Summary: A sermon on Hosea 10:1-2 on the disease of a divided heart (Outline and material adapted from Charles Spurgeon's sermon, A Divided Heart: http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0276.htm)
A 4 year old was at the pediatrician for a check up. As the doctor looked down her ears with an otoscope, he asked, “Do you think I’ll find Big Bird in here?” The little girl said nothing. Next, the doctor took a tongue depressor and looked down her throat. He asked, “Do you think I’ll find the Cookie Monster down there?” Again, the little girl was silent. Then the doctor put a stethoscope to her chest. As he listened to her heartbeat, he asked, “Do you think I’ll hear Barney in there?” “Oh, no!” the little girl finally spoke, “Jesus is in my heart. Barney’s on my underpants.”
As Christians we gave our hearts to Jesus when we confessed, repented, and were baptized. We probably had wholehearted devotion at that time. We wanted to give our all for Jesus. However, as time goes by the world wants to take our hearts back. Every day something is trying to steal our hearts. McDonald’s wants our loyalty to be to their French fries, not to our arteries. Nike wants a new pair of shoes on our feet, regardless of how many pairs are gathering dust in our closets. Visa wants our money, not our financial stability. The television claims our time when it could be spent with our family. Our job consumes our energy and the best that we have to offer. There are no shortages of things and people trying to steal our hearts.
Through time our hearts become divided between Jesus Christ and the things of the world.
It is amazing what modern medicine can do to fix a heart. Unfortunately modern medicine can do nothing for the divided heart.
Thesis: Let’s talk about this fearful disease, its symptoms, its sad effects and its future consequences
This fearful disease
There are heart conditions that can be corrected today with surgery and even medication. However, spiritually we are not talking about an organ of the body. We are talking about the heart of a man= mind, inclinations, conscience, will, and soul. The center of a man.
This disease of the heart, soul affects the whole man. Can correct a physical heart but impossible for man to correct a spiritual heart. The heart talked about here is divided. The King James says divided here in Hosea 10:2. The NIV says deceitful. The New Living Translation says that the hearts of the people are fickle (the best description).
These people go back and forth. Like 1 Kings 18:21: Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing.
The person with the divided heart can look good on the outside. They don’t feel sick or unclean. Many of them go to church, take communion, but after church go back to the world. They have no problem mingling with the good time, sinful, and selfish crowd and they have no problem playing the game called church.
Cannot tell by outward appearances. If they had some kind of condition that made them look hideous to their fellow man they would hide themselves from others. But not so this one. If we could take a look at their hearts we would see that they are false, faithless, and sick.
When a man has a divided heart- tries to do right and to do wrong, to serve God and to serve the world at the same time, he is sickening to God. Revelation 3:16: So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
This condition is difficult to cure because it is chronic. All of us struggle with it to some degree. Only God can help us overcome this. Matthew 6:24: No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. Labor Day is tomorrow.
God’s Word translation says in vs. 2 that they are hypocrites. NIV says that they are deceitful. Bring those 2 together and they are self deceived. Quote from the movie The Gospel- WE need to be concerned with being good instead of looking good.
Jeremiah 17:9: The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
2 Corinthians 13:5: Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?
2 Timothy 3:5: having a form of godliness but denying its power.
We don’t do that. We come to church, practice communion and baptism in right way, we have right name on the building, but do we really know the power of the gospel to cleanse and make new and bring to life? Take a cold, dead sinner and see them on fire and alive for God.