Jeremiah 7:8,10 “Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail.”,“and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, “We are delivered!’ – only to go on doing all these
Although the prophet spoke these words to the people of Judah, they are equally applicable to the state of the church today. These passages in Jeremiah 7 are expressed at a critical time when the people’s attitude towards the temple was superstitious, and it was a warning to the people against the deceptive words of false prophets ascribing superstitious power to the temple. Jeremiah spoke these words standing at the gate of the temple – the LORD’s house; calling out to all those who entered the gates to worship the LORD. The people at this time were doing all sorts of abominable acts such as injustice to the sojourner, the fatherless and the widow, shedding innocent blood and going after other gods to their harm.
Not only that, but according to v8, they were trusting in deceptive words of false prophets that covered their sinful deeds. They were guilty of violating the commandments of God (v9 – stealing, murdering, committing adultery, swearing falsely, making offerings to Baal, and going after other gods). Jeremiah 7:11 then asks “Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the LORD.”
I want you to take a moment and consider the current state of the “church” at this time. Can you see any correlations? Jeremiah 7:10 goes on to say “and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, “We are delivered!’ – only to go on doing all these abominations?” There are many churches doing the very things prophet Jeremiah is warning about standing at the gates of the temple. Not only those who are attending the church, but also its teachers and leaders.
The Jews falsely thought that because Jehovah had chosen the temple for His dwelling, it could never be destroyed. They felt that ceremonial observances superseded the need for holiness. Likewise, the current church is in a similar predicament. The first problem is we associate the building as the “church”, rather than each individual who makes up the church. Somehow we are led to believe that coming to church has more value for our spirituality rather than living a life of holiness pleasing to God.
Next, we call ourselves Christians, yet we do the things that do not please God, and we are no different from the world. Just as it says in Jeremiah 7:10, doing all those things that are contrary to the word of God and then saying v10 “we are delivered! – Only to go on doing all these abominations?”. Not only that but the leaders, the shepherds of God, do not teach the truth because they are scared to lose the people who are bringing in the much-needed funds to keep everything running. As v11 says “Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Are the leaders teaching the whole truth, or are they telling you what you like to hear, rather than preaching a message that will mature you into the body of Christ?
There are far too many people in the faith, yet are lost. Luke 3:8a says “Bear fruits in keeping with repentance.”. Friends, please heed the same warning. Read the word of God and understand what the Lord requires of you. Act in accordance to your salvation. I am not talking works, but I am talking about your transformed life in Christ.
Preachers are not teaching the people the fullness of the gospel, including the judgment of God, they blunt the message of God’s wrath out of a desire to highlight what we can get out of Christianity. Preachers have idolised God’s love and in turn, neglected or are in total denial of His other attributes. Not only is God love, but He is also Holy and Righteous. The Holiness of God is being neglected, and churches are run like businesses basing their measure of success on metrics, and they fear man more than God. This desire to please people often shape the content of the messages that are preached.
In conclusion, learn from the example written in scripture. Study the word of God that you may know the paths you should walk. Do not listen to the false teachings and watered-down messages, rather obey the voice of the Lord. Jeremiah 7:23 says “But this command I gave them: Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’”
If you do not, then you will go backwards and not forwards. Jeremiah 7:24 says “But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.”
Do not fall into deception, but seek the full gospel message of Jesus Christ that you may finish the race and receive the crown of life.