In Jeremiah chapter 7, the prophet is standing at the gate of the temple and delivers an in-your-face type of message. One the church of 2012 would do good to heed.

 Jeremiah 7:1 -3

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD:  “Stand at the gate of the LORD’s house and there proclaim this message: This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Reform your ways and your actions…”

  •  Where is Jeremiah preaching?
    Jeremiah is standing at the gate of the temple
  • WHO is he speaking to –
    Those going to worship
  • Why is he giving this message to these people?
  • Why would those going to worship need to reform their ways and actions?

 Jeremiah 7:9-10

Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjuryburn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”—safe to do all these detestable things?”

  1.  You shall have no other gods before me.
  2. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form
  3. You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God
  4. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy

 This group of worshippers has broken nearly all of the 10 Commandments. The tone and direction of Jeremiah’s message is that they live this way all week long and then come to church to “worship”.

 Jeremiah continues with his directness…

 Jeremiah 7:12-13

“Go now to the place in Shiloh where I first made a dwelling for my Name, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of my people Israel…  While you were doing all these things, declares the LORD, I spoke to you again and again, but you did not listen; I called you, but you did not answer. Therefore, what I did to Shiloh I will now do to the house that bears my Name, the temple you trust in…”

 To understand the bluntness of Jeremiah’s words one has to understand some of the Old Testament. Shiloh was the place of worship, this was the home of the Ark of the Covenant (1 Samuel 4) It became the place of “Ichabod” meaning the spirit has left. Shiloh became known as the place where God used to be but is no longer at. Shiloh became known as the place God abandon, it is the place he used to be – but no longer is.

 Jeremiah continues …

 Jeremiah 7:17-18

“Do you not see what they are doing in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough and make cakes to offer to the Queen of Heaven.” 

  • Worshipping as a family is extremely important!
  • What takes place in the home carries into the place of worship.
  • These two verses included the whole family, kids, mom & dad; however it is not a family BBQ!
  • This family time is pushing every member of the family away from God.
  • They are making cakes and offering them (worshipping) an idol.

 Finally Jeremiah says…

 Jeremiah 7:21

This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go ahead, add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices and eat the meat yourselves!” 

  • A burnt offering could NOT be eaten
  • It was all consumed by fire and given COMPLETELY to God
  • The prophet is saying you might as well eat it yourself because it is not a sacrifice. The heart is not worshipping God. It is just going thru the motions which have no spiritual value.

 I believe in the church!

I believe God wants the church to be a point of love for others and worship of Him HOWEVER we need to hear this wake up call.

The church can take notes from Jeremiah’s message and begin to worship God is a way that is pleasing to Him. The church is not a building it is the people and I know that many evangelical churches are filled with God-fearing and God- loving people. However I also believe there are many who call themselves Christians but need to take an inventory of their values and priority. We are heading into a time when those who do not worship the Lord are going to need to lean on and learn from those who do. Let’s wake up church and be like Jeremiah!!!!

1 Kings 22:13-18

 “The messenger who had gone to summon the prophet said to him, “Look, the other prophets without exception are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably.” 14 But Micaiah said, “As surely as the LORD lives, I can tell him only what the LORD tells me.” 15 When he arrived, the king asked him, “shall we go to war against or shall I refrain?” “Attack and be victorious,” he answered, “for the LORD will give it into the king’s hand.” 16 The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?” 17 Then the prophet answered, “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the LORD said, ‘These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.’” 18 The king of Israel said, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?”

——————————————————————————————————————

In the Biblical account, the king went against the prophets words, he went to war and he was killed.

 Fast forward to 2012

  • Do our political leaders listen to the word of God?
  • How do they make decisions?
  • If decisions are based on God’s word, these decisions are blessed.
  • However if decisions go against God’s word then they are in direct opposition to God’s principles, which means those decisions are not blessed meaning the decision of the political elite also affect those governed by the powers that be. Meaning as our leaders go against God’s word and God’s principle the people will also suffer.

Is this happening? What do our headlines say?

Finances

  • Congress looks at members, inside trading (12-1-11)
  • Middle Class in decline: Good life harder to get, keep (11-27-11)
  • Stalemate over debt deal could take $165 Billion out of American’s wallets (11-23)
  • Stocks take nosedive on deepening EU debt woes (11-9-11)
  • Fannie Mae seeks $7.8 billion to cover quarterly losses (11-9-11)

Foreign Policy

  • Highest voter turnout in Egypt “since the Pharaohs” (12-3-11)
  • Egyptian Christians prepare for new political climate (12-1-11)
  • Egyptian elections results put Muslim Brotherhood ahead (11-30-11)

Israel

  • Palestine wants land but not peace with Israel (10-2-11)

For the sake of our nation, our economy and all who call themselves Americans, our leadership MUST begin listening to the Word of God!

As a footnote, Isaiah chapter 3 explains…

When God blesses a nation he gives them strong leadership. When God removes His blessing he gives them spiritual children as leaders (those who are immature, selfish, etc.).

 What kind of leadership has God given the United States???????

Are you ready for two thousand and twelve?
I believe there as been more discussion about the beginning of 2012 than possibly any year since Y-2K. Like 12 years ago, it seems every media outlet has something to say about the drastic possibilities of the coming year.

Got me to thinking. With all the news and projections being made, from both Christian and secular sources, how much does or should this impact the average believer? I realize that our trust and faith is in the Lord, but does that mean that we should not be prepared? Should we, as believers, be ready to meet spiritual needs and as many physical needs as possible?

With all that is being said, are believers following the news? Are they reading God’s Word with a new zest? I am not trying to date set, for we have been told “no one knows the day or the hour”. Whether Jesus is to return this year or not, there are enough aspects of our lives that are extremely fragile. We have little margin in so many aspects of our lives. We have seen what natural disasters can do to wreck havoc on daily lives. What if those natural disasters were mixed with financial chaos, such as more financial failure or large spikes in everyday living (food, gas, etc.). What about a middle-east war or political unrest (both here and foreign)

How fragile are our surroundings? If chaos happens will the church be a light to those caught in chaotic darkness or will the church be swept up in whatever may happen. Will the church be effective or will it be caught in the conditions that may be?

Let’s take our own poll. What do you think…

• Will financial collapse happen in Europe?
• Will the housing market here in the U.S. recover or continue downward?
• Will the dollar lose more value in 2012?
• Will gold and silver go up in price?
• Will gas go up in price?
• Will there be a war with Iran?
• Will Obama get elected for a 2nd term?
• If not Obama then who becomes President?
• Are you personally preparing for 2012?
• How?
• Are you putting away food?
• If so, how much?
• Have you paid off debts?
• Have you shared the gospel with others?
• Do you discuss the possibilities of 2012 with others?
Is that enough questions!