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Summary: Time and again God had warned his people not to worship anything or anyone else but Him, but they continued to do whatever they wanted to do. They were going to the Temple supposedly for the purpose of worshipping the Lord on the Sabbath Day, but were di

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Recently, I have been doing an in depth study of some of the major prophets of the Bible. Great men such as Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah have always been favorites of mine (and, I know the same is for some of you). The words of these prophets can bring to us things that we may have never considered before. And, these are things we commonly refer to them as being “prophetic”. Don’t let the word “prophetic” ever make you think of it as being boring, or too religious.

The fact is the more we allow the Holy Spirit to control our lives (or, to influence us), the more likely we will want to hear the deeper “prophetic” things of God.

We are a church that (for the most part) is Pentecostal, and it is naturally in our character to desire more of the Lord, and more of the deeper “prophetic” things that the Lord has for us.

Let me encourage some of you that if you pray and ask for the Lord’s help, and you decide to read from the great prophets of the Old Testament, you will sense the Holy Spirit stirring inside of you. Meditate on God’s Word. Allow it to build you up and give you strength.

I have found that seeing and experiencing the “prophetic” meaning of a scripture can easily become (spiritually) addictive. Now this morning I ask that you allow the Holy Spirit to blow His wind right through your soul as we hear God’s Holy Word. HE IS HERE!

Text: Jeremiah 7:1 thru 4

Prayer:

Before we look closely at our opening text you should know a little about the surroundings of these verses.

Jeremiah is known as the very young prophet who spent a great deal of his time prophesying and crying over the sins of Israel. Jeremiah actually began prophesying for the Lord at the tender age of thirteen.

The Lord used this young teenager to warn the Nation of Israel (God’s people) of God’s judgment on them.

There was a judgment coming their way because of their worshipping the idols of the false god, Baal.

Time and again God had warned his people not to worship anything or anyone else but Him, but they continued to do whatever they wanted to do.

They were going to the Temple supposedly for the purpose of worshipping the Lord on the Sabbath Day, but were disobeying God’s commandments everyday.

The way they were living had gone on for a very long time, in fact so long that they did not believe that God was serious about His warnings of judgment.

When they were not in THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD, these people went about their daily lives doing things and saying things that they knew were wrong.

Listen. God’s people cannot live like this for very long and not expect there to be severe consequences.

(As was the case for what we find here in Jeremiah.)

Things had become so bad that THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD was no longer a place of God’s blessings.

The result of all this was that the Nation of Israel was slowly turning their faith and trust in God into a religion.

No longer was their worship meaningful at the Temple.

They were doing things in the Temple that appeared to be worship. They were doing these things out of habit, and because they were trained to do them.

Question:

Does this situation with God’s people sound familiar to any of God’s people living in our day and time?

Sad to say – the answer is yes…

Actually if we were frank and honest with each other we would have to agree that this is a very real problem with some of us Christians, and some of our Christian churches. For some, going to THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD on Sunday morning has become a habit they have been trained to do. Sincerity and faithfulness to God has often been replaced with religion and tradition.

We have seen this to be a growing problem that has worsened over the years. I say – “God help us!”

The fact is (nowadays) there are many churches that are doing their very best to attract those who know the basics of Christianity but (for whatever reason) are not attending church. And for the most part this is good because people need to be in church, and sitting under God’s Word, and experiencing the very presence of God.

But there can be a problem with some of these churches if they only make people feel comfortable, but do not further the Kingdom of the Lord.

In other words, some churches that consider themselves to be THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD have found it easier to water down the Gospel of Jesus Christ in order to attract and please the people that come there. Quite frankly (in some cases) THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD is becoming more and more religious and less and less righteous.

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