Jeremiah 33:1-3 ESV
“The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah a second time, while he was still shut up in the court of the guard: ‘Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it—the Lord is his name: Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.'”
Jerusalem was under siege by the king of Babylon, and Jeremiah, a prophet of God, who spoke God’s exact words, was being held captive, i.e. he was being persecuted for his faith and for his testimony for God and for his Word. The scriptures say he was “shut up” in the court of the guard.
Right now, America is “under siege,” but not just physically, but spiritually. The word of God is “under siege” and is being “shut up,” too. The gospel of salvation, as Jesus and as his New Testament apostles taught it, is under attack, not just from the world, but from within the church.
Charlatans are everywhere proclaiming lies as though they are truth. They are smooth-tongued charmers who cleverly insert lies into the truth, and so they are leading many people astray. Because their name says “Pastor,” many people trust them, and they are falling for their deceptions.
So, we need to be people who call on God, and who seek his counsel, and who test everything we see (or think we see), and everything we read and/or hear against the Word of God and against God’s divine character and will for us, his people. For the name “Pastor” may not mean “truth teller.”
Instead of just listening to “Pastors,” thinking they must be telling us the truth, we need to examine what they are teaching against God’s Word. So, this means we need to be students of the Word of God, rightly handling the Word of Truth. We need to study Scriptures in their context, too, for many false teachings stem from Scriptures taught outside of their context.
Don’t just believe everything a “Pastor” tells you, please! It may sound good, but it doesn’t mean it is good. Many of them are wolves in sheep’s clothing, who are masqueraders of righteousness, but who don’t represent Jesus Christ, but the devil.
For, the primary gospel message being taught and accepted in America is not the one Jesus taught. It is an adulterated gospel, full of lies, which is convincing people that they can be “saved” and on their way to heaven, while they convince them that they don’t have to turn away from their sins, nor obey Christ’s commands to his church, nor surrender their lives to Jesus. And, that is the opposite of what Jesus and his NT apostles taught.
For, they taught that we must die with Christ to sin, that we must forsake our former lives of living to sin and to self, and that we must now walk in obedience to our Lord, according to the Spirit of God, and no longer according to our flesh, if we want to be saved from sin and have eternal life with God (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; Lu 9:23-26).
Jeremiah 33:4-5 ESV
“For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city and the houses of the kings of Judah that were torn down to make a defense against the siege mounds and against the sword: They are coming in to fight against the Chaldeans and to fill them with the dead bodies of men whom I shall strike down in my anger and my wrath, for I have hidden my face from this city because of all their evil.”
The reason that Jerusalem was under siege is because of Israel’s sins of idolatry against God. So, this was a judgment of God on his people for their sins of rebellion against God, and for their refusal to listen to his instructions.
I believe that the church in America is under siege right now for the same reasons. The church here, for the most part, has become idolatrous and worldly. They are teaching a cheap grace gospel which gives permission for their adherents to continue living in their sin, only without guilt.
So, wickedness abounds within the gatherings of the church. Sexual immorality is being allowed to run rampant within the church, and hardly anyone is confronting the offenders with their sins, thus making demands for true repentance. If the sexual immorality is dealt with at all, it is usually via support groups which tend to coddle people in their sins rather than bring them to full repentance.
The church, which is the body of Christ, united herself with the government and with the world and with big business in an unholy union, so that she is now unequally yoked together with the ungodly, which God forbids.
And, the church at large has been turned into a marketplace and is being marketed to the people of the world. And, so they have conformed the gatherings of the church to the world in order to attract the world to their gatherings, i.e. in order to “draw in large crowds of people” from the world.
And, all of this is against God’s divine purpose and will for his church. For, he called us to be a holy people, set apart (unlike, different) from the world so that we might be conformed to the likeness of Christ. He called us to obedience to him and to his commands for his church, not to reject his commands, thinking that being “saved” means we don’t have to obey.
And, he has been calling his adulterous people to repentance and to renewed faith in him for some time now, but most have not been listening. They have not heeded his calls, but they have continued in their sinful ways. So, the judgment he promised is now upon his adulterous people.
Jeremiah 33:6-9 ESV
“Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security. I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first. I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me. And this city shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and a glory before all the nations of the earth who shall hear of all the good that I do for them. They shall fear and tremble because of all the good and all the prosperity I provide for it.”
But even now the call is still going out for God’s people, who are living in spiritual adultery against him, to repent of their sins of idolatry. The Lord is sending out the message loud and clear through those who are listening to the Lord, and who are willing to give out his messages.
The Lord wants to bring spiritual healing to your lives. But you must turn away from your lifestyles of sin, you must forsake your idols, you must humble yourselves before God, you must surrender your will to the will of God, and you must turn to the Lord to walk in obedience to his word.
Then, he will restore you to himself. He will revive you, or he will save you who never did repent of your sins or who never did follow him in obedience, but who now have repented, and who now are surrendered to him as Lord, and who now are walking in obedience to his commands in the strength and in the power of God’s Spirit now living within you. Amen!
Nearer, Still Nearer
Lyrics and Music by Lelia N. Morris, pub. 1898
Nearer, still nearer, close to Thy heart,
Draw me, my Savior—so precious Thou art!
Fold me, oh, fold me close to Thy breast;
Shelter me safe in that “haven of rest.”
Nearer, still nearer, nothing I bring,
Naught as an off’ring to Jesus, my King;
Only my sinful, now contrite heart,
Grant me the cleansing Thy blood doth impart.
Nearer, still nearer, Lord, to be Thine!
Sin, with its follies, I gladly resign,
All of its pleasures, pomp and its pride,
Give me but Jesus, my Lord crucified.
Nearer, still nearer, while life shall last,
Till safe in glory my anchor is cast;
Through endless ages ever to be
Nearer, my Savior, still nearer to Thee!
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