Is it NOTHING to YOU?

A popular song written by a godless man named John Lennon includes the following lyrics:

“Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…Imagine”

Tragically for Lennon, he was wrong. Thankfully for those still living, he was wrong.

imaginetrib

There are many who try to imagine there is no heaven and no hell. They think that if they merely use the power of positive thinking that eventually everybody in the world will simply “live for today.” Yet, Lennon wrote in a world where depravity abounds more and more. He wrote of a world that knows war, famine, and disease. His words struck a chord of hope, although a false hope, with millions though and still do today with people who are just living for today. These individuals think that they live in some kind of utopic stupor, and if they only imagine hard enough things will change.

King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 1:9 that “there is nothing new under the sun.” Less than 350 years later, we find a prophet who is sits weeping and wailing before God facing this same challenge that we see today.

The remaining inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem are living in a utopic stupor. They believe their problems are going to get better. The people approach Jeremiah and even ask him to pray and seek the face of God in Jeremiah 42 on their behalf. Then, they promise him that whatever the Lord says whether good or bad, they will be willing to follow. God speaks with Jeremiah and receives word that destruction and devastation will fall upon the land from the king of Babylon.

Immediately, the people seek forgiveness from God, turn from their wicked ways, and God relents and grants pardon! Praise be to the everlasting God for His abundant mercy! This is the way the story SHOULD have ended.

However, that is NOT what happened. Just one chapter later in Jeremiah 43, they immediately turned on the prophet and called him a liar. They told him and sought to influence others that God would not really send judgment to the land. Their words implicated them in their own sin as they tried to convince themselves that not only did Jeremiah not have a message from God, but that he was not a true messenger. The people’s imaginations were vain and their hearts were hardened.

Now destruction has befallen the land. War has arrived and the land has been besieged and then plundered. The physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing of the people left has been destroyed by the wanton rape, murder, and assault by the foreign soldiers of Nebuchadnezzar’s army. Further, Jerusalem is in ruins. The glorious city that graced the hills of Judea, along with the magnificent temple built by Solomon, has been destroyed BECAUSE OF SIN! The sin probably did not even start out very big, but little by little they gave in to the lusts of their heart and God was quickly forgotten.

weeping prophet
Now, Jeremiah weeps and wails his heart-rending laments and cries aloud in Lamentations 1:12 – “Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow, which was brought upon me, which the LORD afflicted on the day of his fierce anger.”

Can you see him sitting with sackcloth covering his body, throwing dust into the air over his head, his eyes swollen red and grotesque in shape, and his entire body racked with sobs as he ponders what has taken place? He is not denying the sin that took place either in his own heart and life, nor the sin that befell the nation of Israel and Judah. He wails because he has lived to see the results of what sin will do if left unchecked and unrestrained and then allowed to continue until judgment falls from God.

He is willing even for strangers to stop and lament with him. He wants somebody, anybody, to mourn and lament with him over the desecration of the temple and of Jerusalem. However, nobody is stopping. They do not care. Destruction arrived and even in the middle of its arrival, there are still some who are living in a dream world just “knowing” that things will get better soon. The problem is that “soon” will not arrive.

In Lamentations 1:10, we hear the prophet’s lament and like Nehemiah who would come approximately 70 years later, we understand part of what his concern is. “The enemy has stretched out his hands over all her precious things; for she has seen the nations enter her sanctuary, those whom you forbade to enter your congregation.”

His heartbreak is real. The glory of God rested upon the Holy of Holies in the Temple. It was such a terrible place to be if you were not the high priest who was allowed to enter just once per year. It was a terrible place even if you were the chosen high priest to go in where you would face God. I can imagine that more than one high priest must have trembled when he entered that sacred realm to offer the blood of the sacrifices as an atonement. Sadly, the trembling had ceased a long time ago. Worship was no longer present, and it was little more than a frivolous atmosphere that greeted those who still bothered to go and give worship and praise to God.

Now, the prophet has watched as foreign troops not only invaded the land, but completely desecrated that which was to remain holy. The soldiers trampled under foot the holy items and the holy place because they had no appreciation for the God that rules over all. Their only concern was in looting whatever they wanted and assaulting whoever they chose.

What a great tragedy that befell Israel, and the messenger of God is as devastated in heart, mind, and soul as the devastation that has even overturned the gates and stones of the city and temple.

Can you see the connection between what took place in Jeremiah’s day and today? Sin abounds more and more. The world is NOT getting better. The true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ cannot imagine a better world in this life because they are fully aware that the only way a better world will come is when the Prince of Peace appears.

But my concern today is not just in reading the laments of Jeremiah over the city. The concern that grows on me daily is that destruction is coming and few seem to really care. I am not concerned about those who belong to Satan and are under his control. My heartache comes from knowing that those who are claiming the name of Christ, those who are supposed to be working to make themselves pure before the return of the Lord, those who are to be different from the world, those who have been made a new creation in Christ Jesus and are clothed with the garments of His righteousness. These are the people to whom I write.

isitnothing

“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?”

The buildings, in which we worship, have been desecrated underfoot by the feet of those who do not belong. God, long ago, laid out the demands for what He expects in worship from His people but these have been ignored.

“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?”

Pastors fail to preach truth because they are afraid of what they may lose, and prefer earthly treasures over heavenly ones.

“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?”

Leadership teams fail to hold one another accountable based on the standards of Scripture, and instead, seek to govern from business perspectives that are modeled after worldly psychological methods.

“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?”

Marriages in our churches are falling apart at the same rate as those in the world. Parents have little respect from their children. Fathers have failed to be spiritual leaders in the church and in their home. Mothers are taking on responsibilities that do not belong to them both in the church and in the home.

“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?”

Children are following hard after drugs, alcohol, and premarital sex. They are running away from the church because all they see is hypocrisy. Dad and Mom live during the week something different than what they portray in their once or twice a month church appearance.

“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?”

Parents want to come and cry out for prayer that God will bring their children back to the church. Their prayer should be first that God would break their own hearts and seek repentance for their sin and duplicity before God and before their children. Then, God will hear the prayer of the righteous person and may in turn be gracious in His mercy and longsuffering to bring salvation to the children.

“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?”

The unsaved are being permitted to become members of local body of believers without ever having made a true profession of faith in Christ Jesus. So, the churches are being taken over by those who care not one bit for the things of Christ. The buildings are filled with people who are man-centered, and not God-centered, and in so doing, they have become little more than social clubs.

“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?”

The gospel has been watered down so much that it is no longer recognizable as Scripture. It has become a little feel-good message that seeks to allow into heaven all who do not belong there. The message is so smooth and culturally relevant that myriads gather every Sunday and they are rarely, if ever, convicted over the depravity of their own hearts.

“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?”

Entertainment and programs are the order of the day because we are concerned that the goats may leave if they are not made to feel happy or good about themselves. Our worship does not reflect praise of God because we come to hear about God instead of coming to learn from Him and to offer the worship that is due His name alone.

“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?”

Our churches care little for true missions because we are rarely concerned about what we cannot see. More times than not, missions has been reduced to feeding the poor, building nice buildings, clothing the ragged, and educated the uneducated. Churches pat themselves on the back for having done something great for God while these same people head straight for hell because many so-called “mission societies and organizations” only preach a social gospel message.

“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?”

Prayer is mostly absent, if not, almost extinct. Prayer meetings and Bible studies are often attended by less than 5% of the total membership. And we wonder why there is NO POWER in our gathering together. We talk about it every now and then, but few are willing to give up some comforts in order to see something changed.

“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?”

Friends, we need more like Jeremiah who will weep and wail at sin, at the coming destruction, at the reality of hell and judgment from a holy, righteous God, at the sad state of affairs where people wink at sin and refuse to stand for truth, and also because of what is taking over in many parts of evangelical Christianity.

I am tired of worrying about what other people may think of me. My heart is heavy because I am afraid for too long in my Christian life that I have not been concerned enough about what God KNOWS of me.

My challenge with this post is to point out the reality of what is around us. The Scriptures are clear that if we forget God, we will face judgment. We need to get back to a standard that speaks of Holiness to the LORD. We need to pray, repent and confess our sins, turn from our wicked ways, and seek the face of the Almighty God. We need to pray that God does not allow such destruction among His people that somebody in the future will look back and lament about what happened to the church of the living God.

“Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?”

5 thoughts on “Is it NOTHING to YOU?

  1. It was heartbreaking to read this. I’ve been scolded by more than one person lately for being so “negative”. For weeping so much as the darkness that is pressing itself into the church and because God’s people love it so!

    We have become immune to the reality of our situation. God has raised up mouthpieces though and I know many who weep as I do but it is painful and most people will assume that someone who grieves for that reality are just negative and unloving when in fact, they grieve because of their great love.

    I have to repost this.

    Thank you for being a mouthpiece.

  2. When was the last time you heard a Pastor quote then preach Peter’s Words, here?:

    Acts 3:22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you.
    23 And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’

    Then by his own words and deeds confirmed the severity of what his people just heard preached confirmed by his lifestyle, words and deeds?

    Lennon touched the reality of death and how unnatural it is to the human conscience and the great fear that naturally consumes those without the active living vital Holy Spirit making the whole counsel of God sensible!

    I was also thinking about current Israel reading this article, the state over in the Middle East and how confusing it must be to them that their present day Prophets don’t come close to the Prophets from Abraham to Malachi? They read the ups and downs of their forefathers and the triumphs that followed their obedience to the Law of Moses in their Scriptures. They also read about the tragedies that followed individual disobedience to the horrible sufferings that national Israel and Judah experienced when their Kings and prophets went off the rails. Today I wonder what they must be thinking about “no” signs and wonders following both?

    Then to top that off they now have to endure these so called Pro Israel Christian organizations patronizing them flooding their cities and towns spending money on their novelty! The money is good but where’s God?

    Oh my what a testimony to them!

    Any way you’re right it is the broken and contrite heart or hearts that cause Heaven to pour down Heaven on earth!

    We simply are not going to be able to live according to our will and expect God “not” to live according to His Own on earth as it is in Heaven!

    Someone said that if you’re walking along and Jesus meets you there, one of the two will not live but will die!

    Come Lord Jesus, meet me there, that I might die to self that I might live Godly in You:

    Philippians 3:17 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.
    18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ.
    19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.
    20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
    21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

  3. Outstanding post that accurately reflects the sad state of the church today. Just yesterday I was told of a Pastor who was being criticized by his congregation for not permitting a couple living in sin together to join the worship team in his church. This same couple receive communion with no regard as to their spiritual condition.
    I fear the church has lost its way entirely just as scripture warned us would happen in the last day,yet the worse is still to come.

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