA 02131
Phone: 617-323-3107
Fax: 617-323-3165
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