Jeremiah 8:4-7 ESV
“You shall say to them, Thus says the Lord:
When men fall, do they not rise again?
If one turns away, does he not return?
Why then has this people turned away
in perpetual backsliding?
They hold fast to deceit;
they refuse to return.
I have paid attention and listened,
but they have not spoken rightly;
no man relents of his evil,
saying, ‘What have I done?’
Everyone turns to his own course,
like a horse plunging headlong into battle.
Even the stork in the heavens
knows her times,
and the turtledove, swallow, and crane
keep the time of their coming,
but my people know not
the rules of the Lord.”
This here is a true picture of the majority of the many who call themselves Christians here in America, and perhaps in other nations, too. Wisdom and reasonableness say that if we fall we pick ourselves back up, and if we find ourselves going the wrong direction that we make a U-turn and we go the right direction. But the vast majority of those professing faith in Jesus Christ are not exercising such wisdom and reasonableness as that.
Instead, the majority of those calling themselves Christians today are forsaking the Lord and his counsel, and they are still walking or they have returned to walking in their wickedness. Many of them are habitually and deliberately sinning against the Lord, returning to the same sinful practices over and over again without any true repentance (the U-turn) or change of heart or mind about their sins. And then they lie to cover up their sins.
They have mostly become altogether worldly, immersing themselves in today’s culture in order to connect with the people of the world. It is indistinguishable between the church and the world anymore, for they pretty much all do the same stuff, carry on the same conversations, have the same attitudes and mindset about things, and live pretty much the same or similar lifestyles, following the course of this world and not the ways of the Lord.
In some cases it may be that they are unaware of the rules (laws, commands) of the Lord, and all of them may not be fully aware of all that our Lord commands of us. But many do know, because they were brought up being taught the commands of God, but they are choosing to ignore and to reject his commands in favor of the freedom they feel that they now have to continue in their sinful practices, only now without guilt or remorse.
Jeremiah 8:8-11 ESV
“How can you say, ‘We are wise,
and the law of the Lord is with us’?
But behold, the lying pen of the scribes
has made it into a lie.
The wise men shall be put to shame;
they shall be dismayed and taken;
behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord,
so what wisdom is in them?
Therefore I will give their wives to others
and their fields to conquerors,
because from the least to the greatest
everyone is greedy for unjust gain;
from prophet to priest,
everyone deals falsely.
They have healed the wound of my people lightly,
saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
when there is no peace.”
Obviously it is the sinful flesh of humans which leads them into sin, and not the fault of anyone else, but one of the big reasons that so many have rejected the commands of the Lord and are giving their flesh full reign in their bodies is because they have accepted the lying pens and lying words of those who falsely call themselves ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ. For many are teaching no repentance, no obedience, and no submission to God.
Even though they profess faith in Jesus Christ, and even though they are passing themselves off as ministers of the true gospel of Christ, truly they have rejected the word of the Lord that they profess to uphold. And instead they are teaching a diluted and altered gospel message based off “cherry picked” Scriptures taught outside of their context and twisted to say what people’s itching ears want to hear and to believe.
And why do they do this? Well, in many cases it is that they are greedy for unjust gain. For when they teach what the people are craving, and what they want to hear, their numbers increase, which means their profits also increase, which means their positions of power and control also expand. But many are also doing this because they work for Satan and their goal is to lead the people away from true faith in Jesus and straight to hell.
Thus, they have done what this says in that they have healed the wound of the people lightly saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace. For many are teaching that we can believe in Jesus Christ and have our sins forgiven and be guaranteed heaven when we die but that it doesn’t have to alter how we live. For many are teaching against repentance, obedience, and submission to Christ, calling that “works-based salvation.”
So, the vast majority of those calling themselves Christians today are living not much different from those making no profession of faith in Jesus, for so many of them are still living in slavery to sin, still under the control of sin, the flesh, and Satan, believing that they don’t have to obey the Lord or turn from their sins, because they are believing the lie which is telling them that that is works and that they are not to do any works.
But they need to not just read Ephesians 2:8-9, but they need to read verse 10 which says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” And they need to read all of Ephesians, and all of the New Testament, for we are definitely instructed that there are works that are required of us for salvation and for eternal life with God.
[Eph 2:8-10; 1 Co 15:58; 2 Co 9:8; Gal 5:6; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:9-14; 2 Thess 1:11-12; 2 Tim. 2:21; Tit 2:11-14; Jn 15:1-11; Tit 3:8; Jas 2:17; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2]
Jeremiah 8:12 ESV
“Were they ashamed when they committed abomination?
No, they were not at all ashamed;
they did not know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among the fallen;
when I punish them, they shall be overthrown,
says the Lord.”
And the thing of it is, it is true that most do not seem to be ashamed at all of their sinful lifestyles (practices), but many are blatantly announcing on social media and in blogs and on Christian forums and from the church’s pulpits that they don’t have to obey the Lord, and that they don’t have to repent of their sins, and that they don’t have to submit to the Lordship of Christ, for Jesus did it all and so they don’t have to do anything.
But that is not what God’s word teaches. The Scriptures teach the opposite of that, in fact. They teach that if sin is our practice, and if righteousness is not our practice, and if we don’t walk in obedience to our Lord, and if we hate others and we don’t love God and others that we will die in our sins because we refused to die with Christ to our sins. Thus, we will not inherit eternal life with God if we do not repent and turn and obey the Lord.
[Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; 2 Co 5:10; 1 Co 6:9-10; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Jn 15:1-11; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27]
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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