Before Social Media

Major Posts from Minor Prophets: Be an Influencer  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  48:35
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Social media is something that a huge percentage of the population follows, for many different reasons.
According to Pew Research’s analysis of social media usage, on a compilation of 27 surveys and about 47,000 interviews among adult internet users and about 62,000 interviews among all adults conducted by Pew Research Center from March 2005 to July 2015, they found that the use of social media by adults increased from around only 7% in 2005 to roughly 65% in 2015. That was over 7 years ago. As the chart shows, the rate at which that percentage was increasing, would allow us to assume, should the study be repeated today, that they would find almost the entire adult population now engaging in accessing one type of social media or another. But it is not only the adults that access social media, their children do as well. 1.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported in 2021 that there were over 43 million youths in the U.S.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry states, “that ninety percent of teens ages 13-17 have used social media. Seventy five percent report having at least one active social media profile, and 51% report visiting a social media site at least daily. Two thirds of teens have their own mobile devices with internet capabilities. On average, teens are online almost nine hours a day, not including time for homework.” 2
A current study was done in 2022 of teens from 13-17 years of age to discover which Social Media Platforms the teens that are 13-17 use most. It was discovered that of the 90% of all U.S. teens using social media, that 95% of the time they are using YouTube, followed distantly by TikTok at 67%. 1.
Of that 90% of teens that has 95% of them accessing YouTube, they have discovered that 1 in every 5 of those teens in this category admit to accessing YouTube “almost constantly.” 1.
These numbers are staggering. Consider who puts these posts there — anyone, everyone — kind or not, spiritual or not — for every imaginable motive one might imagine under the sun in an attempt to *influence* its audience to their way of thinking or to have them adopt or buy what they are selling. Everyone that posts there does so, so that they might connect with someone; be heard or noticed by someone; so that they might find some level of affirmation or exert some level of influence over someone else, to some degree, within our culture. Marketing, self-help, emotional health, how-to’s, News, opinions, spirituality, as well as the debauchery of our society can all be found there. These people and organizations, great and small, are influencers in our culture, seeking to multiply and broaden their following, their support, their profits, and their influence. Cumulatively, they are Influencing the thought and directioin of our culture from their world view, their perception of truth, or their drive to reshape truth into their perceived image.
Now consider this. Lifeway research (a branch of the Southern Baptist Convention) found that, “more than a third [of teens] (37 percent) say they have never read the Bible, but 25 percent say they read it at least weekly. Three percent of all teenagers say they read the Bible every day.” 3.
++90% of 13-17 year-olds access social media, 95% of them use YouTube as their primary choice of social media, and 1 in every 5 of them access YouTube “almost constantly.”
++Yet, 37% of 13-17 year-olds have never accessed the Bible, 25% do so only once a week, and only 3% once a day.
Make no mistake believers, there is a war raging right now, for our minds, our time, our priorities, our understanding, our loyalty, and our possessions. This war is consuming our soldiers — adults, teens, even our children.
For young people, what should you do now to avoid being the next casualty?
For parents of young children, what will you do to take your children off the front lines of this war and out of the battle?
For the adults in this room, what source or weapon will you use to combat the enemy that is so prevalent, that wants you to be the next casualty?
Satan will take anything good that man has or can make and will leverage it for his purpose as a weapon of war to consume not only those who reject God, but also the time and efforts of those who accept God. Although our destiny is secure, as Christians we can still be distracted, we can still be manipulated and lulled to sleep (1 Cor. 11). We cannot be defeated, but we can be stopped if we allow it to happen.
It is time to get back. It is time to wake up. It is time to step away from the Influencers of this world and look to the Influencers who have a better message: one of true power over the futility of this world and its debauchery. It is time to turn to a social media that does not change, one that has remained and lasted for millennia, one that has a message that has proven to change things for good throughout every generation of history and lasts forever. The Bible calls these influencers, “Prophets,” and their posts to the world are called, “The Word of the Lord.”
Why do you think we are so convinced that the Major and Minor prophets of the Bible are the least popular? Why are we all convinced that they are just for Israel and Judah? Why do few ever read them, even less study them, and so few ever preach about them? Why do you think so many think that we only need the gospels and the rest is just the history of what God used to get everyone to Christ? We have tragically missed the fact that God’s message of repentance and salvation through Him is found throughout the prophets, which contain a great deal of material about Christ. “We read of Christ’s birth in Isaiah and Micah. We learn of Christ’s atoning sacrifice in Isaiah. We read of Christ’s return in Ezekiel, Daniel, and Zechariah. We learn of God’s holiness, wrath, grace, and mercy in all of the Major and Minor Prophets.” 4.
Is it any wonder that Christ included all commands and prophecies into the greatest 2 commands to love God and love others.
++17 books of prophecy in the OT
++16 are named after the Prophets that wrote them
++3 are known major Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel)
++1 with an unknown authorship (Lamentations)
++12 Minor Prophets in the OT ([small/short] Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi) The Book of the 12
This month we are going to look at the first of God’s Influencers [Prophets], Hosea. Hosea lived during the last half of the 8th century, which including the time that Israel was taken to Assyria in captivity, 722 BC. “Hosea is the only writing prophet who was raised in and ministered to the northern kingdom of Israel.” 5. What is interesting is that, although he was raised in the northern kingdom, his birthplace of Tekoa was 10 miles south of Jerusalem. He is the only Prophet that God called to go to the opposite kingdom of his birth, the northern kingdom of Israel. When Israel was taken captive to Assyria, Hosea then ministered to the southern kingdom, Judah.
5. Trent C. Butler, “Hosea, Book of,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).
The book of Hosea is a personal book. It can be divided into 2 parts.
Two parts of Hosea:
++Hosea’s personal relationship with Gomer as illustration of God’s relationship with Israel Ch. 1-3
++God’s relationship with Israel that was illustrated by Hosea’s relationship with Gomer Ch. 4-14
Polytheistic syncretism constituted the dominant faith or belief system in Israel, adopted from all the surrounding nations and peoples. Baal was attractive to their sinful lusts, calling to immoral practices as worship, promise of good weather for their crops, and fertility. This prosperity theology drew the masses of Israel into the abased, ritualistic worship of Baal and many foreign gods. In fact, even Israel’s priest engaged in preaching this prosperity “gospel” and promoted these lustful practices in worship of all gods.
Hosea’s book stands in first position in the book of the 12, the order of which your English Bible follows. Amos, Micah, and Zephaniah use similar headings as Hosea, some suggest makes them uniquely related in some way over the other 8. Even content such as warnings about individual and national divorce, punishment for reckless rebellion and abandonment of God, God’s unfailing love and faithfulness — His plan for restoration, call for repentance, God’s patience and His purpose in captivity to bring His people’s hearts back to Him.
In the first part of Hosea, we find a setting and introduction that the second part then gives the details of. So, briefly today, let’s just look at Hosea’s introducing narrative, how God told him to illustrate His relationship with Israel.
Big Idea:
Even though God’s people commit flagrant acts of forsaking the Lord, God’s faithfulness will not forsake them and will bring them back to Him.
Hosea’s Story:
++God chooses rebels Ch. 1
++God confronts rebellion Ch. 2
++God restores relationship Ch. 3
Big Idea:
Even though God’s people commit flagrant acts of forsaking the Lord, God’s faithfulness will not forsake them and will bring them back to Him.
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