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Sincerity and Society

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Sermon for the sixteenth Sunday after Trinity

Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it.

Is God talking to us in the same words as He uses with Jeremiah?

[PAUSE]

 It doesn’t take much to look at the way our society is and see clear parallels. Is God saying to us, “How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken Me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots' houses. They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbour's wife.”

While these sins are nothing new, we do live in a society which used to be proudly Christian and is now denying either that God does not exist or that He is not worth worshipping. Even within the Church many are more concerned about fighting for sexual freedoms than the worship of God. There are many who call themselves Christian but who will not believe in the physical Resurrection of Our Lord. There are many who call themselves Christian but who believe that the writers of the Bible made mistakes in conveying God’s message to us. There have been church leaders who have even scolded St Paul for not being inclusive of people’s lifestyle choices. There are many who call themselves Christian – even church leaders – but who do not believe in God!

If our society is committing the same sins as Jeremiah’s Jerusalem, can’t we expect to receive the same consequences as Jeremiah’s Jerusalem? After all, God doesn’t create one rule for one person and another rule for somebody else.

[PAUSE]

Preaching God’s Word, too, is getting more and more difficult. Why? Again, look at our society.

“[T]hey have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.”

God’s words through Jeremiah remain true.

To be honest, nothing much has changed. Many preachers have been saying the same thing through the ages that our society is a sinful, godless society. While we are troubled by this, we should not be troubled unduly. We might find ourselves fighting the tide of popular opinion, going against the flow and standing alone against the world but this is our calling as a Church.

Christians build their house on the rock that is called Christ and we cling to it like limpets. Our Lord Jesus Christ says very clearly that God is our Father and that He is a Good Father. God does not ignore the prayers of anyone who earnestly and honestly calls to Him. This does not mean that we can pray away our pain and suffering in this life but, rather, our pain and suffering for God become sacrifices by which we can reach out to our fallen society. The more that people swept along by the tide of the false god Progress see that there is a rock to cling to, the more they will find comfort in the Righteousness of God.

[PAUSE]

It is precisely the Righteousness of God that people need to see. If the Church wants Society to seek God then we need to seek Him first, to ask Him for the things needed to proclaim His Holy Word to generations that are deaf because they will not hear. A church that is concerned with the things of the world is no church because God is not of the world. Such a church will present dust to those made of dust.

[PAUSE]

The Living Church will say to God “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done” and suffer the consequences. But what are the consequences that the church of the world will suffer? In which church are we?

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