A Voice in the
"The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. For the breaking of the daughter of my people I am broken; I am in gloom; horror has seized me. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the healing of the daughter of my people not come?" (Jer8:20-22)
Oh, what sadness! Oh, what despair! When a Believer contemplates the fate of so many loved ones and acquaintances. Those relatives that one grew up, assuming they were "Christians"; but the more one realizes God's Truth from God's Word, and then meditates on the various responses that come from these relatives regarding certain subjects, along with the "witness" of the Spirit (Rom8:16), the stark realization in the heart, "They are not saved! ..and they don't even know it! ..but there is nothing I can do about it! ..they do not hear anything I say, instead they rant against me!" Some of them, even, were in the ministry. But as one sees the choices they are making in their lives, knowing the Word of God that they have heard and been exposed to, realizing that their "fruits" (Mt7:20) are making them manifest. In some cases, the thought of their lostness stirs up such sadness and empathetic 'emptiness', that one can go for entire mornings, day after day, stupefied. Tears welling up in the eyes, ready to come streaming down.
This that is said about relatives, can also be said about groups of people, collectively: Congregations, schools, seminaries, denominations, missions organizations, radio ministries, etc.
This is the conclusion. Jeremiah weeping over Israel's state, as God's judgment is to consume them. When summer is ended, the crops have been raised and the harvest taken in. There is no more grain to combine, there is no more corn to husk, the first frost has come and there are no more tomatoes to pick. The fields and garden are bare. That's 'it'. Whatever seeds didn't sprout, aren't going to. The corn that didn't produce any ears because they were unfruitful, won't. The "TIME IS AT HAND". (Rev22:10)
When the doors have been shut and the many come crying out "Lord, open to us" (Lk13:25) the Master says, "I do not know you, from where you are". BUT LORD! "Did we not prophesy in Your name, and through Your name throw out demons, and through Your name do many wonderful works?" (Mt7:22) And He answers, "I NEVER KNEW YOU! DEPART FROM ME..!!" (vs23)
And suddenly, the light dawns upon those 'pretend christians'. All the stuff that was being proclaimed to them, actually happened, just like God's Word said it was going to. The Lord came and called His Believers to be with Himself, and then God came and judged the world, and here we are! We are 'stuck' outside. We are not saved! BUT IT'S TOO LATE!
Now, if the summer is "ended", obviously SOMETHING came before summer's end. What? What was going on during the summer to cause such a state of affairs that "we are not saved" at its end?
"They hold fast to deceit; they refuse to return." (Jer8:5) As they are on the other side of harvest, there will be plenty of time to reminisce. Not only were they deceived, they "held fast" to their error. When God sent many prophets to them "rising early and sending" (Jer25:4), they would not listen or bow their ear. Instead, they would retort, "we will not listen to you. But we WILL CERTAINLY DO" what we have determined to do. (Jer44:16-17) This was not a casual 'slip-up' of "Oops! I made a mistake... let me be corrected." No! They militantly proclaimed their error. And when prophets would come along and show them from God's Word, they would refuse to hear. In fact, not only did they "refuse to return" (repent), they perverted God's Word into saying that "repentance" was, even, "not necessary". How convenient! If we can convince ourselves through our doctrine that repentance isn't necessary, then we can feel guilt-free when we don't repent.
But God sees all this. "I listened and heard, but they did not speak right; no man repented of his wickedness..." (Jer8:6)
Isn't this fascinating! 'Dumb' animals know how to behave. Sparrows know when to build nests and raise their young. Cranes know when it's time to fly south for winter, and back north for summer. The bears know when to hibernate. You don't need to teach a kitten how to lick itself and groom itself clean. But even though made in God's image (Gen1:26), "..my people do not know the judgment of the LORD." (vs7b)
And for you who think we 'harp' on Translation Issues too much, notice: "certainly the lying pen of the scribes has written falsely". (vs8b) Scribes were the ones who copied the Scriptures. You see, all these perVersions that people have been snatching up as they cast aside God's Word... they get to the end of summer, the end of the harvest, and... "we are not saved"! Remember that salvation comes through "hearing by the Word of God". (Rom10:17) If they only have perVersions, and not God's Word, they don't have the means to be saved. Notice it says "lying pen". Who is the "father" of lies, but Satan! (Jn8:44) These perVersions come straight from hell! And those who -rest- upon them... hell is where they are going.
Over and over, and in many ways, God says, "Offer to God thanksgiving; and pay your vows to the Most High; and call on Me in the day of trouble; and I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me." (Ps50:14) God does not delight in the destruction of the wicked, "but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn (repent), turn (repent) from your evil ways; for why will you die..?" (Eze33:11)
BUT...to the wicked God says, Why do you play around pretending to be "Christians"? Why do you pretend to preach? Why do you pretend to have a church? The truth of the matter is, "Yea, you HATE TO BE TAUGHT, and you TOSS MY WORDS BEHIND YOU." (Ps50:17)
Bible studies have not been Bible "studies" for decades! Around the same time the perVersions started flooding christendom, studies gravitated into being "discussion groups". Nobody actually -knew- the Word to "teach" it. They would read from their perVersion, and then philosophize -about- it, start with what they figured were its generic concepts, and then discuss amongst themselves how they "felt" about it, and would share with one another what each person's "opinion" was of the topic, and by the time they were finished, they would have persuaded themselves that their -own- ideas were actually pretty good, and had actually come from the "bible". And, if anybody would happen to join them, who knew God's Word, and would in their turn in the discussions try to point the group to what God's Word actually -SAYS-, the group would pounce on them for being so "judgmental, hateful and divisive". After all, they were coming to "consensus" on their own ideas, together, and God's Word was different from their consensus. Oh, no! We can't have any of THAT!! After all, didn't the song of the era say, "united we stand, divided we fall"?? And after enough years of this, they now no longer even pretend to follow God's Word. They purposely "tear down walls" of Doctrine. They purposely don't have God's Word in their meetings, because they've spent time being infused with demons, feeling good...in "worship".
So then, what follows? Their pastor's meetings have welcomed a thieving, murdering president, forgiving him for things he hasn't been sorry about, giving him a place of prominence at their podiums. They rob from people, telling them that 'God is broke' unless they send in their money; and people flock to these shysters. They encourage people to be divorced (good riddance to the bum!!), rather than remaining faithful. And such divorced people, they encourage to commit adultery by remarrying...after all, they 'need' to be happy and fulfilled. After all, see how contented they are, now that they've remarried. That first marriage (pledge/faith 1Tm5:12) was just 'all wrong'. If someone proclaims God's Word to them, showing them their error, they rile against that person, becoming enraged and curse them. Their music is music of sensuality, their attire is for allurement, and many of them are in bed with people not their spouses. They engage in deceitful politics (biting and devouring -Gal5:15) against one another. And because God hasn't 'zapped' them dead, and they think they are prospering, they "[think] that [God is] like [themselves]" (Ps50:21) After all, God is a God of "luuuuv". His graaeeesss accepts them "just as they are". They have, essentially, made themselves into little gods, and God is limited and subject to -their- beck and call, in terms of how much and 'powerfully' they -pray-. You see, that's the "power of prayer".
But notice what God says, short and to the point: "..but I will rebuke you, and set in order before your eyes. Now think of this, you who forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver." (Ps50:21b-22) Like the expression my friend from UK says, I'm going to come and 'sort you out' ("set in order"). God is going to come and give these rebellious ones a 'what for'; a good working over. And when you are getting a good 'thrashing', where are all those others with whom you came to consensus? They're getting their thrashing, too! And no amount of love and unity is going to help you then!
Yes, the Lord is coming to judge! His "wrath" is "revealed" (Rom1:18) And God's message is like was given to Ezekiel. Ezekiel was given a scroll of a book of the message God was putting into his mouth. (For you who think the ministry of VW has been too "negative" and full of "hate speech", the call was the same as to Ezekiel; among other things, the call to proclaim against a "rebellious house" -Eze2:5) "..and He spread it before me; and it was written on the face and the back. And written on it were weepings, and mourning, and woe." (Eze2:10)
Yes, the season for birth, growth and maturation is ended. The harvest is gathered in as God has burned the chaff and weeds, and gathered the wheat into the granary. (Mt13:30)
And for those who are not saved...? There is no balm. There is no physician. There is no healing. There is only gloom and horror (Jer8:20-22) as they are "cast into the Lake of Fire". (Rev20:15)
And so, for the Believer with whom we began this article, who is in utter grief over the sad state of affairs of those loved ones known or suspected of not being saved, eventually after a time of shedding tears, the "mind of Christ" (1Cor2:16) settles into the heart. There is a calm assurance of His love for us when He "washed us from our sins in His own blood" (Rev1:5) and as we realize that His power will "reveal" His holiness to the world, as they "will wail because of Him" (vs7) we are able to pray according to His will (1Jn5:14)...
"EVEN SO, AMEN"