INTERESTING FACTS : Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, REVOLUTIONARY GENERAL; LEGISLATOR; SIGNER OF THE CONSTITUTION; DIPLOMAT
"To the eternal and only true God be all honor and glory, now and forever. Amen!"
LAMENTATIONS 1:1 - 3:36
TEXT : Lam 3:22 It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 3:23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. 3:24 The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. 3:25 The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. 3:26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.
THEME : MERCY pass away
As you read the Book of Lamentations, you cannot help feel the pathos of Judah's judgment as Jeremiah laments. Preaching for over forty years, his life, and ministry ends with the Jews in horrific destruction and deplorable captivity. Jeremiah is not the picture of today's preacher. In our age, truth is fallen in the street, as the Church relives history in this verse -
Jer_5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?
Now, the end has come and the question remains - what will you do? Choosing to believe the false promises of the treacherous, covetous, apostate teachers, the people are left holding the bill, now come due. With an innumerable amount of dead bodies strewn on the ground, children are wailing - begging for food, as the young and old are homeless and sleeping in the street.
Still, God warned them in His Law. He gave the Jews promises for obedience and the threat of punishment for willful rejection of His Law. They chose to ignore the Law. They chose to refuse the call of Jeremiah to return to the "old paths," meaning - obedience to God. Moreover, they had no insight - even without the Law, to think ahead and know their behavior could not deliver them in a period of history when the Chaldeans were conquering the world. Somehow, they chose a delusion based on past victories when the LORD was with them, not taking notice their past conquests came when their fathers served the LORD and trusted in His Word. The comparisons between Judah and America are frighteningly similar.
As Americans, we revel in our past triumphs. Starting with the American Revolution going through the War of 1812, WWI, and WWII, we now trust - without foundation, the freedoms we relish, believing they will continue indefinitely and never perish. This is what Judah believed during Jeremiah's time. They were wrong.
Forgetting the role of the Church during these American wars when brave men purchased or defended the freedom we enjoy, the Church taught righteousness to the American people [in practice and actuality rather than theory] and the need to forsake sin. Now, comfort is the watchword of America's pulpits. Relevance is the motto of growing a Church. Further, "have it your way at our fellowship" is the shrewd slogan catching the attention of the American people. "God wants you rich" draws huge crowds, and "how to be a success in life" is the prophecy of the rich and famous preachers. All the while liberal theologians answer questions no one is asking, and Americans crave comfort when what they need is discipline.
TRUTH FOR TODAY : "WHEN GOD OFFERS YOU MERCY RECEIVE IT."
When God offers you mercy, receive it. The offer of the LORD is not vague, open-ended, and undefined. Neither is the period assigned by God to save His people by grace. "Repent and believe the Gospel," and "teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded thee" is still the Gospel of Jesus. These commands may not be the gospel of popular preachers and teachers who have commandeered the pulpit away from the Holy Spirit. Yet, it is the Gospel of Christ. It has not changed. It will not change.
God's offer of mercy is good news. He requires you stop sinning against Him and change by the power He will supply, but it is good news. He will start and finish a work in you through mercy and grace. All you have to do is trust and obey Him. Essentially, this was the offer to the Jews. They chose to ignore it, and paid a horrific price. So will America if we ignore His command today.
The cross of Christ makes no sense if there is no Hell below. Yet, Jesus states there is, and that He came to spare you from that awful fate. The Jews of Jeremiah's time trusted in themselves. God says to turn, and trust in Him. The Jews did not. You must. If you will, you will experience love, joy, and peace that God gives from the inside where He will dwell.
Let all of us pray for America that God will raise up preachers, sent by Him to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us pray for another Great Awakening as we have read in our American history. That is, an awakening to righteousness, and dedication to Christ. If God will grant us this request, you and your little ones are safe. If not, we are heading for the same fate as Judah. God spare us that judgment.