Bible Study for October 2002:
Study 4: WANTED: WEEPING JEREMIAHS FOR A PERISHING GENERATION
Jeremiah was God's prophet and spokesman in days of darkness, degeneracy and disaster. He spoke God's messages of warning and woe, punishment and promise to his turbulent and heedless generation. He was a man's man, unswerving in his commitment, uncompromising in his messages, unyielding amidst persecution and perils. He was a man with steel in his will ready to perish at his post than to forsake the clearly marked path of duty. He was the weeping prophet of Israel (Jeremiah 9:1; 13:17; 14:17; 22:10; Lamentations 3:48), whose heart overflowed with compassion for a wayward and rebellious nation that refused to hear or obey God's call to repentance, restoration, renewal, refreshing and revival.
Men of conviction, courage and commitment are few and far between today (Ps 12:1; Isaiah 57:1), and God is on the search for such men like Jeremiah, who will stand in the gap for this perishing generation (Ezekiel 22:30,31). Men who will hazard their lives for the good of others (Jeremiah 9:1,2; 13:17; 14:17); men who will stand true to their convictions amidst a corrupt and gainsaying priesthood (Jeremiah 5:31; 6:13; 8:10; 14:14); men who do not care for praise and who are undaunted by scorn (Jeremiah 26:14,15; Nehemiah 4:1-3); men who will pray and preach until righteousness covers the earth as waters cover the sea (Amos 5:24). But it takes a man who understands both the sinfulness of sin and the graciousness of God to be like Jeremiah. You can be one. You ought to be one. You will be one. You must be one of such weeping Jeremiahs for this perishing generation!
CONDITION AND CONDEMNATION OF THE WORLD
Jeremiah 1:16; 2:13,32; 3:6-9,25; 4:22; 5:7,19; 7:20,25,26,30,34; 9:2-9; 10:21; 11:8-11,22,23; 12:6,13; 13:24-27; 14:10-16; 15:2,3,6-8; 16:11-13,18; 17:1,4; 18:15-17; 19:3-9,15,etc. Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Corinthians 6:9,10; Romans 3:10-23; 1:28-32; 1 Corinthians 5:1-10.
The condition of the world today is not much different from those of Jeremiah's day. Godlessness, obstinate sinfulness, flagrant infidelity, rampant immorality, corrupt conduct, heartless cruelty, persistent rebellion against God, false worship, religious idolatry, arrogant militant paganism, spiritual apostacy, national backsliding, rejection of Christ and God's word, corruption of the priesthood and compromising pastors, moral bankruptcy, etc.
Is today's satan worship not more sophisticated than the baal worship of Jeremiah's day? Are today's sex shops not worse than Sodom and Gomorrah? Armed robbery has increased in frequency, sophistication and cruelty. Child abuse, rape, abortion, murder, witchcraft, fundamental infanticide, political oppression, moral perversion have all assumed mammoth proportions. Think about the billions that each nations spends in fighting crimes and wars each year. God's judgement (and punishment) was measured out to disobedient Israel and shall this generation escape? God's proclamation of woe awaits this perishing generation as it races its way down to hell. Can you afford to be indifferent? Will you not arise and reap?
CALL AND COMMISSION FOR THE WORK
Jeremiah 1:5,17; Isaiah 6:8; Ezekiel 1:1-3; 2:3; 37:7,10; Exodus 3:10; Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-20; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; Matthew 20:1-6; Luke 19:13; 14:16-23; John 4:35-38; 9:4; 15:1-8; Matthew 9:36-38.
God calls us into His salvation and commissions us for His service. God called Jeremiah and commissioned him to be a prophet to rebellious Israel. We too have heard Christ's call into salvation (Matthew 11:28-30; John 1:12). We need to heed His commission for service (Matthew 20:1-6). The harvest is ripe, delay will cause waste. We must go and work in His vineyard today ere the day of opportunity be past. Angels will not preach the gospel, the Great Commission is Christ's mandate to saved men. "Occupy till I come", said He; are you? Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled", said He; are you? Christ will give the anointing; He demands our availability. He has promised us His presence but He must have our preaching. Brethren, why stand ye all the day idle? Go in His might!
CLOUD OF WITNESSES
Isaiah 6:8,9; Exodus 3:10; 15:1; Joshua 1:1,2; 23:14; 1 Samuel 3:10,20; Nehemiah 2:17-20; 6:15,16; Hebrews 12:1,2; 11:32-40.
We are surely compassed with so great a cloud of other witnesses apart from Jeremiah - distant and contemporary. Moses accepted the commission and led Israel out of Egypt. Joshua accepted the commission and led Israel into their promised possession. Samuel heeded God's call and was established as a prophet in Israel. Nehemiah responded to the challenge of his time and the broken walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt.
There have also been men of evangelistic zeal and fervour, purpose, pursuit and power that accepted the commission and shook the world for Christ. Martin Luther single-handedly withstood the papacy and brought for us the reformation; John Wesley prayed for and preached to a pub-saturated England and brought the revival of holiness; William Booth doggedly preached the gospel amidst a shower of rotten eggs, putrid vegetables, etc, and saw the worst of drunks and prostitutes get saved in the then East London.
What shall we say of Charles G. Finney, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, David Brainerd, J. Hudson Taylor, Judson of Bumar, Jonathan Goforth, John Elias, William Jay, S. L. Brengle, C. T. Studd, William Carrey, Charles Cowman, Dawson Trotman. Henry Marthyn, William Borden, Jim Elliot, Smith Wigglesworth, D. L. Moody? They were men of like passions, subject to the same frailties as we are. If they shaped their generation for Christ, You can! They left us a legacy that still serves and shapes the church today; you too can! We have the same God, the same grace and the same gospel.
WANTED: WEEPING JEREMIAHs FOR A PERISHING GENERATION. Why won't you be one?
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