Pastor Jeff Knott of Grace Church in Port Hope, Ontario continues “Run With Horses: A Sermon Series Through Jeremiah” with “Rivals”

Lent is a way of discovering that all we need is found in the Lord.

Prayer, confession, fasting – they are all practices associated with Lent.

It reminds us that Christianity is not a feel-good or a self-help religion. It’s one that takes seriously our accountability before God and the cost of following Jesus.

We’re going to look at one of those episodes from Jeremiah’s life and see what we can learn about perseverance and faithfulness in the hard task of speaking the truth to our generation.

You can try to legislate morality, but you simply push sin underground.

Because the God of Israel is committed to real transformation, true holiness and is jealous to have a righteous people, He commissions Jeremiah to speak to the nation.

There are two different responses to what God is doing: the very people that are supposed to be concerned about God’s will and God’s way want to silence those who will speak the truth and act in truth.

The peace that the world offers is not peace at all. The prophets were saying to the people, “You can go on living the way you want to live; God is happy with you. You don’t need to change a thing.” Yet we know that the people’s lives were far from God and God was not happy, why else would He plan disaster upon them?

All the outward things that we do doesn’t mean a thing unless we’re being drawn deeper into a walk with the Lord and getting right with Him and right with each other in the process.
The most important thing, beloved, is to live a life in relation to God’s will and to what His word says.

How do you explain the cross of Christ if God is uninterested in the horrible effects of sin in all of our lives?

Jesus came and what was His message? “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”

We have lost our way as a people and we need to come back.

Don’t you feel the tension? When you want to speak the truth but there’s a rival claim telling you, “Be quiet; it’s okay; never mind; not here, not now; I’m okay; you’re okay; just go about your life and I’ll go about mine; and, in the end it will all be fine.” It won’t be. There’s a heaven to gain and a hell to shun.

There’s a push to be quiet about the gospel.

The bad news about the gospel is that there is a hell, but the good news is that God has done everything possible to redeem us. There is no peace without Christ in our hearts.

Jeremiah’s encouragement to us in our generation with all these rival voices is that we as Bible-believing Christians as people who know and love Jesus and want others to know and love Jesus is that we live faithful lives. Don’t listen to the rival voices.

May God put a fire in all of our hearts and speak the truth.