Jeremiah 6:10 ESV
“To whom shall I speak and give warning,
that they may hear?
Behold, their ears are uncircumcised,
they cannot listen;
behold, the word of the Lord is to them an object of scorn;
they take no pleasure in it.”
Many professing Christians here in America are stopping up their ears and they are refusing to hear the truth of the gospel. So, if you are teaching the truth of the gospel (the whole counsel of God) you can expect to be opposed, perhaps not so much by people in the world making no profession of faith in Jesus Christ, but by those who profess faith in Jesus, who believe that all their sins are forgiven, and who believe heaven is their eternal destiny regardless of how they live on the earth.
So, they take no pleasure in the word of the Lord, except in passages of Scripture usually taught outside their context and twisted to say what the Scriptures, as a whole, do not teach. For so many of them see the “gift of God” as freedom to keep on in their sin, only now without guilt. But they aren’t willing to see that the “gift of God” is deliverance from slavery (addiction) to sin and it is empowerment of God to live holy lives, pleasing to God, in walks of obedience to our Lord and to his commands (Luke 9:23-26; Romans 6:1-23; Ephesians 4:17-24; Titus 2:11-14; Romans 12:1-2).
Thus, if you try to share with them the truth of the gospel, in opposition to the lies of Satan and of his messengers, if they don’t want to hear it they may ignore you, fight against you, call you names, accuse you wrongly of what you did not do, “unfriend” you on social media, try to shame you into backing off on the truth, or they may try (attempt) to trick you and to bate you and to trap you into saying something to where they can accuse you of something, much like Jesus’ opponents did with him, but he did not bite.
Jeremiah 6:13-14 ESV
“For from the least to the greatest of them,
everyone is greedy for unjust gain;
and from prophet to priest,
everyone deals falsely.
They have healed the wound of my people lightly,
saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
when there is no peace.”
And this is exactly where we are again today, at least here in America we are. For so much of what is called “church” here in America has gone the way of the world, and they are following after the ways of the world and after the ways of man in their humanistic teaching and philosophies and marketing strategies (schemes) and goals, etc. And so many of them have adopted an altered and diluted gospel message, too, which does not require the believer to die to sin and to walk in righteousness and in obedience to the Lord Jesus. So, they either oppose that or they make it optional.
And a big reason for this, I believe, is greed, because so much of the church has turned the church into a marketplace to be marketed to the people of the world, and thus they are adapting the church to the ways of the world in order to attract the world to their gatherings. And since they want the people of the world to feel comfortable and at home in the gatherings of “the church,” they have modified the whole concept of who the church really is, and they have altered the gospel to make it more acceptable to the world.
So, they are “healing” the sin wounds of the people with a diluted and soft-pedaled “gospel” message which does not deliver them from their slavery (addiction) to sin and which does not teach walks of obedience to the Lord, but which coddles them in their sins, and which gives them false promises of forgiveness of all sins and of heaven as their eternal destiny, while many (or most) of them are teaching against repentance and obedience and against even the works of God in our lives which God prepared in advance that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10; Titus 2:11-14).
Jeremiah 6:16 ESV
“Thus says the Lord:
‘Stand by the roads, and look,
and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it,
and find rest for your souls.’”
And this is the part I love! We are to stand by the crossroads, and look at the options before us, for this is concerning a crucial point to where a decision must be made as to which way we are going to go. Are we going to go the way of the world and of the flesh and of the adulterated gospel message? For if we do, it will land us in hell, not in heaven, regardless of what faith in Jesus we profess with our lips. Or are we going to go the way of the Lord, which is the way of righteousness, holiness, and walks of obedience to our Lord and to his commands (New Covenant)?
Well, the counsel here is for us to ask for the ancient paths, which are the ways of God which are taught to us both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. For our Lord and his divine will for our lives have not changed from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. His moral laws still stand, only Jesus summarized the commands of God into two commands. The first one is to love the Lord our God with our whole heart, mind, strength, and soul, and the second one is to love our neighbors as ourselves. For if we do that, we will not deliberately sin against God and other humans.
Now, we are to walk in the good way, which is the way of God, which is the gospel of our salvation. For the gospel of the Scriptures teaches us that faith in Jesus Christ involves us dying with Christ to sin, not just once, but daily, and it involves us walking in obedience to our Lord, in practice, in holy living. Then we will have eternal life with God. But it also teaches us that if we choose to not obey our Lord, and if we choose to continue in deliberate and habitual sin, we will not inherit eternal life with God, but we will face his wrath, instead. So, we have to choose which path we are going to take.
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
By John Newton
Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind, but now I see.
‘Twas Grace that taught my heart to fear,
And Grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils, and snares
I have already come.
‘Tis Grace hath brought me safe thus far
And Grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me.
His Word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.
And when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess within the veil
A life of joy and peace.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.
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