A. In the days of Jeremiah (ca. 600 B.C.), the people of Judah faced difficult times…
1. The northern kingdom of Israel was history, they had been taken into Assyrian captivity
2. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had defeated Assyria, and was making his way into Judah
3. Judah had at this time, in the face of this coming invasion, developed…
B. A false trust…
1. A trust that was condemned by the Lord through His prophet Jeremiah
2. This is a warning that we would do well to remember and avoid today. Remember…
a. Romans 15:4
b. 1 Corinthians 10:11
C. We read of that false trust and how the LORD responded to it in Jeremiah 7:1-15…
A. THE FALSE TRUST OF JUDAH
1. They Trusted in the Temple…
a. To excuse their failure to fully serve the Lord – Jeremiah 7:1-7
1) Jeremiah 7:1-2…
(1) Jeremiah commission to preach in the temple
(2) Notice what he was to preach…
2) Jeremiah 7:3… Calling for repentance when the city was in danger of being destroyed by Babylonian forces
3) Their trust was in the fact the temple was in Jerusalem
a) Their attitude: “We are safe; surely the Lord will not allow His temple to be destroyed!”
b) Jeremiah 7:4… Judah feeling safe in their present circumstance is implied by the threefold statement “The temple of Jehovah…!” –
4) The Lord required more than rituals involving temple worship and outward piety
a) Jeremiah 7:5a… Repentance and service was to be done “thoroughly” (truly, ESV, NAS)
b) Jeremiah 7:5b-6… Their repentance was to affect their individual and daily dealings with people
5) Jeremiah 7:7… Such true service would spare them from Babylonian captivity
6) Notice the “if” (v. 6) – “then” (v. 7) statement ©
b. To excuse their obvious sins – Jeremiah 7:8-11
1) Jeremiah 7:8… Again, theirs was a false trust
a) They were trusting in deception
b) They were lying to themselves as well
2) Jeremiah 7:9… Blatantly transgressing the Law
a) Murder, adultery…
3) Jeremiah 7:10… Then going to the temple, believing that such excused their conduct
a) They were treating the Temple like a “get out of jail free” card
b) They thought they could do whatever they wanted because they went to Temple worship each week
4) Jeremiah 7:11… Yet the Lord could see through their hypocrisy
a) Did they really think they could deceive God?
b) Did they really think that God would over look this hypocrisy?
2. The Lord’s Response…
a. To the folly of such a false trust: Jeremiah 7:12… “Remember Shiloh!”
1) Remember where the tabernacle had once been
a) Joshua 18:1
b) Remember the subduing of their enemies
2) Remember where the Ark of the Covenant had been captured by the Philistines
a) 1 Samuel 4:10-11
b) Remember how the ark was taken from because of their disobedience
b. God would do likewise with Jerusalem and the temple – Jeremiah 7:13-15
1) Jeremiah 7:13… Destruction was coming because of their failure to heed His prophets
a) They would not listen to God’s word through the prophets
b) They would not change their ways
2) Jeremiah 7:14… What happened at Shiloh would happen at Jerusalem
3) Jeremiah 7:15… They would be taken into captivity, just like Ephraim (Israel)
a) Their being taken captive is recorded in Jeremiah 52:12-30
b) They did not remember Shiloh and suffered the consequences
3. In 1 Corinthians 10:11-12, we’re told that God’s dealings with Israel were written for our admonition. With the very real danger of falling, what application can we draw from our text in Jeremiah? Perhaps one about…
B. THE FALSE TRUST OF CHRISTIANS
1. Trusting in the Church…
a. Could we have a false trust as “members” of the church which Christ built?
1) Like the Jews who cried “The Temple of the Lord…”
2) There may be those who cry “The Church of Christ…”
b. Acting (and perhaps believing) like membership excuses:
1) Negligence and inactive service?
a) Do we have an attitude based on faulty reasoning?
(1) E.g., The church will be saved, I am a “member”, so I will be saved
(2) E.g., As long as I am a “member”, I can get by
b) Yet remember the parable of the tares – Matthew 13:41-43
(1) One may be in the kingdom (church) now
(2) But cast out of the kingdom (church) at the last day
(3) Salvation is dependent on individual allegiance, not group association! – John 15:2
2) Sinful actions?
a) Are we like the Jews who disobeyed God, then claimed exemption?
(1) E.g., living as the world, then going to “church”?
(2) E.g., engaging in immorality, worldliness but claiming to be a “faithful member” of the church?
b) God has not changed!
(1) Titus 2:11-12… His grace demands holy living
(2) Hebrews 10:26-31… Despise His grace, expect His wrath!
c) Salvation is dependent upon God’s grace and our obedience, not church ritual!
2. The Lord’s Response…
a. To the folly of such a false trust: “Remember Sardis!” – Revelation 3:1-6
1) Revelation 3:1-3… They had “a living name”, but that did not free them from the threat of condemnation
2) Revelation 3:4-6… As always, salvation was based on individual consecration
b. To the folly of such a false trust: “Remember Laodicea!” – Revelation 3:14-22
1) Revelation 3:14-15… They had become “lukewarm”
2) Revelation 3:16-17… They were in danger of expulsion because of worldliness
3) Revelation 3:18-22… They were in need of rebuke and chastening
A. Like the Jews whose salvation from destruction depended upon wholehearted service to God, so our salvation depends on complete and faithful obedience to the will of Christ!
B. We must avoid the fallacy of “virtue by association”, and remember that God has promised to do to us just as He did to Israel if we are not faithful – cf. Romans 11:20-22