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Loving lies that love us back
Jeremiah, in his call to God’s people to return to a true worship of God warns them to not believe lies. Then as now, the most loved lies are lies that love us back. Flattery is effective because we love to hear good things about ourselves even if those things are a few light years from reality. The lie warned about here in Jeremiah 7 is the lie that God will be pleased with any who worship at the temple no matter how the other 6 days are lived and no matter what the condition of the heart and mind.
Jeremiah, simply put, declares that such a religion is not a religion of God. Sadly, we see these same lies in our day when people speak of being spiritual without embracing biblical theology, when churches call themselves Christian churches while approving all manner of sin that is condemned in Holy Scripture, when professing Christians abandon the Bible and deny that Christ is the only way of salvation, and when in so many more ways those who profess to be members of the covenant community live with no zeal for God and lean only upon a few outward rituals of the Faith. These lies are the echoes of the lies of Jeremiah’s day that offered a hope of God’s favor without true repentance and true faith. Jeremiah called for a turning away from such false hopes.
The prescription for this error, then and now, is singular. What is required is that we hear what God has said and that we do what He commands. This is not complicated. As I have often said, Christianity is simple. Christianity is coming to God on His terms and those terms are to come to him with faith alone in Christ alone.
What God requires of us is that we should see our sin through the lenses of what He has said is right and wrong, that we should repent of our sin and turn obediently to Him.
Christianity is following Christ the way the Bible explains it. Just this past week I ran into a man who out of nowhere entered into a little rant about being done with the judgmental ideas of God because he saw God as a “god of love” and did not see Him as a God of strict rules and judgment. About 35 years of pastoral ministry makes the translation of such proclamations easy, almost always such a rant can be translated as “I love my sin and God should love it too.” This was the problem of Jeremiah’s day and so very often the problem of our day. Twisting our ideas of God into something that will let us have our way does not change the nature and person of God. As we pray for revival and reformation we must do so with hearts committed to both hearing and obeying God.
May it please God to give us understanding of the truth, grace to embrace the truth unto salvation, and power to die to sin and live unto righteousness with a great love of God as our motivation.
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