“An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?” Jeremiah 5:30-31
We live in a day where language is overused, simplistically reduced, and ultimately stripped of its meaning. For example, a foolish, dare-devil stunt by a fifteen year old boy is deemed “epic” by his friends. Or my younger brother’s favorite past time, bottle-flipping, is labeled as “awesome” when the bottle finally lands the correct way. This misuse and misunderstanding of extreme, attention-grabbing language is a great hindrance when we come to the Scripture.
Unlike the youth of the day, God does not misuse language, therefore when He speaks, we must stop and listen. When He uses extreme, attention-grabbing language, that is all the more reason for us to take heed to what is being said. Such is the language of this section of the Word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet.
During the time of Jeremiah, God exposes what is an “appalling” and “horrible” thing. Completely shocking and unthinkable, utterly dismaying, so terrible it should bring to the point of trembling and fear is this thing which happened. What is that arouses such serious, attention-grabbing language from God? The false prophets are prophesying in the name of God when God has not spoken to them, the priests are blindly following the direction of these false prophets, and the people love to have it this way. This was not just true of Israel and Judah during the days of Jeremiah, but how tragically this depicts the condition of evangelicalism in the West today.
First, the “prophets” are proclaiming things in the name of the LORD which are false, things which are lies, things which God has not spoken. Those in the evangelical West who are given platforms, podiums and podcasts, open their mouths saying, “thus says the LORD” but they speak twisted and false words, seeking the fame, accolades and approval of men and the culture rather than that which comes from God. They are driven by acceptance and the desire to fill their silk-lined pockets with money, their conferences with attendees, and the bookstores with their humanistic philosophies rather than filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ for the sake of His body, the Church. The false prophets are subtle. How carefully they craft their false gospels, making use of the accepted “Christian” terms of the day, but in a twisted, man-centered and Christ-belittling way. They utilize words like: justice, love, compassion, hospitality, and cultural-engagement, but what they mean is critical race theory, social justice, tolerance, compromise, and acceptance. They have their meetings, they write their books, they have their shows spreading their false gospels like the black death, proclaiming ‘peace, peace’ when there is no peace. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve death, they not only do them, but give their approval to those who practice such things. You need only turn on your popular “Christian” radio station, or visit your average “Christian” bookstore to see the overwhelming evidence of this. How plagued the land is with false prophets speaking lies.
Oh, but the horror grows worse, for just as the priests did in the days of Jeremiah, those men and shameless women of today, who call themselves pastors, elders, and ministers of the gospel, lead their “churches” following the direction of these false prophets. They are captain-less ships, blowing wherever the winds of the false prophets of popular evangelicalism blows them. Their “churches” are “fad-machines” with their settings being changed every few months according to the trends coming from the false prophets, the conferences, and the newest “church growth” ideologies. The Scripture is appallingly abused by them if used at all, the name of Christ which is professed is made a mockery of, indeed in their case the name of God is blasphemed among unbelievers because of them.
Oh, but it is even more horrific than all of this. For as in the days of the prophet Jeremiah, in the midst of such appalling apostasy there is no outcry from the people, no holy, zealous, bold outrage, but rather the people, those who call themselves God’s people, love to have it this way. There is no fear of God before their eyes, but they love the approval of men. There is a total ignorance of the gospel of the grace of God, but they love the false gospels of socialism, prosperity, and progressivism. There is no desire for holiness, but they love sensuality. There is no longing for experiential communion with the Living God, but they love euphoric, emotional, entertainment-driven music sets, falsely called worship. There is no urgency to proclaim the gospel to the lost, but they love their humanitarian efforts.
To this lost nation, hear the word of the Living God, as the people of old: “What will you do when the end comes?”. Will your false prophets save you? Will your blind guides lead you into the eternal Kingdom? Will your man-made, man-centered gospels deliver your soul on the day of judgment from the eternal flames? Turn from these vain things to the Living and True God. There is salvation in nothing but the grace of God given because of the atoning work of Jesus Christ. Repent, believe the true Gospel, or else what will you do but perish when the end comes?
Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.
What is the Gospel