Jeremiah 17:1-4 ESV
“The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron; with a point of diamond it is engraved on the tablet of their heart, and on the horns of their altars, while their children remember their altars and their Asherim, beside every green tree and on the high hills, on the mountains in the open country. Your wealth and all your treasures I will give for spoil as the price of your high places for sin throughout all your territory. You shall loosen your hand from your heritage that I gave to you, and I will make you serve your enemies in a land that you do not know, for in my anger a fire is kindled that shall burn forever.”
What is the sin of Judah being referred to here? Jer. 16:10-12 tells us:
“’What is our iniquity? What is the sin that we have committed against the Lord our God?’ then you shall say to them: ‘Because your fathers have forsaken me, declares the Lord, and have gone after other gods and have served and worshiped them, and have forsaken me and have not kept my law, and because you have done worse than your fathers, for behold, every one of you follows his stubborn, evil will, refusing to listen to me.’”
And, who does Judah represent? They were God’s chosen people in the Old Testament, but his people in a very specific location, too. And this description of their sin(s) represented the overall picture of the nation and the people as a whole. For, although they were God’s chosen people, they were an idolatrous people, chasing after false gods, and following their own stubborn wills, which were evil. And, they were refusing to listen to God.
So, if we were to apply this to the church today in a very specific location, giving a broad overall picture of the condition of the church in that nation, but not of every individual, which nation is primarily in your mind? I believe this sounds a whole lot like America and the church at large in America.
And, what does the heart represent? It is the core of our being, the very essence of who we are as individuals. And, it can be who we are collectively as a people or as a nation, too, generally speaking. For, it is our overall character and temperament. It is our overall way of thinking, believing and behaving, though not specific to every individual.
So, what is being described here is an idolatrous nation whose sins are so severe that they are defined here as indelibly marked on the core, the character, and the overall nature of the nation and of the church of that nation which it represents. And, again, I believe this describes America.
Jeremiah 17:5-6 ESV
Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
and makes flesh his strength,
whose heart turns away from the Lord.
He is like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see any good come.
He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness,
in an uninhabited salt land.
One of the biggest offenses the church at large in America has committed against her Lord is that she turned to the US government as her “Egypt.” She partnered with this evil government via the 501c3 not-for-profit tax exempt status. And, in doing so she became unequally yoked together with the ungodly, which God commands she not do (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
She also turned the gatherings of the church into a marketplace, a place of business, which scripture also commands we not do (John 2:13-17).
For, when we, the body of Christ, his temple, gather together, it is to be for prayer, for fellowship, for the breaking of bread, and for the teaching of the Word of God. And, our gatherings are also to incorporate the gifts and ministries of the Spirit of God, and the assignments each one of us has been given by God, too (See: Rom. 12; 1 Co. 12; Eph. 4:11-16).
Church as Business
But, the church at large in America has turned the church into a place of business, and is marketing it just like any other business, using the same or similar marketing techniques, schemes, tricks, gimmicks, manipulations and deceptions, too. This is not every congregation, though. But, this is a picture of the church at large here in America.
So, since they are marketing the church (their businesses) to the world, they are also, at large, making the gatherings of the church attractive and inviting to the world, which is their customer base. Thus, they utilize worldly means and methods to appeal to the flesh, even including what is sensual and deceptive, and sometimes even what is vulgar or sacrilegious in order to draw in large crowds of people.
Thus worship services are often more like large stage productions, and Bible studies are often studies of books written by mere humans, much of which twist the scriptures to their advantage, and some of which even includes middle eastern religious philosophy and practices, too. And, pastors are turned into clowns, entertainers and game show hosts to make everyone laugh. And, church is promoted as a place of “fun,” of having a good time, and a place of comfort and relaxation, where you can let your hair down.
And, because the church at large is now trying to draw in large crowds of people from the world into their gatherings, they have also adulterated the gospel of Jesus Christ, and they have reduced it to a cheap grace gospel absent of God’s true grace, and absent of the sinner turning away from his sin to follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his commands.
Thus, they are guilty of idolatry, and of promoting another Jesus and another gospel other than the one taught in scripture. And, they are guilty, too, of following their own stubborn and evil wills. And, they are refusing to listen to God, for what they are doing is against God, and it is against the teachings of scripture, especially since this cheap grace gospel gives them permission to continue in their sinful addictions with no repentance.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
I believe the market-driven church here in America is already under the judgment of Almighty God, and that some of its leaders and our nation’s leaders are part of that judgment. For, our nation’s leaders and many of our church leaders in this nation are leading the people of this nation to a one world totalitarian regime of the beast of Revelation, and to a one world religion, too. And, their plan, which is in place, is called Agenda 21.
So, although this nation is already under judgment, with more yet to come, still the godly can find their solace in their Lord God, no matter what comes. For, we who put our trust in the Lord, and not in man, and not in the flesh, nor in the things of this sinful world, are blessed by God. But, blessed does not mean we are not going to face hard times. It just means that we are at peace with God, and that he fulfills our every need.
We don’t have to worry about what is going on within our nation or about what is yet to come, for we know that our God is completely sovereign over all things, and over all rulers. And, he has a plan and a purpose for what is going on in our world, and for why he is allowing some of the things that he is. And, I believe that purpose is to bring people to faith in Jesus Christ, to revive his idolatrous and wayward people, and to purify his faithful ones.
This part about not fearing when the heat comes really spoke to my heart. I don’t know about you, but I am not particularly fond of the kind of “heat” this is talking about. And, my natural inclination is to want to escape. But, God did not promise us a life of ease, did he? No! He promised us that following him would be hard, and that we would be hated and persecuted for our walks of faith and for our testimonies for Jesus Christ and for his gospel.
So, no matter how bad things get, and they are going to get much worse, we have to keep trusting the Lord, believing that he is completely faithful in all that he does, and that he is not going to allow anything into our lives that he will not use for his purposes, and that he will not give us what we need to endure it and to overcome all evil. For, he is all powerful! And, even if, in our flesh, we feel like we can’t handle this, we must know that He Can!
In Faithfulness He Leads Me
An Original Work / March 20, 2013 / Based off Various Scriptures
(Ps. 26:3; 86:11; 91:4-5; 111:7-8; 119:73-76; Is. 25:1,4&9; 42:6-7; Hos. 2:16-20)
Teach me Your ways, Lord, and I’ll walk in them.
Give me a pure heart. I’ll fear Your name.
Your love is always, ever before me.
Continually I’ll walk in Your truth.
You will cover me with feathers.
Under Your wings I’ll find refuge.
My Lord’s faithfulness will be my
Comfort and my shield.
The works of His hands are faithful and just.
Trustworthy are all of His precepts.
Your hands have made me, and they have formed me.
Give understanding of Your commands.
I have put my hope, O Lord, in Your word.
Your teachings, O Lord, are righteousness.
Lord, in faithfulness You have
Afflicted me so I may learn of
Your unfailing love and comfort
And Your truthfulness.
You are my husband; You have betrothed me
In love, compassion and faithfulness.
O Lord, You are my God, I’ll exalt You.
In faithfulness You’ve done wondrous things.
You’ve been a refuge for those who’re needy;
A shelter in storms; shade from the heat.
This is the Lord, we trusted in Him,
Let us be glad and rejoice
In His salvation which He
Provided through the Lamb.
Open the blind eyes; free all the captives.
Tell them of Jesus: “Be born again!”
Thursday, March 21, 2019