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Jeremiah’s and the Church

Updated: Apr 25

As I’m reading through Jeremiah I came across chapter 14. I don’t think a statement so accurately describes our current state within the church as vss 13-14.

Jeremiah 14:13-14 (ESV) 13 Then I said: “Ah, Lord GOD, behold, the prophets say to them, ‘You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place.’” 14 And the LORD said to me: “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds.

Jeremiah is crying out to God how the prophets of the day are pushing “positive messages” that stand in direct opposition to the condition of Gods people. God responds that their message did not come from Him but rather was based on their own deceived hearts. They prophesied what THEY wanted and then tied it to scripture.

Did God promise to bless Israel? Yes. But only if they put Him first and did not forsake His commands. Was this happening? No… but yet they still clung to a promise that didn’t apply to them. They sought a promise that confirmed their pursuits and then applied it out of context to their situation. This was the deceiving of their heart.

Today I’m seeing this happening at an unprecedented rate. Promises of marriages restored, relationships mended, and no one seems to be asking the question… “can we support this biblically, in truth, in context?”

This is not a popular message. People want to be given a road map to a “happy life”. And while wanting to be happy isn’t a sin, it becomes sinful when we’re willing to pursue such things at the expense of truth and on God’s dime (so to speak). We reduce God to a cuck.

A cuck is an old English word for a man whose wife is sexually unfaithful. An adulterous wife seeks for the security and provision of her husband but no real relationship. The husband, a cuckold, is viewed as contemptuous and weak by his wife. He is merely a grantor of wishes and nothing more.

The church is referred to as the bride of Christ. The church today seeks to have all its wishes granted. They seek to have their desires and fulfillment satisfied, but not by Christ. Instead they seek to have it paid for by Christ but furnished by another. Essentially the church has asked the Father to foot the bill for their adultery against His Son.

Jesus was very clear about following Him. To bring conditions into our relationship is to reveal what is most important in our hearts. To say, “Lord I will follow you as long as you, fix my marriage, mend this relationship, heal this ailment…” is to place the condition above Christ. And Jesus made it very clear that He would not be a cuckold to anyone.

Matthew 10:34-39 (ESV) 34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

When He says He didn’t come to bring peace, He’s not saying peace cannot be found in Him. In fact quite the opposite. He’s saying that if you’re coming on the condition of peace then He is not your chief pursuit. Peace is.

When He says that He came to divide relationships, He’s not saying that your life will be marked by rejection and isolation. He’s saying that you will be rejected and isolated by all those who don’t share Christ as their chief pursuit.

When He says that we must take up our cross, He’s saying that we must be willing, in our hearts, to pursue Him no matter the cost. No matter the turmoil faced, even in our own homes, amongst our own families.

How could I possibly ever truly know that about myself though? Through testing…

Testing doesn’t decide our condition, it reveals it. A heart that pursues an adulterous relationship with Christ is revealed when conditions are placed on the relationship. Such was the case with the rich man who sought to follow Christ, but only if He could keep his wealth (Matt 10:17-31). Such was the case of the son who sought to follow Christ, but only after he buried his father (Luke 9:59-60). Such was the case of the family man who sought to follow Christ, but only after he returned to say goodbye to his family (Luke 9:61-62). Such tests reveal what’s most important to us is our heart.

The revelation of such a condition in our hearts is a grace. It’s a grace that the Israelites in Jeremiah’s time had rejected. Instead of the truth of their hearts condition driving them to a complete surrender, they chose to deceive themselves with scripture that pacified their fears and justified their adultery.

The question today for the church is this: can we repent? Upon the revealing of our adulterous hearts condition, can we fall to our knees in complete surrender? My wife won’t follow you, but I will follow you anyway Lord. My job doesn’t recognize my need to be in church, but I follow you regardless of the outcome of my obedience.

The only thing that’s in jeopardy of failing for following Christ is anything that will hold you back from following Christ. Each of us will be tested. Each of us will face trials and persecution. But each of these things are intended to test and reveal our hearts, thus leading to repentance, thus leading to sanctification, thus leading to a closer walk with Christ.

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1 Comment

May 03

Really good thoughts here, Red.

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