I Didn’t Go to Church for That

JeremiahThis message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, September 16, 2007, and was taken from Jeremiah 7:1:15.

Chapter seven is Jeremiah’s temple sermon. In a time of great upheaval and uncertainty God sends Jeremiah to preach this sermon at the gates of the temple. Any time God speaks to us, it’s a good thing, even when it is a message of judgment, because God always gives his people what they need. This sermon can be summed up in one sentence: If you change your ways, I’ll let you live here. If you don’t, I will cast you out of my sight (vs. 3, 15).

One of the precious doctrines of our faith is the immutability of God. God does not change. We like that when we talk about his grace. But we must not loose sight of the fact that there are two sides of the coin. This same immutable God also rained down fire upon Sodom and Gomorrah.

1. God righteously confronts sin wherever he finds it (v. 3).
Identification with the people of God is not a license to sin. Reformation and revival always begin with the people of God. Notice that Jeremiah was preaching in the gates to the temple, blocking the way, strongly implying

2. Elaborate devotions to the outward trappings of religion is no substitution to a living faith. These people were doing everything right, by outward appearances, but God confronted them.
a. They substituted silly superstition for a true and living faith (v. 4). Today we are just as bad, for we trust in the fact that our name is on a church roll somewhere, or are trusting in an experience.
b. They simply refused to walk in obedience to God’s commands (v. 5). In the verses that follow, God gives the people a laundry list of their sin. In the midst of all of this they continued to go to temple regularly, as if nothing was wrong.
3. Persistent, stubborn evil carries devastating consequences (v. 12).

We need this kind of message from time to time, because it is very easy for us to presume upon the grace of God. Closing comfort: Hebrews 7:25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. We have one who prays for us at God’s right hand, and God does not say “Do not pray for that one.”

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