The Nature, Cause, and Danger of the Sin of Apostasy
1 Chronicles 28:9-21
And you, Solomon my son, know you the God of your father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind…


1. Apostasy is a total renunciation of the principles, the practice, and profession of true religion. It is attended with the greatest aggravations of which any crime is capable.

(1) Other sins may be committed through the surprise of a sudden and violent temptation. This is a determined and deliberate act, the result of thought and choice; and a perverted and abused understanding approves the choice, so that the apostate goes astray with the full bent of his will.

(2) It always carries in it a secret malignity against true religion.

(3) Apostasy hardens the heart, sears the conscience, and renders it almost wholly incapable of any serious impressions, either from religion or reason.

2. The ordinary ways by which men are drawn into it.

(1) A great zeal for little things is one remote cause. When a man is convinced that his zeal has abused his understanding, and led him wrong, he is for throwing it all off at once, and apt to degenerate into a total indifference about all religion.

(2) A weak affectation of seeing further and appearing wiser than other men.

(3) Some secret, predominant vice or unconquered lust which men care not to part with. If a man's religion does not make him averse to sin, sin will make him averse to religion.

(4) An excessive love of the world — the pleasures, profits, or the preferments of it.

(5) A partial backsliding in religion. This partial backsliding generally begins with light thoughts of sin, frequent neglects of duty, or a careless, irreverent performance of it.

(6) Inconsideration, or a thoughtlessness of futurity.

(7) Reading infidel or profane books.

(8) Wicked company. Nothing more contagious than the breath of a profane man. The world is governed by examples. Bad examples are commonly most attractive, and especially when set by those whom in other respects we much esteem.


1. All obstinate and final apostates shall hereafter be totally rejected of their Maker. They shall never more be received into favour.

(J. Mason.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.

WEB: You, Solomon my son, know the God of your father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind; for Yahweh searches all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.

The Moral Discipline of the Imagination
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