Your High Places for Sin

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.”

I live in the USA (America). My nation is a wealthy nation which proclaims to be one nation under the one true God. Many people throughout the years have referred to America as a Christian nation, but is it? Can a physical nation of people even be called “Christian”?

Well, according to the Scriptures, the only Christian nation is the true church, the body of Christ, comprised of all who have genuine faith in Jesus Christ, no matter where they live in the world, because this is a spiritual nation, not a physical nation.

For, “the church” is not a physical place. You don’t “go to church,” in reality, for we are the church. You go to gatherings of the church provided the people you are gathering with are all genuine followers of Jesus Christ, although it is possible for non-Christians to gather with the church.

Okay, so what are some of the “high places for sin” for Christians in America? I believe they primarily are these gatherings of what is called church, and which includes the body of Christ, but which is a mixture of people from the world and those who have professed faith in Jesus. For, this mixture is a partnership between the true church, in part, and the world (the ungodly).

Because the church, a large percentage of the body of Christ, has partnered with the world, with the government, and with big business, they are now marketing the gatherings of the church to the world via patterning their gatherings after the likes and dislikes of the people of the world. And so these gatherings are not about pleasing God but they are about pleasing human beings.

And since they are trying to attract the people of the world (the ungodly) to their gatherings, not only have they altered their gatherings to appeal to the world, but they have also altered the gospel message to make it more palatable to the ungodly and to the flesh of humans. And they have kicked out the Holy Spirit from their gatherings to follow the ways of man, and they have removed from the gospel God’s requirements for holiness, godliness, repentance, submission to Christ as Lord and obedience to his commands.

So, now “Christians” feel at liberty to live like they did before they believed in Jesus. They think they have the freedom to keep on making sin their practice and that they will not be condemned. And so sin is running rampant in the gatherings of the church. Sexual deviancy and immorality, incest, homosexuality, adultery, lying, cheating, stealing and all sorts of immoral behaviors are now prevalent among those who say they are Christians.

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.’”

But we are not to put our trust in man (in other humans). We are not to be following preachers and pastors and famous TV evangelists and writers of “Christian” books, and authors of “Christian” devotions. We aren’t supposed to be trying to build the church the way a secular business would build up its business with appealing to the desires of their customer base.

God is not pleased with these earthly and worldly temples supposedly of God which are of man and of human flesh. And just remember that God doesn’t live in brick and mortar buildings built with human hands. No physical building or human-based organization is “God’s house.” We who believe in Jesus with genuine faith in Christ are his only house. We are his temple.

And the only book and author we are to be following is the Bible, for God is its author. It is not a “Bible study” if we are studying a book written by someone claiming to be a pastor or a Christian author. We need to study the Scriptures in context and let the Holy Spirit be our teacher. For many of these humans are introducing teachings into the church which are not of God and which are contrary to his will, and which oppose truth and righteousness. And many of them include teachings from other religions.

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.”

So, our trust is to be in the Lord Jesus and not other humans, many of whom are teaching what is false and who are leading many people astray. Many of them are teaching a cheap grace gospel which requires no repentance, no obedience, and no submission to God, and so the “believer” does not have a heart change but he continues in addiction to sin.

Trust in man, especially if it is not tested against the Scriptures, in context, is never a good idea. Too many people are being led astray to what is false. So, we need to put our trust solely in the Lord and in his word, and we need to be bathing our minds on the Scriptures, in context, and then doing what they teach us to do so that we follow in the ways of righteousness.

For, Jesus said that if anyone would come after him that he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die with Christ to sin and to self) and follow (walk in obedience to) Jesus. He said if we save our lives (hold on to living in sin, making sin our practice), we will lose them for eternity. But if we lose our lives for his sake (daily die with him to sin), we will have life eternal.

Jeremiah 17:9-10 ESV

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?
‘I the Lord search the heart
and test the mind,
to give every man according to his ways,
according to the fruit of his deeds.’”

The human heart, the one controlled by the flesh, is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Anytime that we listen to our flesh, and we follow what our flesh desires, we are headed in the wrong direction. But God can change our hearts and our minds to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ so that we have hearts which desire what our Lord desires.

When we believe in Jesus with genuine faith we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, we are born anew of the Spirit of God, and we are raised with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our old self died with Christ that we might no longer live our lives in slavery to sin but in slavery to Christ and to his righteousness.

Jesus didn’t die just to deliver us from the punishment of sin and to promise us heaven when we die. He died to free us from our addiction to sin so we would now live to him and to his righteousness. He came to change our hearts and to make them new and to put within us a desire for him and for his righteousness so that we would now follow in his ways and in his truth.

And yes, we are all going to be judged according to the fruit of our deeds. The New Testament teaches that, too. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction, but if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life. If sin is what we practice, we will die in our sins. But if righteousness is what we practice, we have eternal life.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10]

Mary, Did You Know?

Songwriters: Greene Lee Rufus / Lowry Mark Alan

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy
Has come to make you new?
This child that you delivered, will soon deliver you

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy
Is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
That sleeping child you’re
Holding is the great, I Am

Mary, did you know?

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