Stand and Say: This is what the Lord Says

November 10, 2019

Things were not looking good. Really bad. People were doing terrible things. The rich were oppressing the poor. Morality was on a complete decline. Politicians all seemed evil. It seemed like no one really was worshiping the one true God. There were many people that claimed to be speaking the truth, but it was hard to know what story to really believe. All of them said they were from the same God. Many thought that their nation would never be destroyed because they were God’s chosen people.  Good people were experiencing a lot of evil. Bad people seemed to have it made. And then God spoke. He talked through his prophet Jeremiah and he let them know he wasn’t going to let this stand much longer. There was going to punishment for all the evil that had been taking place. He was going to judge. He told the people that just as he had destroyed Pharaoh, and all of th

 

ese other kingdoms like Moab and Edom, and Tyre and a whole list of kings, he was going to do the same thing to his chosen people Israel. He was going to carry them away.  Real Judgement was really going to happen. And it did. The king of Babylon came in, he destroyed the temple, people died, people were taken from their homes. 

It didn’t matter how secure the people felt. It didn’t matter what arguments people had to justify their bad behavior. It didn’t matter how much money or power they had. Evil was punished. 

 

But before it did. Before God poured out his anger. He said the words of our text. 

 

2 “This is what the Lord says: Stand in the courtyard of the Lord’s house and speak to all the people of the towns of Judah who come to worship in the house of the Lord. Tell them everything I command you; do not omit a word. 3 Perhaps they will listen and each will turn from their evil ways. Then I will relent and not inflict on them the disaster I was planning because of the evil they have done. 4 Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: If you do not listen to me and follow my law, which I have set before you, 5 and if you do not listen to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I have sent to you again and again (though you have not listened), 6 then I will make this house like Shiloh and this city a curse  among all the nations of the earth.’ ” 

 

Jeremiah was supposed to preach in the temple to all of the people that have come to worship and tell the people this is what the Lord demands. These are the laws that God has for you. The perfect God. The creator of the life itself  The one who has given you this country. The one who rescued you from Egypt and has fought battles for you. The one who has guarded you and protected you. 

 

That God is going to destroy you because you are not living up to the commands that he has clearly given to you. Jeremiah: Stand up, and tell them this is what the Lord has commanded you to do. Don’t skip over anything. Don’t pull any punches. Don’t change anything that God has said. Just tell the people what is wrong and what is right and perhaps they will listen, turn from their evil ways, and then disaster will not fall upon them. 

 

God didn’t want to send them into exile if he didn’t have to. God didn’t want that beautiful temple to be destroyed. God didn’t want the children of Israel to experience all of that pain and suffering. But a just judge was going to judge  according to his perfect law. But there is still a little bit of time. Tell them Jeremiah to please change. 

 

What’s different today from the time of Jeremiah? Many things are not looking good. Were you having a good day when you woke up. If you ever wake up in a good mood and want to ruin it real fast just read the news paper, unlock your phone, or turn on the TV, and there goes the day for many people. Time to get upset because this world is full of people doing terrible things. So many of our days start with a remind4r that reads: It’s time to be sad about injustice and pain that others are going through. Story after story about the rich were oppressing the poor. Another data breach and all of your personal data might have been hacked. It seems that morality is on a complete decline. It can seem like no one really is really worshiping the one true God. There are so many people that claim to be speaking the truth, but who do you believe.  Good people seem to be experiencing a lot of evil. Bad people seemed to have it made. And when will it end. 

 

This is depressing isn’t it? And how are we supposed to respond to all of this.  Yup everything is terrible. It’s the end of the world as we know it… but I feel fine.. because Jesus loves me. Everything is not always great. That is true… 

 

But at the same time everything is not always terrible either.

No matter how bad things get. You are the people that have heard. You are the people that listened to the law. Who believed how serious God is about Sin. And who trust in your savior. NO matter how bad things get out there in the rest of the world, look what you still go. 

 

 

We still have love, which is all we need. Not just love from our friends, or family, or spouse or children, but the love that truly matters the most,  all of us have a love from our Savior, who forgives each and every one of sins, that guarantees you and I that we will be in heaven one day because of the life and death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. You have an assurance of that with Baptism  and the Lords Supper, where you are assured that you are counted worthy, that at the end of your life you will be with the Lord forever because you are a redeemed child of God and the Body and Blood of Christ were given for you for the the forgiveness of your sins.  That is the source of the greatest happiness that we have in this life. Knowing that the unjust world of struggle and pain is not all that we have, but there is more, there is heaven waiting for each and every one of us. That is the foundation of our new life That is the best thing that our God has done for us, he has given us faith to know and trust him. 

 

Last Judgement Sunday it is serious. It looks for the end. It looks for judgement. It looks for true justice. Which if we take half a minute to think about can be absolutely terrifying. This is not a class action suit. Where I am just one of how many billion to be judged. This is God looking directly at me and my life. You and your life. And saying are you worthy to receive heaven. 

 

By myself, not a chance.  Not anywhere close. But I am not submitting my work. it’s Jesus life that counts for mine. Its his perfection that will show. It’s his holiness that covers my sin. When you and I look forward to judgement, its like Biff from back to the future picking sports games in the 90’s. We can’t loose. Jesus is never going to let you down. He’s never going to run out of perfection for you. The last judgment you hold in your heart this faith that trusts, “It is by grace I have been saved through faith, this is not from myself, it is a gift from God.”

 

The goodness that your God shows to you is infinite. It is going to last forever. His love will never stop. His forgiveness will always be enough. From everlasting to everlasting there will be the goodness of God. 

 

The real problem with getting depressed about Evil is…. it has a shelf life. There is judgement upon evil, but one day there will be a last judgement. There will be a time when the King will come back from heaven and will judge the living and dead. And when that happens he will punish all that is evil. He will destroy all that is bad. He will take away from you all struggle and pain, and all people will know the truth. All people will know there has and will always be only one God. Father, Son and Holy Spirit and he has the standard of perfection for each and every one of us. That’s the last judgement.  It’s coming. I don’t know when. I do know that we are a day closer to it today than yesterday. But I know that there will be a last day that you experience pain. There will be a day when hurt stops. There will be a day when you free from all of this. Because when evil ends for us, all that is going to left is the perfect goodness of God. That never expires. That has no shelf life. That never fades. 

 

And we get ready for that day the same way that God wanted the children of Israel to get ready for their judgement. We stand up and we publicly proclaim this is what God says. When someone breaks a command of God. We call it sin, we tell them that sins deserves death. And when they repent. And then we give forgiveness. Fully and freely. We let them know that this covers all. It will last forever and you be with with the Lord forever. 

 

Some are going to listen. Some aren’t. Some are going to turn from their ways and live. Some will stay in them. But God loves them all. He wants us to tell them all. He wants everyone to know that the king will return one day. And all those who believe in him will be worthy. That’s you. That’s me. That’s a whole lot of us in this world. But we want more. Because for all of us who believe in him. Things will get much better. Things are looking good for all of us. Amen. 

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