INTRO: The 36th chapter of the book of Jeremiah records the brash actions of a foolish, prideful King of Judah - Jehoiakim. These were dark days for Judah. Spiritually, the nation was bankrupt. Politically, the specter of Babylon loomed over Judahs future. As faithful as Jeremiah was to proclaiming the truth, he was held in contempt and derision by Judahs religious and political leadership. But God continued to speak through him.
I. THE WORD OF GOD WRITTEN
A. Jer 36:2 ... and write therein ...
1. scripture means something written
2. from v.4 we learn that the words of the lord were written ... thus, scripture
3. 2 Pet 1:20,21
B. The blessing of the written word
1. it is concrete ... not oral tradition or legend from generation to generation ... preserved
2. it can be read, reread, studied ... not given to embelishment (as oral tradition can be)
3. conduct can easily be checked against written word (so,
Lk 10:25,26 or Acts 17:11 or 1 Tim 3:14,15)
II. THE WORD OF GOD READ
A. Jer 36:21 And Jehudi read it ...
1. the word of God is to be known
2. I recall Deut 30:11,14 - its purpose can only be accomplished if it is known!
3. so, Jehudi read it to the King, the princes
B. From page to ear (or eye)
1. Col 4:16 and 1 Thes 5:27)
2. reason? Rom 10:17
3. the blessing of the written word can only be fully realized as it is applied to the mind
III. THE WORD OF GOD REJECTED!
A. Jer 36:23 he cut it with the penknife ...
1. here was open contempt for the message
2. rejection is one thing (bad enough) - but contempt of this sort seems so much worse (blasphemy?)
3. the very message which could have averted disaster was of no interest! (note Jno 6:63)
B. Acts 7:54-58 ... and stoned him ...
1. what was Stephens crime? peaching the word
2. the word was presented, and they would have no part of it!
3. the very message which could have saved their souls was offensive to them ... rejected
C. A lack of fear no belief in need
1. note Jer 36:24
2. and it was Jeremiah who wrote: Jer 10:23
3. but so many people, even good people, have no respect of the word of God ... or, pick and choose that which they desire to hear ... reject the rest
D. Jno 12:48 The word ... shall judge
1. I am convinced that many people, even religious people, do not believe in life after death ...
2. or, believe that there will be no accountability required of them
3. Rev 20:11,12 ... Heb 10:29-31 are these parts of scripture to be cut out with a penknife? or, are they inescapable truth?
E.Yes, we with the foolish King can mishandle, reject, burn the written word ...
CLOSE: But Jer 36:27,28. Listen, too, to 1 Pet 1:24,25. Sooner or later we will confront the word of God! It will not go away. So, confronting it, accepting it, conforming to it sooner is the only wise course.
Cecil A. Hutson
18 July 1999
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)