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THE CAPTIVITY OF THE CHURCH TODAY

THE CAPTIVITY OF THE CHURCH TODAY

Jeremiah 29

Ps 137, Ps 92

With the changes involving political events, moral decay, cold-hearted attitudes of our society in this nation and the world, Christians are in the state of shock. The churches feel their foundations are shaken, and they are.

But there is great hope in Our Savior!

We can gain some footing, learn some truths, and have some fellowship, in a sense, with God’s chosen people in ancient times.

The Israelites were in exile because of the sin of their adults at the time. Some of them, in those seventy years, grew up and were born, and had nothing to do with the idols of their parents, but they have the sin nature of their parents, to tend toward idols, and toward the easy way out. This is a capsule of the larger picture that we, as Christians and general humanity, are in today.

We, too, are in exile in this world because of the sin of our original parents, Adam and Eve. We are tainted from that, and therefore, we have the sin nature. Our exile will last as long as God’s will desires. We must find out how to live and how to think while in this larger exile, as well as the “smaller” one in which we currently find ourselves in this nation and the world as a whole.

But first, we need to come to grips with the fact that we ARE in a foreign land—even when we had Godly leaders—because we are not of this world. Most of the Church has one foot in this world—if not both feet. Before we can be effective for the next generations, we need to renounce our citizenship with this world and all its creature comforts. JESUS FIRST, JESUS ALWAYS!!!! Once we see and study what wonderful things are in store for us in our real home, study the promises God has given us to sustain us in this world, and dedicate ourselves to that mindset, then we are ready for God to show us what our marching orders will be while we are in exile.

Psalm 137 was written about that Jewish exile in Babylon. Babylon was an evil nation in every way, giving its name to the end times City of Babylon in Revelations. The end of Psalm 137 speaks of the revenge the people prayed for on the Babylonians, which eventually came about in God’s wrath upon them. But we will compare the verses that speak of the people and how they felt during that captivity, knowing that it was their selfishness and idol-worship that brought the judgement about in God’s will.

 By the rivers of Babylon,
There we sat down and wept,
When we remembered Zion.
2 Upon the willows in the midst of it
We hung our harps.
3 For there our captors demanded of us songs,
And our tormentors mirth, saying,
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”

4 How can we sing the Lord’s song
In a foreign land?
5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
May my right hand forget her skill.
6 May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
If I do not remember you,
If I do not exalt Jerusalem
Above my chief joy.

In verses 1-4, they were lamenting their situation. It was a desolate land, but it had glorious infrastructure. It was an evil beauty, however, in idol worship, torment, hatred and war. Their captives taunted them, telling them to sing their worship songs, so they could make fun of them. They couldn’t sing—for any reason—they were ashamed and depressed in this horrible place.

In the next verses, they realized that it was their fault that they were going through what they were, and that their children had to go through it. They had gone the way of the “stupid man” in Psalm 92:6 :

Psalm 92:5-7

5.”How great are Your works, O Lord!
Your thoughts are very deep.
6 A senseless man has no knowledge,
Nor does a stupid man understand this:
7 That when the wicked sprouted up like grass
And all who did iniquity flourished,
It was only that they might be destroyed forevermore. “

They realized that they followed the ways of evil, so they determined not to forget their homeland or their God, and to teach their songs of worship, their laws and precepts to their children. Keep that revelation in mind as we think of our own situation.

Seventy years it lasted. Jeremiah told the people that sad news in a letter to them. Think how that hit the older adults. They knew they would never see their homeland again. What a blow! “What is there to live for? Let us die now!!”

Jeremiah tells them what to do. They are to live and work for the next generations, not for themselves. In Jeremiah 29:4-7 he tells the people this:

Jeremiah 29: 4-7

“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, 5 ‘Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their produce. 6 Take wives and become the fathers of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there and do not decrease. 7 Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.’

He told them to live as if the future depended upon them. It did!! It does for us, too!! They needed to carry on their race, to return to God, and to survive and live by their own efforts in this war-torn, dirty nation they were forced to live in. “Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you …” Clean up, build up, and hold up the people to the Living God. The younger people need the older adults to encourage them, and, most importantly, to keep the WORD OF GOD ALIVE in their hearts and minds.

We need to do this in this country during these times. ALWAYS REMEMBER, NEVER FORGET WHAT WE KNOW TO BE TRUE!!!! We will be gone, the next generation will hold the reins of TRUTH. Parents, grandparents, teachers, pastors, church members, neighbors, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends—-all of us have a responsibility to do what Jeremiah told his people to do—-both for the greater exile of this fallen world, and the shorter exile of where this nation has fallen.

The Church must corporately and individually, RECLAIM THIS NATION FOR GOD, IN PRAYER AND OBEDIENCE. We must speak to the demonic forces in the Power of the Word of God, Jesus Christ, and reclaim this nation!!!!

For the most part, the True Church in America has fallen asleep because of many generations of prosperity and peace. Now, we are facing issues. We are like the dry bones of Ezekiel 37, when Ezekiel said, “Our hope is lost: we are indeed cut off”. But God showed him that they weren’t cut off or lost. He brought the dry bones to life, added muscle and sinew, and gave them breath.

The Church of America needs a spiritual backbone. It needs muscle and sinew and LIFE! We need to put Jesus Christ first and only in our lives. Not just a “canned” Bible study daily and “church” on Sunday. The devil loves that kind of Christian. What our Savior wants is a REAL Christian warrior, who will listen to the Still Small Voice of the Holy Spirit in their lives, and OBEY. God will put the bones of the Church together as each of us obeys to do OUR PART!!!!

So, put the hot dish aside, forego the socializing, and spend that time in PERSONAL REPENTANT PRAYER in your prayer closet!!!!!

The future of the Real Church depends upon US TODAY!

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