Summary: Most of us may remember a movie by this same title. In fact there were several “Back to the Future” sequels. In the movie starring Michael J. Fox and Claudia Wells, after traveling back in time, they found that the only way to return to the future was to
Subject: Back to The Future
Text: Jeremiah 6:16, 17
“Thus says the LORD: "Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ’We will not walk in it. I set watchmen over you, saying, ’Give heed to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ’We will not give heed.”
Introduction: Most of us may remember a movie by this same title. In fact there were several “Back to the Future” sequels. In the movie starring Michael J. Fox and Claudia Wells, after traveling back in time, they found that the only way to return to the future was to recreate the system and follow the same principles that led to the successful journey in the first place. One of their greatest challenges was recreating the speed and momentum needed for time travel.
Jeremiah was the prophet who God called before his birth. The name Jeremiah means “Yahweh hurls”. What an accurate picture of his ministry! He was called to ministry at age 7, begin his public ministry when was about 20, and his ministry extended over a period of about 50 years in all. Jeremiah serve Judah and Jerusalem for many years, and most of those years were filled with misery. The years Jeremiah serve under Josiah, a godly king were the most happy in his career.
Although much of Jeremiah’s prophecy was about impending judgment upon Judah and Jerusalem, they always included a call for national repentance and the promise of possible restoration. It is easy to sit around and talk about the good ole days, especially, when the present days seem bleak, with little hope of returning to former glory. The prophets during Jeremiah’s day were offering conflicting reports. Some were predicting coming blessings, while other were predicting certainty of calamity without repentance and turning back to God.
What do you do when the so-called experts don’t agree? Can you imagine serving in congress today? They hear countless reports on the economy, but none of the experts agree. If the experts knew so much, how did we get into this mess in the first place?
In today’s text, Jeremiah offers some sound advice, I believe. This advice is not limited to Israel of old, but it is for the church today. If Judah and Jerusalem would have any hope of returning to a glorious future, they must examine themselves. Since they were in doubt, Jeremiah advices them to “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it,..”
Jeremiah is not suggesting an old way of doing things, but a recovery of successful principles that caused Israel to become a great nation in the past. What principles were used to make Israel a strong, successful nation? What made them the people of God? Jeremiah would say to the church today, what principles made the church successful in the past? What made the Methodist Movement successful in Charles and John Wesley’s day? I believe If we can rediscovery those way, there is a glorious future ahead for the church today.