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"A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?" Jeremiah 5:30-31

The prophet Jeremiah warned God's people of the coming judgment and called upon them all to repent of their sins and return to the LORD God for mercy and forgiveness, right up to the end of the southern kingdom when the Babylonian armies executed God's judgments upon Judah and Jerusalem and carried away those who survived as captives. God had even offered to spare Jerusalem for the sake of one righteous man, but none was found (Jer. 5:1).

Jeremiah's prophecy in chapter five concludes with these words: "A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?" (Jer. 5:30-31).

The unbelievable and horrible thing which had happened in Jerusalem and Judah was that the prophets had departed from speaking the words of the LORD and prophesied falsely, telling the people that God was pleased with them and would not execute judgment against them. And the priests ruled the people by their own means and authority rather than in accord with God's Word and calling, and the people loved to have it so.

The chapter ends with a question: "And what will ye do in the end thereof?" What would the people do when God's judgment comes and they had continued on in impenitence and unfaithfulness to the LORD God who created them and redeemed them?

Sad to say Jeremiah's words apply equally well in our day, to our churches and to spiritual leaders and to our land.

It is a shocking and horrible thing, but it is true. Our land and our churches are filled with prophets and pastors who twist and reject the clear and plain words of God which are recorded in the Bible to make them less offensive to their hearers. Instead of speaking for God, they speak on their own authority and proclaim their own views and opinions. Instead of rebuking sin and calling upon people to repent and look in faith to Christ Jesus and His cross as the only hope for lost and condemned sinners, they make people comfortable in their sins.

And, of course, the people love to have it so. Instead of going to a church where the pastor points out and rebukes sin as sin (meriting God's anger and judgment) and calls upon all to repent and look in faith to Christ Jesus and His atoning sacrifice on the cross to obtain God's mercy and forgiveness, people choose to go to churches where their sins are accepted as the norm and where they will never be warned of God's wrath and impending judgment upon sinners.

Instead of going to churches where the pastors speak for God and proclaim what God says in the Bible, they go to churches where the pastors speak their own opinions and hold forth the views of a "feel-good Christianity."

God's question in Jeremiah 5 still applies today: "And what will ye do in the end thereof?"

What will our people do who have not endured sound doctrine but, having itching ears, have heaped to themselves teachers who preach in accord with their own sinful ways and desires (2 Tim. 4:3)? What will they do when God's judgment comes? Sad to say, many will hear Jesus say, "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Matt. 7:23).

And, what will you do? If you are following the false teaching of so many preachers of our day and feel comfortable in your sinful ways, if you think that God is happy with you and will not judge you, perhaps because of your good works and life, what will you do when God comes in judgment and you learn that He does not grade on a curve, that He does not wink at sin, that He demands a perfect score in regard to your love for Him and your obedience to all His commandments? Cf. Matt. 5:20, 48; Lev. 19:2; Gal. 3:10; Rom. 3:9ff.

There is only one good answer! And that answer is to repent of your sinful ways and look in faith to Jesus Christ! Jesus fulfilled all God's commandments perfectly in your stead, and Jesus Christ suffered and died to bear the full punishment for your sins and the sins of all. His resurrection on the third day is proof that God accepted His sacrifice for the sins of the world. Cf. Gal. 3:13; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; Rom. 3:21ff.; 4:23ff.

Those who look in faith to Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice on the cross have God's mercy and forgiveness -- they will not be condemned in the day of judgment (John 5:24). But those who do not repent and look to Christ in faith remain under the wrath and condemnation of God for eternity.

It is as John writes in his Gospel: "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (3:36)!

Have mercy upon me, O God, for I have sinned and gone astray. Grant to me Your pardon and forgiveness for the sake of Jesus and His innocent sufferings and death upon the cross for the sins of the world. Amen.

[Devotion by Randy Moll. Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible.]

Religion on 10/02/2019

Print Headline: What will you do in the end?

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