Summary: Though we may forget God in our day-to-day activities, He is never gone. He awaits with forgiveness or with judgement; the choice is ours.
Forgotten But Not Gone
Jeremiah 3:21 “A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the LORD their God.”
a. Memory is a fickle thing.
i. It is an easy thing to forget where we place our keys/wallet/etc.
ii. Each day we live, some fragment of childhood memory is lost to the eroding winds of time.
b. Strong memories can last a lifetime.
i. Memories associated with emotion can become very strong and can last a lifetime.
ii. Many elders can remember where they were when they heard of the Kennedy Assassination or Pearl Harbor.
iii. Younger folks likely remember where they were when they saw the flaming horror of the Twin Towers of 9/11.
c. Those who have been filled with the Holy Ghost and baptized in Jesus’ Name can likely remember where it happened and how, because it is attached to an incredible surge of power and emotion.
i. July 17, 1983.
1. Tom Watson shot a 275 at Royal Birkdale in the 112th British Golf Open.
2. Beth Daniel won the LPGA McDonald’s Kids Golf Classic.
3. First USFL championship: Michigan Panthers beat Philadelphia Stars 24-22.
4. Brent Long received the Holy Ghost at 6750 SW 198th Avenue, Aloha, Oregon in the fifth row back from the front on the left side of the auditorium, about 9 feet away from the left end of the pew.
ii. June 26, 1983.
1. “Show Boat” closed at the Uris Theater in NYC after 73 performances.
2. TV Series “Loving” premiered.
3. Ayako Okamoto won the LPGA Rochester Golf International.
4. Brent Long was baptized in Jesus’ Name.
d. If you haven’t received the Holy Ghost yet, why not make a memory today!?
i. Baptized yet? We can do it today!
e. Even as wonderful and powerful as our experiences with God are, we can unfortunately forget Him in our daily lives.
a. The story of Israel is one of forgetting God.
i. Throughout Judges, Israel forgets God and falls into oppression.
1. They realize the oppression and the reason, and turn back to God.
2. God brings victory back to them.
3. They enjoy peace for about 40 years.
4. They forget God again.
ii. But not just in the book of Judges. We find this theme throughout the Word of God. Even in the prophets where we read today, Jeremiah tells them that they have forgotten their God.
b. The church is warned not to forget their God.
i. Peter writes to the church, reminding them of God’s blessings and His impact and influence in our lives.
2 Peter 1:3-12 “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: (4) Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (5) And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; (6) And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; (7) And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. (8) For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
ii. Look at the amazing things he mentions!
1. Virtue, glory, promises, divine nature, escape from corruption, faith, knowledge, godliness, kindness, charity.
iii. But then he gets to the heart of the matter:
2 Peter 1:9-11 “But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. (10) Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: (11) For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
c. What happens when we forget?
i. Church is a chore, so we skip it.
ii. Outreach is difficult, so we keep our mouth shut.
iii. We rob God by not paying tithe. You better remember that every dime you get comes from God!
iv. We look at sin and compromise as nothing.
v. We start thinking that living for God is more trouble than it is worth.
1. It’s because we’ve forgotten.
2. It’s because we haven’t been keeping our relationship with God fresh and new!
3. It’s because the only prayer we do is at the dinner table, and even then it’s just a few words of ritual.