An Appalling and Horrible Thing

An Appalling and Horrible ThingText: Jeremiah 5:30-31

There are many appalling and horrible things in our world today. What would qualify as appalling and horrible may depend on who you ask. But what if God was deciding what qualified as appalling and horrible? We are not left to wonder. He told us in our text.

The Condition of the Land

  • Judgment was coming against the land (Jeremiah 1:14-16; 5:15-17, 29; 6:1, 19, 22-23)
  • The inhabitants of Judah had learned to tolerate and celebrate sin (Jeremiah 6:15)
  • The prophets and priests followed their own rule (Jeremiah 6:13-14)
  • Yet even then, God was inviting His people to repent (Jeremiah 6:16-17) – sadly, they would not listen

Similar Conditions Today

  • Sin is tolerated and celebrated – we are to strive to overcome temptation and remove sin from our lives (1 Corinthians 10:13; Romans 6:11-13); many have perverted God’s grace into “a license for immorality” (Jude 4, NIV); many Christians live as the world lives (Ephesians 4:17-19), but we must not be like this (Ephesians 4:20; 5:3)
  • False teachers spread their message – Peter warned about the reality of false teachers (2 Peter 2:1-2); they proclaim things contrary to the gospel and deceive the unsuspecting (Romans 16:17-18); we must speak as the oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11); if we change the message, we are “to be accursed” (Galatians 1:8-9)
  • Religious leaders act by their own authority – we are to follow the divinely-given pattern (2 Timothy 1:13; cf. Colossians 3:17; Matthew 7:21-23); yet many teach man-made doctrines, rendering their worship useless (Matthew 15:9); they continue in their “self-made religion” which is of no value (Colossians 2:23); we must follow Christ rather than various religious leaders (1 Corinthians 1:12-13); follow those who walk according to the pattern and reject those who do not (Philippians 3:17-18)

The People Love It So

  • What did the people in Jeremiah’s day love? – wickedness, false prophets, priests who corrupted God’s service
  • It is no different today – many go down the broad road that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14)
  • Many prefer a lifestyle of sin – they do not want to put forth a diligent effort to battle temptation and live righteously (Romans 6:11-13)
  • Many prefer false teaching that soothes their conscience – they do not want truth that convicts and leads them to repentance and spiritual maturity (John 16:8, 13; Hebrews 5:11-14)
  • Many prefer worship that they desire – they do not want to worship as God desires (John 4:24)
  • Sin and error are popular, but NOT because false teachers and corrupt religious leaders promote them – it is because the people prefer them (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
  • In this environment, truth is unpopular – we must continue to preach it without compromise (2 Timothy 4:5)

A Call to Return to the Ancient Paths

  • Jeremiah offered the invitation to return to “the ancient paths, where the good way is” (Jeremiah 6:16)
  • We offer a similar invitation – forsake sin and strive for holiness (Romans 6:6; 1 Peter 1:15-16); preach the whole counsel of God in season and out (Acts 20:27; 2 Timothy 4:2); hold fast the pattern and do everything in the name of the Lord (2 Timothy 1:13; Colossians 3:17)
  • Rather than loving those things that God calls appalling and horrible, we must love what is good and right – this will be reflected in our lives

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