Read: Jeremiah 7:1-8:3
Do you really think you can steal, murder, commit adultery, lie and burn incense to Baal and all those other new gods of yours, and then come here and stand before me in my Temple and chant, “We are safe!” only to go right back to all those evils again? Jeremiah 7:9-10
The people of Judah have done deplorable things in God’s sight, but continue to run back to the temple and claim God’s forgiveness and favor only to run back out and do the same deplorable things again. After much patience, God had had enough.
As a pastor, I so often see modern “God Followers” do the same thing. We go out and entertain our favorite sin all week long, and then come to church on the weekend, claiming forgiveness and God’s favor. We get to clear our conscience and then go out and do it all over again.
This is a broken part of modern Christianity, and it is nothing new. The problem we face is the same as the people of Jeremiah’s day. God is patient and warns us and tries to woo us back, but there will be hell to pay if we keep playing the “sin – run to church – go sin again” game. When Jesus talked about forgiveness it came through confession in the context of repentance (turning away from the sin in our lives).
Bottom line is… intentional repetitive sin will kill you. It will destroy your fellowship with God, and like Jeremiah prophesied it will land you in Gehenna (Hell). Is there a sinful pattern in your life that you cannot get under control or have been unwilling to surrender to God? If so take some time now and surrender it to Him. Confess it, repent from it, and run away from it. If you are stuck in an addictive cycle, humble yourself and ask for help from others you can trust and with whom you can walk out of it and into freedom. God hasn’t given up on you yet, but don’t mistake His patience as permission, and don’t think that consequence isn’t coming if you don’t answer His wake up call.
Father God – Thank you for your patience with me, and for the wake up calls you give. I choose now to not only confess the sin in my life (take a moment and confess the sin in your life, specifically), but to turn away from it, to run from it, and to surrender my life, my will and my everything to you. Thank you for your amazing grace that even saves someone like me. I love you LORD… In Jesus’ Name, Amen.