Summary: The world we live in today is not a friend of grace. It is very antagonistic to the Kingdom of God and to conservative Christians. However, although we live among a people who have hearts that disregard the things and the people of God, we can have exp
Turn your Bibles to Jeremiah 29:11-13
Title: The Necessity of Expectancy
Theme: The Need of Seeing Vision Through
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13)
Introduction: Let me give you some Biblical history. The prophet Jeremiah’s message was rejected at home and because of his faithfulness to deliver such an unpopular message, the Lord gives him another message for those whom God had carried off into captivity in Babylon. (Jeremiah 29:1; 29:4; The Pulpit Commentary; Thru the Bible) It is believed that Jeremiah had heard that the Israelites were having trouble submitting to their circumstances, just as some Christians do today. (The Pulpit Commentary)
God has Jeremiah write a letter which tells the Israelites not to listen to the false prophets and diviners who were only deceivers. The people of God in Babylon were told not to listen to the dreams that the Israelites encouraged the false prophets to have. (Jeremiah 29:8) The Bible says these false prophets were prophesying lies in the name of the Lord. God has Jeremiah write in this letter, “…I have not sent them…” (Jeremiah 29:8-9)
In Old Testament times God allowed His disobedient children to be carried off into captivity as well as had them put into slavery for willful sin. The Book of Romans tells us, today, God allows the willful sinner’s mind to become depraved. (Romans 1:28) The willful sinner’s thinking becomes futile and their hearts darkened and they become filled with every kind of wickedness. (Romans 1:21, 29) In the King James Bible we read of Jesus saying, “…Verily, verily, I say unto you, whosoever, committeth sin is the servant of sin.” (John 8:34) Just as the Lord allowed the disobedient Israelites to become servants to the Babylonians, God allows the disobedient to become servants to sin today.
Babylon in the New Testament is used literally and symbolically. Please note, in the Book of Revelation, Babylon is used symbolically four different times and she is referred to a place of sin which causes others to sin. (The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia) For example, in Revelations 14: 8 she is a place “…which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.” In Revelations 16:19 she is a place that receives the full wrath of God. In Revelations 17:5 Babylon is “…the mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth.” In Revelations 18:2 “She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable [thing].”
It is my understanding, when referring to Babylon symbolically, she represents all that is sinful and antagonistic to the Kingdom of God and to His children. (The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)
Proposition: I would propose to you that the world we live in today is not a friend of grace. It is very antagonistic to the Kingdom of God and to conservative Christians. However, although we live among a people who have hearts that disregard the things and the people of God, we can have expectancy that God will use us.
Interrogative Sentence: Just what should be in the heart and life of the child of God who wants to be used of the Lord Jesus Christ?
Transitional Sentence: The deceiving prophets in Babylon were giving the Israelites a false hope of going back to Jerusalem. However, God sent a message in a letter, just like He has a message in the Word of God for Christians.
The message from God through Jeremiah to a people who live in a land of wickedness was, “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Also seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jeremiah 29:5-7)
In other words, settle down I have proclaimed a time for your deliverance out of this land of people who are against God and His people. In reality we will be living on this earth among a people who are antagonistic toward the things of God until Christ comes for her bride. Until that happens, we are to build houses, raise families, and pray for this country. We are to be very aggressive in the building of our own godly families and also in building of the family of God. The family of God is those who are adopted through faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.