Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Go to the Gates and Declare His Message

Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak unto all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die.
Why hast thou prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate without an inhabitant? And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.
Then spoke the priests and the prophets unto the princes and to all the people, saying, This man is worthy to die; for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard with your ears. (Jeremiah 26:8-9, 11)

Jeremiah is sent by God to stand in the gates of the temple and speak out against the evil the Israelites are committing, judgment is coming unless they repent. In response to the message he brings the priests and prophets seek to kill him. They've spent their time telling people things will be fine, that the nation is prospering, that they are truly serving God though they surely are aware of the fact that they haven't been. Their pride and sinful desires keep them from falling to the floor in repentance and look to remove the reproach (Jeremiah) from their midst.

Jeremiah in a step of great faith further pushes, exhorting them to repent but also making it clear that his conscience is clear, he has faithfully spoken the Word the Lord has given him:

Then spoke Jeremiah unto all the princes and to all the people, saying, The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that ye have heard.
Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you.
As for me, behold, I am in your hand: do with me as seemeth good and meet unto you.
But know ye for certain, that if ye put me to death, ye shall surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, and upon this city, and upon the inhabitants thereof: for of a truth the LORD hath sent me unto you to speak all these words in your ears.
(Jeremiah 26:12-15)

Sadly we see this mirrored even today in our churches. Many of them have gone off to please men and in doing so have built up idols in the Lord's temple (their hearts), and though they may still claim to love God above all and desire to serve Him, quite often this is just not the case.

And so we're sent to our brethren, our loving Father has given us a Word for His lost children (even those who refuse to believe they are lost) and like Jeremiah we're called to stand at the gates and call out to them. We're sent to call the world...and the repentance before it is too late for them to repent.

More than likely they will refuse to hear, they may seek to silence the message by calling the messenger a liar, or by sending us away and removing us from their congregations, and eventually seek to kill us. Indeed we see this happening already around the world, but eventually this refusal to repent and accept the truth will lead to blood shed in every country.

But even when it comes to that we're called to stand, as Jeremiah did, and exhort our lost brothers and sisters to turn back to the true God, to the true Gospel. We must have faith that God's will shall be done, and if they kill us for the message we bring so be it. They'll be unable to stand before God and say they weren't aware of their sin for they will have killed to hide it. But you can't hide anything from God, and eventually He will bring judgment upon those who refuse to repent. Despite the possible risk of loss for us we must remain faithful to the Word He has given us lest we should stand before Him knowing we haven't warned the people of coming destruction.

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