They Have Turned to God Their Backs

Much of what the prophets of the Old Testament wrote about was the rebellion and the adultery and the idolatry and the willful disobedience of God’s people. And much of what the New Testament apostles wrote about was the same. They all detailed the sins of the people, reminded them that they were called to holiness, not to sinful rebellion, instructed them in the ways of God, and they counseled them to forsake their sins and to turn to God and to follow him in obedience or they would suffer disaster.

Jeremiah 32:30-35 ESV

“For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have done nothing but evil in my sight from their youth. The children of Israel have done nothing but provoke me to anger by the work of their hands, declares the Lord. This city has aroused my anger and wrath, from the day it was built to this day, so that I will remove it from my sight because of all the evil of the children of Israel and the children of Judah that they did to provoke me to anger—their kings and their officials, their priests and their prophets, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

“They have turned to me their back and not their face. And though I have taught them persistently, they have not listened to receive instruction. They set up their abominations in the house that is called by my name, to defile it. They built the high places of Baal in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did it enter into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.”

The first thing that came to mind here is five of the seven letters to the churches in Revelation 2-3, and although they were letters to seven literal churches I believe they represent portions of the overall church throughout all generations and that they can be applied to the church today wherever the truth fits. Jesus had something good to say to four of them but then he let all five know what he had against them, and then he warned them that they must repent of their sinful ways or face some kind of divine judgment.

And, in the book of Revelation, right after these letters, then we had the declarations of judgments on the people on the earth. And I will state here clearly that I do not believe in a pre-tribulation rapture, although I am not going to debate it with anyone. I don’t believe it is biblically supported when you take all of the end times teachings together as a whole. It is clear that the saints of God are still here during the tribulation and that we who are still here will be persecuted for our faith in Jesus Christ (Rev 6; Rev 12-14).

But it isn’t just the letters in the book of Revelation which point out the sins of those professing faith in Jesus Christ, which call them to repentance, and which warn of divine judgment if they do not repent. Paul said this:

“He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury” (Rom 2:6-8; cf. 2 Co 5:10).

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh… Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry… I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:16-21; cf. 1 Co 6:9-10; Eph 5:3-6; Col 3:5-10; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:12-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:26-27; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Lu 9:23-26; Matt 7:21-23).

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life” (Gal 6:7-8).

And then we are given warnings in 1 Corinthians 10:1-22, and in Hebrews 3:1-19, and in Hebrews 4:1-13 to not be like the Israelites in their rebellion in the wilderness. God was not pleased with most of them, and they were overthrown in the wilderness. And they serve as examples for us that we might not desire evil as they did. We are not to be idolaters, and revelers, and those who think life is just one big party. And we are not to live in sexual immorality nor should we put Christ to the test as they did.

The call is, thus, that if we hear God’s voice today that we are not to harden our hearts as the Israelites did in their rebellion against God. We are not to go astray in our hearts, and we are not to wander far from the ways of God. For if we make sin our practice, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, we will not enter into God’s eternal rest, i.e. we will not inherit eternal life with God. And why did the majority of the Israelites not enter? Because of their unbelief, i.e. their disobedience.

And then let’s look at what Jesus said. He said that if anyone would come after him he must deny self and take up his cross daily (die daily to sin and to self) and follow (obey) the Lord. And he said, in essence, that if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self that we will lose them for eternity, but that if we lose our lives for his sake (if we die with him to sin) that we will have eternal life with him. And he said that not everyone saying to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven but only the ones obeying God the Father who is in heaven (Luke 9:23-26; Mattew 7:21-23).

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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