Date: 17 August, 2017
Text: Jeremiah 23
Title: The Day in Which We Live
Witnessing to Paulo from Italy for nearly an hour and a half and finding that he denies....
Creation - believing evolution
Inspiration - believing the Bible is corrupt but still saying He believes it.
Marriage - beleiving that Romans one is an archaic view that needs to be modernized and saying the Pope has even come out in favor of homosexuality.
OUR DAY IS A DAY OF INCREDIBLE FALSE TEACHING - NOTE - everything listed above is not only believed by the world BUT TAUGHT BY MANY IN THE "CHURCH."
Hearing those things from Paulo can make me feel a bit like Jeremiah as we find him in chapter 23 of the book God had him write.
9 Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness.
10 For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right.
WHERE IS THE GENERATION THAT WILL BELIEVE GOD AND TAKE HIM AT HIS WORD? Oh for a generation that will reject false religion and respect TRUE religion!
Where do you stand this morning my friend? WE NEED TO REJECT FALSE RELIGION AND RESPECT TRUE RELIGION.
I. Reject false religion.
quest: How can someone who has no religious background - know what is FALSE and what is TRUE?
ill. Seeing some neighbors out collecting mushrooms and asking them - do you know what you are looking for? Their smile showed that they weren't stupid about something so dangerous as wild mushrooms. THAT KNOWLEDGE PROTECTED THEM from physical death and gave them the benefit and enjoyment of eating good mushrooms.
app. Jeremiah's declaration against false religion will GIVE US KNOWLEDGE THAT WILL PROTECT US from something so incredibly dangerous that it will not lead to physical death but eternal death. It also leads us to the good and true religion that has eternal benefit.
A. Idolatrous religion.
13 And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err.
exp. Baal was an idol.
According to Canaanite mythology, Baal was the son of El, the chief god, and Asherah, the goddess of the sea. Baal was considered the most powerful of all gods, eclipsing El, who was seen as rather weak and ineffective. In various battles Baal defeated Yamm, the god of the sea, and Mot, the god of death and the underworld. Baal’s sisters/consorts were Ashtoreth, a fertility goddess associated with the stars, and Anath, a goddess of love and war. The Canaanites worshiped Baal as the sun god and as the storm god—he is usually depicted holding a lightning bolt—who defeated enemies and produced crops. They also worshiped him as a fertility god who provided children. Baal worship was rooted in sensuality and involved ritualistic prostitution in the temples. At times, appeasing Baal required human sacrifice, usually the firstborn of the one making the sacrifice (Jeremiah 19:5). The priests of Baal appealed to their god in rites of wild abandon which included loud, ecstatic cries and self-inflicted injury (1 Kings 18:28).
In Matthew 12:27, Jesus calls Satan “Beelzebub,” linking the devil to Baal-Zebub, a Philistine deity (2 Kings 1:2). The Baalim of the Old Testament were nothing more than demons masquerading as gods, and all idolatry is ultimately devil-worship (1 Corinthians 10:20).
exp. When you bow down to someone other than God or pray to someone other than God - you are committing idolatry.
Exo 23:24 Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.
note: there are even "Christian" religions that teach idolatry.
exp. The catholic church "venerates" synonym is "idolize" relics of former popes or saints. A vile of pope John's blood - for example. They bow down and pray to Mary (who is not God.) Notice that often they bow and pray with images which they worship.
app. Careful - idolatry breaks the first two of the ten commandments "Thou shalt have no other gods beside me.... Thou shalt not make any graven images." As a point of interest - Paulo was catholic.
B. Sexually perverse religion.
14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.
exp. Sodom and Gomorrah were known for their sexual perversion.
5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.
6 And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,
7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.
8 Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.
9 And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.
exp. The false prophets of Jeremiah's day were strengthening the hands of the sexually perverse and not rebuking them.
question: Is our day one in which "preachers" are condoning sexual perversion like Sodom and Gomorah?
ill. Scottish Episcopal church - this year
The Scottish Episcopal Church has voted to allow gay couples to marry in church.
It makes it the first major Christian church in the UK to allow same-sex marriages.
The vote to amend canon law on marriage, removing the stipulation that it is between a man and a woman, was carried by the Synod in Edinburgh.
It means that gay Christians from any Anglican Church can now ask to be married in a Scottish Episcopal Church.
ill. Church of Scotland - Last year
The historic decision by the Church of Scotland to recognise Ministers and Deacons in same-sex civil partnerships has been extended to cover same-sex marriage.
Commissioners decided by 339 votes to 215 to update Church law to keep pace with Scots Law.
The decision made earlier today does not compromise the Church's traditional view of marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
Ill. Catholic church - sexual abuse scandal that has come to light in our generation.
app. Surely, even an unchurched person could read this passage of Scripture and realize whether they agree with it or not that God's Word teaches that False religion promotes Sodom and Gomorah and does not condemn it!
app. We can find a little comfort today as believers that OUR DAY IS NOT MUCH DIFFERENT FROM WHAT OTHER BELIEVERS HAVE FACED IN PREVIOUS GENERATIONS.
transition - sexual perverse religion or idolatrous religion is false religion.
C. Humanistic religion.
15 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land.
note: Profaness is irreverance, irreligious - It makes a mockery of God.
16 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.
note: This is easily identifiable - as if honestly stated sounds like this, "My interpretation.... Well I believe.... We have decided.... We have come to the agreement that...." Heaven forbid that it should ever be stated as, "Thus saith the Lord!"
ill. Scott Rennie - church of scotland.org.uk - 25 May 2017 Speaking after the debate, Rev Scott Rennie, minister at Queen’s Cross Church in Aberdeen, said he was “delighted” that the General Assembly had decided to move forward on the issue.
“There was a real feeling that we have to find space for everyone in the Church and I hope it is not too many years before I am able to marry people of the same gender,” he added.
question: What did He say in that statement about God's views or God's Word?
ill. Note the contrast between his position and that of Arthur Custance - Arthur C Custance, a church elder from Kinlochleven, warned a “vote in favour of homosexuality is in effect voting against Jesus Christ.”
ill. What does the Bible say? IS THE QUESTION THAT THEY WILL NOT ANSWER.
note: If I promoted the view of Darwin saying, "My interpretation is that Darwin believed in a literal 6 day creation by an Almighty being!" I would be branded a fool!
exp. How can false religion say, "My interpretation of God's Word is that.....(substitute their own ideas which completely contradict God's Word) and the world embraces them AS WISE?
app. WARNING - humanistic religion is FALSE - "they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord."
transition: Don't be fooled by False humanistic, or sexually perverse, or idolatrous religion.
D. A religion without judgment.
exp. How many religions todays say things like, "God is love. God accepts you. You can have your lifestyle (no matter what it is) and have God as well."
1. God will never accept ungodliness.
17 They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.
18 For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it?
exp. Are you in sin today? You can repent and be forgiven. But, God's Word says that IF NOT you will be judged. IT IS A LIE TO SAY OTHERWISE.
Mat 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
Exo 20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
ill. GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT - Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
exp. If you have bought into humanistic false religion that says there is NO JUDGMENT - God is trying to make you aware that you are believing a lie.
ill. Imagine a young person - who believes that he can commit a crime because he is TOO YOUNG to be punished. Does the judge care whether he thought that or not? He punishes him regardless of his wrong beliefs.
app. God isn't going to withhold judgment from those who have believed lies of false religion. Even here in His Word - HE WARNS AGAINST BELIEVING A FALSE RELIGION WHICH HAS NO JUDGMENT.
2. God's wrath has already departed.
19 Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked.
20 The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.
exp. God's not letting false teachers and unbelievers get away with their rebellion against Him. The sentence for their judgment has already departed from His lips.
Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
E. A religion not of God.
1. He didn't send them.
21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
exp. Oh, they claim to be - but anyone with sense can see that they are not - they promote idolatry, sexual perversion, humanism, and no judgment.
app. Only those who hate God's truth would embrace such a perversion of God's Word. GOD DIDN'T SENT THOSE - EVEN THOUGH THEY CLAIM TO COME IN HIS NAME.
2. He is against them.
Rom 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
IF GOD BE AGAINST YOU - IT DOESN'T MATTER WHO IS FOR YOU! I'D RATHER HAVE THE WORLD AGAINST ME - AND GOD FOR ME!
V.30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour.
31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.
32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them:
App. Friend as Dr. Bob Sr. would say, "Your arms too short to box with God." He's against them!
3. Their religion is without profit.
therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.
ill. Like a Dr.'s office that just tells people they are fine and sends them away sick and dying - so false religion just but's a plaster on a cureable disease BUT REFUSES TO ADMINISTER THE CURE!
app. Don't be deceived - false religion is damnable - making those who follow it a resigned citizen of Hell.
II. Respect True Religion.
note: Get ready - the TRUE religion is despised by our world. They would bristle if confronted with the TRUE RELIGION!
A. A religion that waits upon God.
22 But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.
exp. Here is our hope for saving our generation. IT ISN'T COMPROMISE. IT ISN'T CHANGING TO BE LIKE THE WORLD IT IS HOLDING FAST TO THE WORD OF GOD.
ill. Like a beacon of light along a dangerous shore.
Php 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
app. Friends, Satan would have us to TURN OFF THE LIGHT and be quiet in this day of evil rebellion against God. Sadly - the silencing of God's Word - only removes all hope.
B. A religion that fears God.
23 Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?
24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.
exp. We too will give an account to a Holy God for how we administer the TRUTH of His Word. He is present to encourage us - BUT HE IS PRESENTLY HOLDING US ACCOUNTABLE AS WELL - he knows if we pervert His Word out of fear or convenience.
question: Do false teachers fear God? Do we? When we have the truth - will God not hold us accountable for our keeping and guarding of the truth?
app. A true religion walks in the sober FEAR OF GOD in maintaining God's truth.
C. A religion that uses the hammer of God's Word against falsehood.
29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
exp. Does the world want confrontation truth from a Holy God that brings the hammer blow upon the flinty heart - shattering it - or burning up the dross like fire? (We'll see tonight that they despise it.)
note: An unoffensive religion is a false religion - God's Word is powerful in confronting the error of the sinner's ways. Drunkards don't get victory over alcohol by being told that they have a disease. They get victory by being told that they are sinners rebelling against a holy God!
app. Do you respece a religion that UPHOLDS THE TRUTH OF GOD'S WORD AND SET'S IT FORTH WITH AUTHORITY! That is what TRUE RELIGION DOES!
Oh, for a generation that will reject false religion and respect true religion.
False religion is easily identified by Jeremiah -
It is idolatrous.
It is sexually perverse.
It is humanistic.
It denies judgment.
It is NOT OF GOD.
Waits upon God.
Uses the Word of God in power.
WHERE DO YOU STAND THIS MORNING, MY FRIEND?