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Jeremiah - Part 2

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  • Sermon notes can be found below...



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Sermon Notes

Jeremiah - Part 2


Introduction: 

  • Last week we looked at several graphs related to church participation in America. 


What happened in 2008? 

  • No one really knows. 


The “What” doesn’t really matter as much as the “Who.”


I have a simple question for you…

  • Do you believe God is sovereign? 


Lamentations 3:36-38

     ...doesn’t the Lord see all these things?


     37Who can command things to happen

     without the Lord’s permission?

     38Does not the Most High

     send both calamity and good? 



If we believe God is sovereign then we must admit God is, at minimum, allowing this dramatic change, and perhaps even causing this decline in the American church. 


Jeremiah 1:11-15

11Then the Lord said to me, “Look, Jeremiah! What do you see?”

And I replied, “I see a branch from an almond tree.”

12And the Lord said, “That’s right, and it means that I am watching, and I will certainly carry out all my plans.”

13Then the Lord spoke to me again and asked, “What do you see now?”

And I replied, “I see a pot of boiling water, spilling from the north.”

14“Yes,” the Lord said, “for terror from the north will boil out on the people of this land. 15Listen! I am calling the armies of the kingdoms of the north to come to Jerusalem. I, the Lord, have spoken!



This is the context of the Books of Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezra, and Daniel.

  • In Jeremiah, God is drawing the armies of Babylon out of the North to attack Israel.
  • This would result in 70 years of captivity in Babylon and it would be over 150 years before Jerusalem is rebuilt in any meaningful way. 
  • This is the new reality for the next 5 generations of God’s people. 



Well, I don’t see an army outside coming to attack us… So what’s your point? 


As the American church declines, we are seeing a dramatic increase in secularism. 


This is why Jeremiah is particularly interesting to us today.


Biblically, Babylon becomes a metaphor for secularism/humanism.


Secularism

  • indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion and religious considerations.


Humanism

  • A worldview attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems.


Let me make it simple for you…


Secular Humanism

  • I am God. 
  • I make my own way.
  • I am the solution to my problems.




Secularism began in the Garden of Eden and is seen throughout the Bible all the way to the final chapters in Revelation. 

  • Genesis 3:1
  • The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say…


  • …“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. 5“God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God


  • The center of sin is self.


  • Revelation 17:3-6
  • So the angel took me in the Spirit into the wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that had seven heads and ten horns, and blasphemies against God were written all over it. 4The woman wore purple and scarlet clothing and beautiful jewelry made of gold and precious gems and pearls. In her hand she held a gold goblet full of obscenities and the impurities of her immorality. 5A mysterious name was written on her forehead: “Babylon the Great, Mother of All Prostitutes and Obscenities in the World.” 6I could see that she was drunk—drunk with the blood of God’s holy people who were witnesses for Jesus.


Let’s try to understand Revelation 17:

  • Imagery in apocalyptic literature is designed to evoke the correct emotion.


  • A commonly held view is the woman is secularism, man’s sinful desires, personified. 


  • The beast, heads, and horns represent a variety of kings/rulers/authorities. In other words, the woman is supported by the various governments of the world. This makes since because government is man's attempt to solve man's problems.


  • Clearly there is open hostility between the woman and God. Blasphemies written all over the beast. 


  • The woman is attractive. Fine clothes, beautiful jewelry, gold goblet. 


  • The goblet is full of sinful desires. 


  • The prostitute is attractive. 


  • God's holy people regularly fall prey to her. She is drunk with their blood.


  • She is called Babylon.


Biblically, Babylon is no longer an army. Babylon is a worldview. Babylon is secularism. 


Revelation 17:5-7

“Babylon the Great, Mother of All Prostitutes and Obscenities in the World.” 6I could see that she was drunk—drunk with the blood of God’s holy people who were witnesses for Jesus. I stared at her in complete amazement.

7“Why are you so amazed?” the angel asked.


  • Everything we are seeing in our culture today is the natural progression of secularism. 
  • If I am God, I get to define who I am, who I love, what I can and can’t do, how I treat others, and no one can question how I rule my life. 
  • Why are you amazed? 


So let’s connect the dots…

  • God is sovereign. 
  • The American church is declining. 
  • American secularism is rising. 
  • God is sovereign. 
  • God sent the army of Babylon to Israel. 
  • Why did God send the army of Babylon to Israel? 


Jeremiah 1:15-16

I am calling the armies of the kingdoms of the north to come to Jerusalem. I, the Lord, have spoken!


“They will set their thrones at the gates of the city. They will attack its walls and all the other towns of Judah. 16I will pronounce judgment

on my people for all their evil— for deserting me and burning incense to other gods.

Yes, they worship idols made with their own hands!


God sent the armies of Babylon to Israel to reorder and refocus their worship


Is God sending the worldview of Babylon to America for the same reason?


Well, we don’t worship idols…

  • No, but we idolize our politics.
  • We idolize our possessions. 
  • We idolize our titles, positions, and influence.
  • We idolize relationships.
  • We idolize our reputations. 
  • We idolize our opinions.
  • We idolize our children. 
  • We idolize our busy schedules. 
  • We idolize our preferences. 
  • We idolize our freedom. 
  • We idolize our education. 
  • We idolize our social status. 
  • We idolize our heritage. 
  • We worship ourselves.


We have all, in multiple ways, fallen prey to the Whore of Babylon. She laughs when she sets the trap of temptation, and is drunk on the blood of her victories over God’s people. 


We fall when our worship is out of order and out of focus. We fall when we worship/serve ourselves instead of God. 



Romans 5:6

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 


Romans 5:8-11

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

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Weekly Budget Update

Last week's giving:

  • $4,973.00


Amount needed each week to make full budget of $600,523.00 by year end:

  • $11,550.00


Total funds needed YTD:

  • $300,300.00


Total giving received YTD:

  • $186,639.09


Difference in funds needed vs funds received:

  • -$113,660.91


Percentage of giving received vs. funds needed YTD:

  • 62%



Our Faith Offering is designated giving specifically for missions over and above our normal tithes.


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Total Faith Offering YTD:

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