Scattering the Sheep
Jeremiah 23:1-2a ESV
“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them.”
The Church Shepherds
When I was growing up in the 1950’s – 1960’s in the gatherings of the church, holiness was being taught. Sin and judgment were talked about. And, calls for repentance and obedience to Christ rang out from the pulpit on a regular basis. We were taught to treat God and his Word as holy, and we were taught to take our relationship with the Lord seriously.
During communion services, people wept over their sins, and they repented, although I am sure not all did. And, the saints of God felt the freedom in the Spirit to burst out into singing a hymn, or to go to the altar and pray. Communion was a solemn time of reflection over our lives, and a time to repent and to renew or to recharge spiritually.
We got together for Bible study, for prayer, and for fellowship and ministry to one another Sunday mornings and evenings, Wednesday evenings, and special times throughout the week for home Bible studies or for children’s and youth group meetings, where we were taught the Word of God and holy living. And, we had times where we shared with one another what the Lord was doing in our lives for the encouragement of one another in the faith.
But things began to gradually change in the church. Little by little the world began to creep into the church, and then the focus moved away from the equipping of the saints and the encouragement of the body of Christ to now catering to the world. Now the church was being run like a business, and it was being marketed to the people of the world as any other business, too.
Now it was more about entertaining the world, and being seeker sensitive, and altering how we did things to attract the world to the “church.” Now it was more about having fun, and hearing jokes, even those mocking God and his Holy Word. Now it was about “staying in your own lane,” and not saying anything to offend anyone with the gospel.
And, now the gospel of our salvation was altered to be acceptable to the world and to the flesh of man. And, now it has no resemblance to the true gospel of Jesus Christ, at all, except for historical references to his death and resurrection and references to God’s grace and to faith in Jesus Christ.
Thus, the shepherds of these flocks destroyed God’s people and moved them away from genuine faith in Jesus Christ to going back to following after the lusts of their flesh, while consoling them in their sin, and while lying to them and telling them that God will not judge them, and that heaven is still guaranteed them, and that they don’t have to repent or obey God.
Thus, these wicked shepherds totally abandoned their flocks, and they led them back under the bondage of sin, and they stopped teaching them the holiness of God and about holy living and the fear of the Lord. And, now they paint God as Santa Claus in the sky saying, “Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas,” which has nothing to do with Jesus, but everything to do with Satan.
The Government Shepherds
No matter where we live in the world, at least most of us live underneath some type of governing authority. In America, we have always been promoted as a God-fearing Christian nation, although we know that is not the reality of what our nation is truly about.
Many of our leaders have claimed Christianity as their faith, or they were at least sympathetic to the Christian faith, and thus they have many Christians (or professing Christians) following them. And, in our nation, at least up to the present, we have had freedom of religion and freedom of the worship of God (of Jesus Christ) in private or in public. We have been blessed.
But that is all rapidly changing. First many church leaders, under the authority of their church denominations, led the people away from holiness and godly living to returning to the lusts of their flesh. And, they convinced the people that they did not have to turn away from their sins, and that they don’t have to obey God’s commands, and so they opened the door wide to lawlessness in our nation, too, for it was already in the church.
They also opened the door to a one world religion, too, which is the plan of many of our government leaders, if not of all of them. And, they did this by diluting the gospel so much that they turned it into the broad road leading to destruction rather than the narrow road which leads to eternal life with God.
Thus, these church shepherds paved the way for what our government shepherds are now plotting and carrying out against the people, and against Christians who are serious about their walks of faith with the Lord.
For, they removed the offense of the cross from the gospel, and they turned it into a social gospel. That just paves the way for a one world religion, and for many to desert the Christian faith in favor of world peace and of becoming one with the world, in agreement to deny Jesus as the only way to God and to heaven, and to deny his Lordship over our lives, and to deny his message of the cross to save lives from hell.
For, this whole thing going on in our nation and in the world right now, with the virus and with the uprisings, was orchestrated to bring us all under the rule of the beast and his one world religion. For, they are proving that we are a broken nation and a broken people and that our only hope of survival is if we all unite together and agree together on one common purpose to break down all that divides us so we can all be of one mind.
Thus, our government leaders are abandoning us, too, and they are handing us over to the enemy, for they are working to bring us under the rule of the beast and his one world religion. So, soon we should begin seeing our laws change and our freedoms ebb away, all for “the common good.”
For Their Evil Deeds
Jeremiah 23:2b ESV
“Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord.”
But God will judge these evildoers. He will judge the shepherds of God’s people who led them astray and who destroyed them through lies and through persuasion to return to living to the flesh, and not to God.
And, he will judge these government leaders, too, who have lied to the people and to the church, and who have gotten the people’s support only to turn around and betray them and to hand them over to the enemy.
Gathering the Sheep
Jeremiah 23:3-4 ESV
“Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the Lord.”
I believe that during these troubling days that God is judging both shepherds and sheep, and that through these trials he is gathering a remnant who will not deny him, and who will refuse solidarity with the world. And, Jesus, one day, is going to gather us together to himself, to live with him for eternity.
What that will look like from that time forward, I am not completely sure of. But, this one thing I know. There will be no more sin, no more heartache, no more pain or sadness, no more evil or evil people, and God will wipe all the tears away from our eyes, and we will truly be at peace with our Lord.
The Kingdoms of Earth Pass Away
Lyrics by Henry R. Trickett, 1887
Music by James H. Fillmore, 1887
The kingdoms of earth pass away one by one,
But the kingdom of heaven remains;
It is built on a rock and the Lord is its King,
And forever and ever He reigns.
The tempest may rage and its anger acclaim,
Yea, the wind and the torrents may roar,
And the strong gates of hell may assail it in vain,
Still the kingdom shall stand ever more.
The kingdom of God is now open to all,
E’en the vilest may now enter in;
There’s a welcome for all who will turn to the Lord,
Full salvation and pardon for sin.
Chorus: It shall stand, It shall stand,
Forever and ever and ever,
It shall stand, It shall stand,
Forever and ever. Amen and Amen.
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