Let's open our Bibles this morning to 1 Timothy chapter 4. That same chapter, 2 Chronicles 25 in verse 14, says he began to worship the gods of Edom to which he bowed down and burned incense. There are always people who will understand intellectually, who will behave externally according to the revelation of God but who have no heart for that.
He functioned in accord with the religion of Israel on the outside. An apostate is not someone who never knew but someone who knew, not someone who never believed but someone who even on the outside believed, not someone who never behaved but someone who once behaved according to the revelation of God.
And the closing comment in verse 27 is that Amaziah turned away from following the Lord. It happened in the history of Israel with everyone from kings down to peasants.
It happened in the church at Ephesus where Timothy was when Paul wrote.
But because the heart was never in it, because they never really knew God, they were lured away by the siren voices of the demons behind idols and false religious systems.
They were led, it says in verse 1, by seducing spirits and the doctrines of demons to depart from the faith.
Do I need to remind you that all false religion and all idols propagate demon doctrine and are energized by seducing demon spirits? Second Corinthians tells us that in chapter 11 Satan and his angels disguised themselves as angels of light and become the purveyors of religion.They call men to worship here or there, this system or that system, this idol or that idol, but behind the system and behind the idol are demons. False religions are more than just systems of belief. In fact, if you go to the Old Testament, Leviticus 17:7 says that whatever men sacrifice to idols, they sacrifice to demons.Deuteronomy , whatever men sacrifice to idols, again, they sacrifice to demons.Psalm 96 verses 4 and 5, Psalm 106 verses 36 to 39 says the same thing, all the gods of the nations are demons, demon idols.First Corinthians 10, Paul says those of you who come to the table of the Lord and then go worship at some pagan religious shrine, you cannot serve the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Scripture tells us, whether you're looking at the history of Israel, or whether you're dealing with the church, church history affirms it since the finish of the New Testament that there has always been a battleground between God and His truth and the devil and his lies.False religious systems and all idols are simply focal points for demon activity, for lying seducing spirits to purvey the doctrines of hell. And that battleground is clearly drawn in Scripture and the fight goes on constantly.