Summary: America is a land of convenience and comfort. With this comes a great temptation to the people of God.
INTRO: I was pondering the other day about how truly blessed we as Americans are. Everything is so convenient. Think about it, you drive up to a pump and you slip in your credit card to pay without even going in the store. You can travel the world via the TV. You can find almost any fact you want to know by a simple click of the button. You can go shopping by picking up the phone, making a call, and having it sent to you, or better yet by the click of button. (You can do it all from the ease of your home.)
Now you have phones that can do almost anything from taking your picture to dictating messages into your computer. America is becoming more convenient and comfortable.
Just think of cars, as an example. I remember cars with no electric windows, AC, even heaters. (Man, Pastor, you’re old. No I just had junky cars.) You have cars with TVs, stereos concert halls would be jealous of. You have navigational equipment to tell you when you’re lost, cars that can see in the dark with no lights, heads up displays.
TS: I could go on and on but you get the point. America is a land of convenience and comfort. With this comes a great temptation to the people of God.
-That is: to turn your God into a God of convenience, comfort, and no cost. TITLE: Are You Serving a God of Convenience?
TEXT: 1 Kings 12:25-33
I. Some thoughts. Success in life is not based on how much money you have or how important your job is rather
A. Success in life is simply: are you doing God’s will and trusting in God’s promises?
1. John Bevere made a statement that I thought was interesting: No one can get you out of the will of God, no king, no devil, no one except you.
2. Sometimes we have this idea that the will of God is so aloof, that it can easily be taken or lost. Reality is, "You are the only one who can get out of the will of God."
3. An easy way to fall out of the will of God is when we make God a matter of convenience in our lives.
B. This morning we are going to look at the example of Jeroboam.
1. He led his people into a religion of convenience.
2. Background. Jeroboam was a man who worked with King Solomon as one of his officials.
-The prophet Ahijah gave Jeroboam God’s message that guaranteed the throne of the kingdom of Israel (11:28-39).
-The Lord was punishing Rehoboam for his bad example of turning the people to idols.
3. You would think this would have struck home with Jeroboam to watch the judgment of Rehoboam.
4. The kingdom divided into the Northern Kingdom, Israel, ruled by Jeroboam and the Southern Kingdom ruled by Rehoboam.
TS: There’s a problem for the king of the North, Jeroboam. The place of worship, Jerusalem, is in the Southern Kingdom. So he thinks to himself, I’d better create a place of worship for my people or I’ll lose them and I won’t be king anymore. So he begins to create what I call a religion of convenience.
II. A Religion of Convenience
-Often seeks an easy way to discharge obligations. Listen to what he says. V. 28b, "It’s too much for you to go up to Jerusalem."
A. Jeroboam was afraid that if the people continued to go to Jerusalem they would once again unite with David’s kingdom.
1. The Jewish law not only appointed the temple in Jerusalem as the only place of sacrifice (Deut. 12) but it also commanded all Jewish men to go to Jerusalem three times a year to observe the appointed feasts (Ex. 23).
2. So Jeroboam had two golden calves made and placed one on the farthest northern border for people who lived in the north and one on the southern border by Jerusalem, all to make it more convenient.
a. What he was basically saying was: hey you can save money and time plus you get all the satisfaction you desire and it’s closer to home.
b. Another important point: these golden calves were not set up to be worshiped as idols.
-They were intended to be symbols of Jehovah. So when the people were worshiping these idols they thought they were worshiping Jehovah.
-Jeroboam created a convenient religion that was close enough to the authorized faith to be comfortable for the conscience.
C. Today we can see a similar thing.
1. People use the electronic church to replace the local church.
-What I mean is this: far too many people ease their conscience by staying home and watch religious TV or church services on the internet.