SOME ANCIENT PROBLEMS THAT CHARACTERIZE OUR NATION TODAY
A. Jeremiah 6:9-15
B. The more things change, the more they stay the same
C. Ecclesiastes 1:9-10
D. In Jeremiah 6:9-15, at least four problems of the people of Judah are dealt with.
E. Consider how descriptive these are of our own nation today. Many today are…
A. OUTWARDLY RELIGIOUS, BUT WITH NO TRUE DELIGHT IN GOD’S WORD
1. The people of Judah had not dispensed with the outward aspects of worship to God – in fact, they laid great store by the temple, the sacrifices, and the law.
2. There was, however, no inner involvement of the heart to go with this outward show of religion.
a. Jeremiah 6:10
b. For all their show of religion, they had no real love for what God was saying to them.
3. Our nation today is outwardly quite religious, or at least claims to be religious – but there is little genuine regard for God Himself or for the truth of His word.
a. Putting on a big show does not make one truly religious
b. One who claims to be religious and does not subscribe to sound doctrine is not truly religious at all
4. Jesus warned about making a show of religion without the substance
a. Matthew 13:13-15
b. Matthew 15:7-9
5. In our world today many are…
B. DRIVEN BY GREED
1. The people to whom Jeremiah preached were a covetous people.
a. God said, Jeremiah 6:13
b. Consider also Jeremiah 22:17
2. It is no surprise that these people had no time or disposition to give heed to Jeremiah – they were too busy making yet another shekel.
3. As in Jeremiah’s day so in ours, covetousness confuses the values of those who give themselves to it.
a. Luke 12:15-21
b. The six “I” fool had his value system out of whack
4. No scriptural warning is needed in our nation any more than the warning against the love of money
a. 1 Timothy 6:9-10
b. The “love of money” – covetousness – is a major cause of trouble in our day
5. Sadly, many in our world are…
C. SHAMELESSLY PROUD OF SIN
1. God asked, Jeremiah 6:15
2. Through repeated sin, we can harden our consciences to the point where they feel no pangs of guilt – we become insensible to shame.
a. When we give ourselves over to sin, we eventually
get to the point where we are “past feeling” – Ephesians 4:17-19
b. 1 Timothy 4:1-2
3. Like Jeremiah’s age, ours is characterized by the inability to blush.
a. Romans 1:32
b. Philippians 3:19
4. It is a very dangerous thing to lose our sense of shame.
a. Without shame, there is no repentance.
b. It is godly sorrow that produces repentance… 2 Corinthians 7:10
5. A major problem in our world today is that many are…
D. SOOTHED BY THE COMFORT OF FALSE TEACHERS
1. As bad as spiritual conditions were in Jeremiah’s day, it was even worse that the people were lulled into a false sense of security by those who falsely preached that all was well.
2. God said, Jeremiah 6:14
3. Warnings of God’s judgment have never been popular – but they are needed.
a. Isaiah 30:9-10
b. The work of the “watchman” is a serious responsibility.
1) Ezekiel 33:1-11
2) Will we blow the trumpet?
4. The crowd-pleasing teachers of our day are those who make people feel good about themselves in their present condition.
a. Many do not want to be disturbed.
1) They like being lied to
2) Many ignorantly swallow whatever they are fed
b. 2 Timothy 4:3-4
5. But when spiritual conditions are such that people need to be warned, it is a serious mistake either to preach or to listen to preaching that says, “Peace, peace!”
A. It is foolish to fail to learn from the past.
B. Especially is this so with regard to Bible history.
1. Romans 15:4
2. 1 Corinthians 10:11
C. What can we learn from the sins of Judah in Jeremiah’s day?
1. We must not just go through the outward motions of worshiping God – we must genuinely love Him and His word.
2. We must serve God and not mammon.
3. We must preserve our conscience.
4. We must want to be taught the truth – even when it calls for our correction.
D. The corrective in Jeremiah’s day is the same in ours.
1. God’s judgment upon sin cannot be turned aside without a genuine change of heart.
2. Jeremiah 6:16