February 14, 2018- Ignite!

History of the book of Jeremiah:

·        Sent by God at Israel’s darkest hour

·        It cost him greatly for over 40 years

·        The book gives great insight into his personal struggle with the message he was called to share

·        Jeremiah was their last chance, and he felt crushed under the weight of that responsibility. Similar to Christ; we need that same feeling.

The Current situation in Judah:

·        Turned their back on God

·        Worshipping false gods

·        Stubborn and unjust to those who needed help

·        Used the temple for ungodly acts like sacrificing to false gods, and sacrificing their children.

·        False prophets were telling people that the worst was behind them and that things would get better

·        Jeremiah said, it will only get worse. Cost him greatly

·        Jeremiah’s death (stoned to death by fellow Israelites while exiled in Egypt)

Stand for God

·        When no one else will (Jeremiah 19)

o   God gives Jeremiah a difficult message: Judah will be exiled and destroyed

o   All you people will be killed and birds and beasts will eat your flesh.

o   Others will be horrified by what will happen

o   The siege will be so bad that you will eat human flesh

·        The message that Jeremiah gave was not popular. False prophets were reporting that none of this would happen, but that God was about to bless them. Jeremiah was the only prophet telling the truth.

·        We live in a world now that the truth is no longer popular. We may not be telling people that they will be utterly destroyed by another nation, but if we mention sin, we immediately get called names and are made fun of. Jeremiah goes through the same situation.

·        When it gets tough (Jeremiah 20:1-6)

§  20 When Pashhur the priest, the son of Immer, who was chief officer in the house of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things,Pashhur had Jeremiah the prophet beaten and put him in the stocks that were at the upper Benjamin Gate, which was by the house of the Lord. On the next day, when Pashhur released Jeremiah from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, “Pashhur is not the name the Lord has called you, but rather [a]Magor-missabib. For thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I am going to make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; and while your eyes look on, they will fall by the sword of their enemies. So I will give over all Judah to the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will carry them away as exiles to Babylon and will slay them with the sword. I will also give over all the wealth of this city, all its produce and all its costly things; even all the treasures of the kings of Judah I will give over to the hand of their enemies, and they will plunder them, take them away and bring them to Babylon. And you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house will go into captivity; and you will enter Babylon, and there you will die and there you will be buried, you and all your friends to whom you have falsely prophesied.’”

o   Pashur was the son of the chief priest and also the head of temple security. He heard Jeremiah’s message and instead of doing what he was told, he had Jeremiah arrested, beaten and put in stocks.

o   The stocks were in a prominent place to add to the humiliation. He was in a location that everyone in the city could see him.

o   Even though Jeremiah was humiliated in front of many people, it did not stop him from speaking God’s message.

o   God gives him a message to Pashur specifically:

§  Terror on every side

·        To yourself and your friends

·        They will die by the sword “while you watch.”

·        All the treasures and wealth will be taken to Babylon

·        Your entire family will be taken into captivity and die there

o   To be buried outside of your homeland, it was considered judgment

§  To whom you have prophesied falsely.

o   We are called to preach the truth

·        When it hurts: Jeremiah 20:7-8;10

§  Lord, You have deceived me and I was deceived;
You have overcome me and prevailed.
I have become a laughingstock all day long;
Everyone mocks me.
For each time I speak, I cry aloud;
I proclaim violence and destruction,
Because for me the word of the Lord has 
In reproach and derision all day long.

§  For I have heard the whispering of many,
“Terror on every side!
Denounce him; yes, let us denounce him!”
[a]All my trusted friends,
Watching for my fall, say:
“Perhaps he will be 
[b]deceived, so that we may prevail against him
And take our revenge on him.”

o   He became a laughingstock (given the same title that God said to give Pashur)

o   Everyone mocked him

o   Jeremiah began letting it affect him, doubted God’s call

§  He questioned whether or not God tricked him

§  He told God that the words that he spoke were only violence and destruction (Maybe a positive message, God?)

§  The prophetic message became a reproach (disapproved greatly) to him and derision (ridicule, mockery)

·        Be Ignited (We do have a tough message but also hope.)

o   He overcame his doubt because the message of God was more important that his popularity or reputation. (Jeremiah 20:9);

o   But if I say, “I will not remember Him
Or speak anymore in His name,”
Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire
Shut up in my bones;
And I am weary of holding it in,
And I cannot endure it.

§  Luke 24:32 (A burning in their heart) 32 They said to one another, “[a]Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was [b]explaining the Scriptures to us?”

§  Paul 1 Corinthians 9:16 (Woe is me if I don’t preach the gospel) 16 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.

o   Let the word of God be a fire in your bones

§  Feel the fire of the gospel in your heart, in your bones

§  Be like Jeremiah and Paul that even if you try to hold it in, you cannot

§  Let every part of your life show Christ

§  Let it spark a fire in yourself and in other so that the fire of the gospel message will grow

o   In the cold

§  The world needs to feel the warmth of God’s love. What they are searching for will only lead to cold, stubborn hearts.

§  They are searching for warmth that isn’t there.

o   In the darkness

§  We are called the light of the world. When we have this fire in our bones, we can’t help but shine the light of Christ to a dark and dying world

I want to challenge you all tonight, to pray that God will ignite a fire in your bones, in your heart to share the gospel like Jeremiah.

That you would not be concerned with reputation, or popularity.

You would not be concerned with what the world has to say, but that you would love those people regardless of how they treat you. (STEPHEN THE MARTYR)

 That you would let the fire of the Holy Spirit work in your life and in theirs through your obedience to the message and mission that Christ has called us to.