Reading Through the Bible, Thursday, August 18. Jeremiah 7-9

    A member of our community called me recently to ask me some questions about planning a funeral.  While they had me on the phone, they asked about “my church.”  I gave her some bullet point answers and she asked: “Do you believe in baptism?”  I replied “yes, we teach one should be baptized to be saved and that baptism is for believers only and always by immersion.”   She thanked me and observed: I am ______________ (she gave the name of her denomination) but I really believe we are all on small roads all leading to the same big road into the presence of God.”

    It was not the time for rebuttal, but I have to confess that such theology could not be further from the truth, and you see it plainly in Jeremiah’s book.

    In Jeremiah, the problem God’s people face is not a lack of religion.  Judah was comprised of some of the most religious people you would ever want to meet.  Their problem was not even a lack of ethics (though there is a monumental lack of that).  The problem was the lack of a proper religion, the one prescribed by God.  All roads do not lead to the same place.  And the way of God is not wide and easy.  It is pinched and narrow constrained beyond comfort.  His command was simple: “Obey me.  Walk in my ways.”  But Judah didn’t, and punishment was around the corner.

    No good luck charm will shield the Christian from the consequences of his sin, and God will not ignore it.  Allegiance to the Lord is commanded and expected, and God is far from easy-going when His people persistently give Him anything less.