TEXT: Jeremiah 2:1-9
1 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
2 Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the Lord; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.
3 Israel was holiness unto the Lord, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the Lord.
4 Hear ye the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel:
5 Thus saith the Lord, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?
6 Neither said they, Where is the Lord that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt?
7 And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination.
8 The priests said not, Where is the Lord? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.
9 Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the Lord, and with your children’s children will I plead.
Aleksandr Sol-zhen-it-syn said, “If I were called upon to identify briefly the principal trait of the entire 20th century, I would be unable to find anything more precise and pithy than to repeat once again: ‘Men have forgotten God.’ The failings of human consciousness, deprived of its divine dimension, have been a determining factor in all the major crimes of this century.”
In our last message, we considered Israel’s unfortunate behavior as recounted by the Lord. The children of Israel, once they got secure and comfortable in the Promised Land, began wandering off and dallying with other gods, little by little turning away from the laws of their own God, until they were engaged in full-fledged idolatry. Scripture tells us that, while there were periods of temporary repentance, the nation as a whole never returned fully to walk in the ways of the one true God until after the Captivity in Babylon. All the time, though, they largely believed that they were in the right.
Not once did they look around and say, ‘Where is the Lord?’ They did not feel — or, at least, they chose to ignore the feeling of — the Lord’s absence in their lives and in their nation. They chose to fill that void with empty ritual and hypocritical religious practices. We must consider that we might be in the very same place today. Have we completely forgotten God? Is the Lord in all our thoughts? If the Lord is in our thoughts, He is going to trouble us if we are engaged in sin idolatry. And either we must let go of the Lord or we must let go of sin.
Benjamin Shaw said, “It is easy for us as modern Christians to point the finger at the Israelites and take them to task for the fact that they forgot God. The complaining we see in the wilderness, the cycle of apostasy, judgment, and restoration that we see in Judges, and the good king/bad king alternations [that we see after the death of Solomon] emphasize the incessant inability of the Israelites to heed Moses’ admonition to ‘take care lest you forget the LORD.’ However, we forget that the same applies to us. We tend to think that ignoring, or rather, not fully living up to one commandment of God is a small thing. But the result is not simply disobedience. It is the beginning of idolatry, of making a god in our own image, a god we can easily obey.”
Now, you might say, ‘Well, I’m not as bad as those Israelites. I think of God all the time. Jesus is constantly on my mind.’ But, are your thoughts tuned to the God of the Bible and the Jesus of the Gospels? In our day, when many claim to live by their own personal “truth,” which includes selectivism in their “Christian” beliefs, there are many who have constructed or adopted pseudo-Gods and pseudo-Christs — figments that allow them to remain comfortable in their sins while maintaining a pretense of faith. It is strange to say, but we very well may have forgotten the one, true God and His Son, Jesus Christ. And the first step to repentance and restoration in our nation is taking a look around and saying, ‘Where is the Lord? Where is the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Israel? Where is the God and Father of Jesus Christ?’
Isaac Watts wrote:
And are we wretches yet alive?
And do we yet rebel?
‘Tis boundless, ’tis amazing love,
That bears us up from hell!
The burden of our weighty guilt
Would sink us down to flames;
And threatening vengeance rolls above,
To crush our feeble frames.
Almighty goodness cries, Forbear!
And straight the thunder stays;
And dare we now provoke His wrath,
And weary out His grace?
Lord, we have long abused Thy love,
Too long indulged our sin;
Our aching hearts now bleed to see
What rebels we have been.
No more, ye lusts, shall ye command,
No more will we obey;
Stretch out, O God, Thy conquering hand,
And drive our sins away.
If you are a Christian listening today, here are three things you need to do:
1. Confess and repent of your own sins. You already know what they are.
2. Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ to repent of their sins and get back to their first love
3. Pray for souls to be saved, and do your part by witnessing to the lost.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.