Many of you that have read articles that I’ve written know that I love to study and write about history. In today’s message I want to take us into the past and look at the answers that we can find to the problems our people face today. For a text today, I want us to look at Jeremiah 20:9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak anymore in His name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut upin my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. In order to understand the context, we need to read the whole chapter, feel free to read more.
20 Now Pashur the son of Immer the priest, who was also chief governor in the house of the Lord, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things. 2 Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the Lord. 3 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Pashur brought forth Jeremiah out of the stocks. Then said Jeremiah unto him, The Lord hath not called thy name Pashur, but Magormissabib. 4 For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will make thee a terror to thyself, and to all thy friends: and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and thine eyes shall behold it: and I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive into Babylon, and shall slay them with the sword. 5 Moreover I will deliver all the strength of this city, and all the labours thereof, and all the precious things thereof, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah will I give into the hand of their enemies, which shall spoil them, and take them, and carry them to Babylon. 6 And thou, Pashur, and all that dwell in thine house shall go into captivity: and thou shalt come to Babylon, and there thou shalt die, and shalt be buried there, thou, and all thy friends, to whom thou hast prophesied lies. 7 O Lord, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived; thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me. 8 For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the Lord was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily. 9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. 10 For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him. 11 But the Lord is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten. 12 But, O Lord of hosts, that triest the righteous, and seest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I opened my cause. 13 Sing unto the Lord, praise ye the Lord: for he hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers. 4 Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed. 15 Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, A man child is born unto thee; making him very glad. 16 And let that man be as the cities which the Lord overthrew, and repented not: and let him hear the cry in the morning, and the shouting at noontide; 17 Because he slew me not from the womb; or that my mother might have been my grave, and her womb to be always great with me. 18 Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?
Jeremiah, often referred to as “the weeping prophet”, was mocked and persecuted for preaching God’s word in Israel. He preached against the priests that were in power at that time. He was locked in the stocks for God’s word. Much like John was exiled to the isle of Patmos for the testimony and for the word of God.
It is often spoken today, that Christian folks are supposed to keep their faith to themselves. More specifically, we are told to keep our faith in our churches and out of our government. We need to refute that ideology, it has never worked and it has never ended well. The government, always threatens churches with taking away their 501 (c) (3) status, if they “preach a little to close to home”. Today in America, Christians are being targeted for ridicule, mocking, discounting our view points as, old fashioned, out of touch, dangerous, narrow minded, and hateful. This is propogated mostly by the government’s lap dog, the main stream media. [I think I’ve read about this before, Pilgrims?] I believe our ancestors came here to escape religious persecution. It has certainly become fashionable to be anti-christian. Now, ask yourself how? How has this happened? The government, has hijacked social issues and made them, political issues for personal gain. If it can be sold, it is for sell in Washington D.C. Power, influence, friendship, loyalty, you name it, it’s for sale. All the while, citizens are being sold down the river. So what do we as Christians do? We take them back! The issues are ours, not the government’s to gain power and set policy with. We can get it back. Jesus said: Matthew 23:27 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” That’s the verse I think of when I see all the beautiful white architechture and think of how corrupt D.C. is. You may ask, are you talking about civil disobediance? Let me answer that by saying this, if you seen a homeless person would you help them, get them a bite to eat, give them your sandwich? Because that is the church’s charter, from God’s mouth to our ears. In Philidelphia, “the city of brotherly love” it is now illegal to feed the homeless. So yes, civil disobedience is a must. (That does not mean destroying public property or the use of violence) That is a direct infringement by government on the first amendment of the U.S. Contitution. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” In fact, while were on the subject, what transfers these rights to government? Abdication, plain and simple. We the people have abdicated our God given right to self-govern ourselves and given it to the government. Why does the government have a right to attach a number to your existence? (SS#) Why does the government have the right hold in its bank account your retirment? (SS#) Why does the government have the right to know your health information? (Obamacare) Why does the government think they can rule on what is socially acceptable? (Gay marriage) Why does the government believe they can tell us what to eat? (Soda, Trans-fats) So on and so forth. Because we have abdicated it. We gave it away.
Things that we gave away, we can take back. We must start with God and true repentance. 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
We need to begin promoting the idea that it is not the government’s place to take care of citizens cradle to grave! We are Americans, we take care of ourselves. Jesus said: Matthew 22:21… then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” We need to ask God to heal the divisions that this government uses to gain power over us. We need to ask God to raise up the church back to its rightful station, and return responsibility back to citizens. We have a lot of praying to do. We need, like Jeremiah, to weep for our current state of affairs and ask God to restore us. We need the fire back in our gut! There’s only one way to do that, the same way Jeremiah did, put so many Godly things into you that there’s no way you can keep your mouth shut about Him. Jeremiah said God’s word was like a fire shut up in his bones! We need that today, to share Jesus, unafraid, with authority and power! To tell and show people that God loves them, and He wants to do great and mighty things in their lives! We need to be on fire for God! If we fall, it will be due to Bible illiteracy. American newspaper publisher and abolisionist, Horace Greely (1811-1872) said:“It is impossible to enslave, mentally or socially, a bible-reading people. The principles of the bible are the groundwork of human freedom.” The founder of the Methodist church, John Wesley (1703-1791) said: “Catch on fire and others will love to come and watch you burn”! He also said “Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on Earth.” You notice that he said laymen also. Never let’em tell you your just one person, you can’t turn this country around. That’s a lie straight from the pit of hell! God vested in Jesus the salvation of the whole world. To you small groups, the church started with eleven men in the upper room, so don’t let’em tell you that you can’t turn things around. It’s time for revival in the land. Tonight, when you lay down to sleep, say a prayer for our nation and its people, and ask God to set your heart and your mind on fire for Him, ask that you are filled with a new spirit that would drive you to win the lost, share Jesus, and restore the land.
If you don’t know Christ, today is your appointed day to meet him and accept his free gift of salvation. Pilate said, “what shall I do with this Jesus?” Ask yourself today, what should I do with this Jesus, accept or deny? Pilate denied him, and washed his hands of him, what will you do?
Robert E. Stage Jr.
This is a wonderful song that helps us see through God’s eyes in our modern day.