The Preaching of Jeremiah
Text: Hebrews 11:32-40
I. As the southern nation of Judah rapidly slid into degradation, there was one bright moment before the end that came in the reign of Josiah.
A. It was during his reign that God’s covenant was rediscovered - II Kings 22:8-11
B. Josiah understood what had happened and where Israel stood - II Kings 22:12-17
C. Josiah didn’t despair. He did something about the problem - II Kings 23:2-3
D. After listing all the reformations and restorations made by Josiah, and a long list of all the idols he defiled and destroyed, God gives him a praise like no other - II Kings 23:25
1. You have to realize that Josiah was even more godly than King David.
2. This is why God delayed the destruction - II Kings 22:18-20
E. But today we will focus on another man in Josiah’s kingdom - Jeremiah 1:1-3
1. Jeremiah began teaching God’s word when Josiah was 21 years old
2. The finding of the law and Josiah’s campaign to remove idolatry was when he was 26 years old, during his 18th year of reigning.
3. Jeremiah was also a young man - Jeremiah 1:4-7
II. Even though Josiah had given himself wholly to the Lord, the nation itself was wholly given over to evil.
A. Israel once was holy - Jeremiah 2:1-3
B. But they had long left God’s ways - Jeremiah 2:4-5
C. The religious leaders no longer sought the Lord - Jeremiah 2:8
1. It is no wonder that they “lost” the law in the Temple.
2. Nor can we be surprised that idolatry and homosexuality was being practiced in the temple of the Lord - II Kings 23:7
D. Call to stand in the old paths rejected - Jeremiah 6:16
E. I want you to consider that we are faced with a situation that echoes the days of Jeremiah
1. A major complaint about denominations and churches that have strayed from the truth is the lack of scriptures in the preaching.
a. It is rare to find people citing passages, reading what God has actually said.
b. It is even rarer to find people looking in their own Bibles to see the citations for themselves.
c. In a way, it is our laziness. In a way, it is our conditioning to have information given to us.
2. The light of the world is growing dim - Matthew 5:13-16
3. The truth is not being upheld for all to see - I Timothy 3:15
4. Instead of purging out the leaven of sin, it is common to find the denominations welcoming it in - I Corinthians 5:9-13; 6:9-10
III. Jeremiah found preaching God’s word to be difficult
A. Jeremiah’s job was to shake things up, to make a change - Jeremiah 1:9-10
B. Jeremiah was not allowed to back down. He could not let any personal fears he might have show - Jeremiah 1:17-19
C. The people would not listen, but the message need to be given if purification was to result - Jeremiah 6:27-30
D. He could not compromise - Jeremiah 15:19-21
E. He had enemies - Jeremiah 11:18-23
1. Imagine how it would feel to be undermined by leaders in the church.
2. Those you would expect to support you are those against you.
F. Rulers sought to discredit him and told people not to listen to him - Jeremiah 18:18
1. With so many against him, then there must be something wrong with his teach!
G. He was beaten and place in stocks - Jeremiah 19:14-20:4
1. In case you think that Jeremiah was tough - Jeremiah 20:7-10
2. If it wasn’t for God, Jeremiah might have failed - Jeremiah 20:11-13
H. He was put on trial, threatened with death - Jeremiah 26:1-24
1. Notice that the prophet who fled lost protection from God
I. He was imprisoned - Jeremiah 38:1-13
J. Such is what has always been needed - Galatians 1:10
1. Jeremiah’s preaching brought out those who only wanted a convenient religion. He pull down cherished, but false, traditions.
2. Too often getting along becomes more important than truth.
3. Luke 6:26
IV. Regularly I’m receiving news articles that any contradictory preaching is being called “hate speech”
A. We are so used to religious freedom, I wonder how we’ll handle a period of religious persecution.
B. But periods are bound to come - Matthew 5:10-12
C. We haven’t seen the worse as in the past - Hebrews 11:32-12:4
D. Seeing what Jeremiah endured, we must resolve to give our all.
1. Sin is too small of a matter to spend time being distracted by it.
2. Our daily problems are so trivial.
3. Let us follow our Lord - Matthew 10:38