Vile Temple, You Are Promised My Wrath, Not My Blessing

February 20, 2013

It is quite the incredulous assertion when someone claims for themselves or others the popular Jer. 29:11 verse. This is where God is giving a promise to the exiled Jews that His plans for their future is that of restoration, safety, and prosperity. Though we certainly are to believe that God’s Word applies to our own lives, the legitimate application of particular promises are contingent upon our situation, upon the Lord’s will for our lives as individuals, upon His timing, upon His Spirit’s confirmation to us, and upon our conduct and continued faithfulness to the Lord.

Unfortunately, it seems not to matter to many of those claiming Jer. 29:11 that God hates sin and actually opposes those who commit sin. “What does that Truth have to do with us?” many people retort. “We are in Christ, God thus sees us as righteous, God’s Word says that He blesses the righteous, and so we can expect Him to bless us.” Of course these same people do not seek the Lord whole-heartedly (a requirement for fellowship with God –see v. 12-14), but instead run after their idols and lusts (2:23-25), provoking God to His very face. (Isa. 65:3)

So what verse should these careless, idolatrous people recognize as the verse God applies to them? Jer. 21:5, for starters: “I Myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm in anger and fury and great wrath.” Why? God says why: “[Because] your eyes and your heart are set only on dishonest gain… and on oppression and extortion” (22:17), “and through your lewdness and rebellion, you have forsaken Me.” (See 5:6b-9) “I warned you when you felt secure, but you said, ‘I will not listen!'” (22:21) “Therefore,” God promises, “because of all your wickedness, I will bring you disgrace, pain, and destruction.” (See v. 22,23)

“Oh, the Lord won’t do that to us,” quip the sin-lovers. “We are worshipping the Lord. We are safe and secure in Christ.” How foolish is the thinking of these people! How far their arrogance misleads them as they refuse to heed the warnings of those who are proclaiming God’s Word to them! Who is the promised prophet the LORD raised up for us? (Dt. 18:15,18,19) As Acts 3:18-26 informs us, it is Jesus, the Christ. God sent Him to turn each of us from our wicked ways (v. 26) and we must listen to everything He tells us. (v. 22) For “Anyone who does not listen to Him will be completely cut off from among His people.” (v. 23) To be “cut off” for unbelief, carelessness, and arrogance (Rom. 11:22), or for lack of repentance and fruitlessness (Luke 3:7-9 & 13:5-9 // John 15:2), does not mean blessing. Or Heaven. It means to be rejected by Christ and incur Hell. (Matt. 10:33 // Mark 8:38 // John 15:6 // 2 Thes. 1:7-9)

Jesus is the Word of God. (John 1:1,14) We are, therefore, to listen to (heed / adhere to / follow / obey) and take warning from its pages, and from those who preach it by His Spirit. For as the LORD says, “If anyone does not listen to My words that the prophet speaks in My name, I Myself will call him to account.” (Dt. 18:19) In other words, “Don’t heed God’s Word, don’t heed the Truth, don’t heed the warnings from God’s Spirit in the mouths of His true preachers? –then prepare to ‘bend down for the slaughter.'” (Isa. 65:12) This does not mean a Jer. 29:11 blessing! And why does God threaten His wrath? It is because “I called but you did not answer, I spoke but you did not listen. You did evil in My sight and chose what displeases Me.” (Isa. 65:12)

“But God, we acknowledge You!” the people cry. (Ho 8:2) Acknowledgement is not enough and is a false refuge (Isa. 28:13-15 // Mark 7:6,7), as is standing in the temple of the Lord and claiming to be safe. (Jer. 7:1-11) For the people, by rejecting holy living (Ho 8:3-5), have rebelled against God’s holy laws and thus broken His covenant. (v. 1) God warns us not to forget (break) the covenant He has made with us (2 Kings 17:38) which can be done by persisting in going our own way. (Dt. 29:19) This God considers to be disobedience (30:17) and corruption (4:23-25), and He promises that He will bring destruction to all the rebellious (4:26 // 30:18) and a blotting out of their names from the Book of Life ( Ex. 32:33 // Dt. 29:20 // Ps. 69:28 // Rev. 3:5), their destination being Hell. (Rev. 20:15)

Let no one, therefore, claim blessing inside the covenant, for the covenant, and thus the blessing, has been revoked for every person who retreats back to sin. (Heb. 10:26) To deliberately sin is to reject God and break His covenant (Dt. 31:20), reaping to oneself disaster. (v. 21) To sin intentionally is to forsake God and break His covenant (v. 16), reaping to oneself destruction. (v. 17) To continue to sin, teach falsehoods, love the world, or be lukewarm, is to deny Christ. (Titus 1:16 // James 4:4 // 2 Peter 2:1 // Rev. 3:15,16) Such a person will be disowned by Him. (2 Tim. 2:12 w/ Matt. 24:48-51 & 25:26-30 and John 15:6 and Rom. 11:22)

“Therefore, what I did to Shiloh I will now do to the temple that bears My Name, the temple you trust in… I will thrust you from My presence.” (Jer. 7:14,15) “And I will abandon you to My wrath.” (See v. 29) “For no, you are not safe to do all your detestable things.” (See v. 10) “This includes all you who bear My Name but who have defiled yourselves with continued sin, desecrating My sacred temple in which My Spirit has lived.” (See 1 Cor. 3:16,17)

with love,

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