Summary: The question asked of God by Cain in Genesis was, "Am I my brother's keeper?" The unstated answer was yes. Apostasy is not just a theological departure, but a state of being promoted by our thinking and actions. Our responsibility is to identify it and re

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My Brother’s Keeper

By Rev. Mario Gonzalez

[Slide 1]

[Slide 2]

I. Scripture: Hebrews 3:12

“See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.”

II. Prayer

III. Introduction

Talk about the condition of the football player who died on the field during practice because of the heat. He seemed to have it all together (he sure was big enough). The problem was that he had a weak heart.

Your outside does not necessarily show your inside. But it’s what’s in your heart that tells the real story.

[Slide 3]

Matt. 12:34

“You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”

When your heart is bad, everything else goes wrong. We can’t allow ourselves to be guided by our fickle hearts. Jesus must be our guide.

[Slide 4]

Jer. 17:9

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

IV. Body of Sermon

In the last couple of months God has really been speaking heavily to us and he has begun to really do an incredible work in our. This morning, I was led of the Lord to deal with one topic that we have a tendency of relegating to people who turn to cults. It’s a big word that really deals with some pretty basic stuff. The term is apostasy.

Apostasy Defined

Let’s first discuss a bit about the term itself. The term appears twice in the NT as a noun, specifically in,

[Slide 5]

Acts 21:21

And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.

And in,

[Slide 6]

2 Th. 2:3

Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.

In this case, the term used in Greek is aphistemi, which is translated to “turn away”. The Greek term is defined as…

[Slide 7 – Animate points in]


1. a falling away

2. defection,

3. rebellion,

4. abandonment,

5. withdrawal, or

6. turning away from what one has formerly turned to.

To apostatize means to sever one’s relationship with Christ.

Now this is significant, because apostasy is only possible for those who have first expererienced salvation, regeneration and renewal through the Holy Sprit.

Listen to what Psalm 119 says:

[Slide 8]

Psa. 119:9

[Beth] How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. 10. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

He comes at you from the very beginning with the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet (22 in all). We are rooted when we allow his word to take root in our heart and as a result, turn away from sin.

[Slide 9 – Animate medium fade in]

Apostasy comes in two flavors:

a. Theological Apostasy - a rejection of the teaching of Scripture

1 Tim. 4:1

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

b. Moral Apostasy - when we allow ourselves to become once again prisoners of our own sin and immorality.

Matt. 23:25-28

25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. 27. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. 28. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

[Slide 10 – Animate medium fade in]

Make Apostasy Personal

Hebrews 3:12

“See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.”

[stop animation here]

See to it. It is a personal responsibility dating back to the Garden of Eden. Let’s read,

[Slide 11]

Genesis 4:8-9

8. Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

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