How can one who profess to be Christian and still hold views contrary to the Bible?
Example: Not afraid of burning in hell??
I watched on TV as a son of President Reagan blithely announced “Ron Reagan, lifelong atheist, not afraid of burning in Hell.” At least he is honest in that he does not believe in what the Bible clearly states.
Text : Please read Jeremiah 9:17-26
Denying the Truth does not mean it is Fake News.
Various authors have called such befuddled thinking (though Reagan’s son and others may not feel they are befuddled) folks as practical atheists or nominalists. Such nuances are for the philosophers.
To the people of Jerusalem in Jeremiah’s day, it was clear that living a life being deluded that God did not exist, or would never punish his people because of his loving nature, was clearly a mistake.
The peril of and warning against false teaching (Jeremiah 8:4-17) had resulted in judgment. The people had successes in life and had even been praising God in worship. But their worship was hollow as it did not include a clear understanding and belief in who (the True God) was. They did not realize that God was interested in authentic worship, i.e. how he was being worshiped. God is clear that not all worship is acceptable. Man cannot worship as he pleases.
True worship is Christ centred and Christ magnified. It is worship offered in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). Going about worship differently and in our own way, even if it is popular, is not acceptable to God. In Leviticus 10, Nahab and Abihu offered “strange fire” before the Lord. Simply put, it was not the procedure God had ordained.
“So what?”, you may say.
Today’s culture states that acceptable worship means it must appeal to “me”. “I” should feel refreshed. “I” should feel the spirit. Maybe we confuse entertainment with worship? This can lead to carnality (human centred worship not God centred worship). The Bible says our worship should be to Him and him alone, and while our feelings matter, we should consider all experiences and feelings in light of Scripture.
The context of this passage in Jeremiah was that Jerusalem had been laid waste because the people of God had neglected His Word, been disobedient, and had not offered God centred worship.
They were now ‘dying” among the remains of Jerusalem. Jeremiah tells them to call for the mourners to come and cry for the dying and dead. This rhetorical call was to tell them that deviation from God’s word and his prescribed worship of Him alone, or if His word is disobeyed, it leads to spiritual death (v.17-22).
So many “wise” men, but none in God’s eyes
So many boast in their wisdom today. The philosopher asks many questions but shut their mind to the words of God. Society now even consider scripture as hate speech. Schoolboards now ask Christian schools not to teach “offensive scripture”. Man has set himself above God’s Word. An amazing example of man’s utter rebellion against the God who created us. In our “human wisdom” are we thumbing our noses to God?
How foolish can we be? True Christians will worship God in Spirit and in Truth. These are not separable. They go together. We cannot say we “worship” and still use songs that teach or imply heresy. We cannot just invite any teacher into our home or church without discernment. It is all so subtle, but we will be held accountable. Especially our leaders.
Behold the day is coming when we will all stand before God. As v. 25 sates, it is not just judgment on those who openly disbelieve, like Ron Reagan, but also those in church who “are uncircumcised in the heart” v.26. Yes, even some sitting in churches, who play the game of Christianity very well, may well be practical unbelievers, and find heartbreak on that day.
1. Circumcision of the heart requires repentance and turning to God (Romans 2:29, Deuteronomy 30).
2. We must turn from the temptation of glorifying (relying on) our wisdom, power or riches (v 23), but glory in the True God, BUT that(a) we understand Him (v 23)(b) we know Him (v.23).
3. True worship in Spirit and Truth requires undivided trust and dependence on God, and undivided obedience to His word (v 24).
For in these, does He delight!
Please contact us if God is speaking to you today about repentance and believing in Jesus for salvation.