The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, “Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah who enter in at these gates to worship the Lord!’” Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Do not trust in these lying words, saying, ‘The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these.’ (Jeremiah 7:1-4)
In Jeremiah 7, the Lord told Jeremiah to stand outside the gates of the temple and proclaim His words to the people that were going into the temple. God was very angry with these worshippers because they had become so degenerate they were chasing after false gods, stealing, murdering, committing adultery and even burning their own children as sacrifices to false gods. Yet, on the Sabbath, they showed up to the temple to worship God BELIEVING that all was forgiven because THEY WERE GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE. And God basically told them (and I'm paraphrasing here): "You think that is going to save you from my wrath? You think by walking through these doors on the Sabbath you are automatically forgiven of all your sins, cleansed, and made new just because you're here? I will do to the house which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to this place which I gave to you and your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh!" (Jeremiah 7:9-15)
God Destroyed Shiloh
So, what about you Christian? Why do you go to church every Sunday? Do you think by showing up, you are cleansed, forgiven and made brand new, just because you walked through the doors? Are you believing that you are "safe" because you are saved?
What Does God Require of you?
The same thing He required from His people back in Jeremiah's day.
Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you - Jeremiah 7:23
Are you following after false gods? You would probably say, "Of course not!" But there are many ways in which Christians can unknowingly give something else in their lives more priority than God. There are the usual culprits - T.V., the internet, money, etc., but have you ever considered that you might be letting false teachers tickle your ears with a false doctrine, like the prosperity or the grace gospel? Are you listening to the world or are you listening to God? Do you believe that you can do anything you want because you are saved by grace? Or that God is there to give you what you want because you are His child? This is a false idol you are worshipping. Not God.
I know of a woman who came to Jesus only because of the prosperity gospel. She was told Jesus would solve all her problems and make her wildest dreams come true. At the time she was on welfare. A pastor told her to believe that she would get rich and to claim it every day. When she didn't get rich, she not only gave up going to that church, she stopped believing in God altogether. This is the greatest danger of the prosperity gospel. A false doctrine, encouraging the worship of a false idol - greed.
The Grace movement is equally as bad. God's grace is something I marvel at and would never treat with callous disrespect. But I know some people who believe that "once saved always saved" is the key to God's grace. So, if they sin, they don't worry about it because they are saved. They don't confess their sins, neither do they repent of them. They continue to behave as if they are the apple of God's eye and yet those who know them are repulsed by their behaviour. They sincerely believe that their sins need no confession or repentance because they were saved by grace. This is not how you treat God's grace. Jesus' blood does cover a multitude of sins, but that does not give one free reign to continue sinning.
The Jews of Jeremiah's day went through the Temple gates saying, "The Temple of the Lord! The Temple of the Lord! The Temple of the Lord!" They put their faith in the building, rather than in God. Today, Christians who say, "I'm saved because of Jesus! I'm saved! I'm saved!" but do not repent of their sins make a mockery of Jesus death and abuse the grace God has granted them. And those who preach and practice the prosperity gospel by making use of God as some kind of heavenly Santa Claus, also treat God with disrespect. These are only two false doctrines out there today. There are many more. I focus on these two because they are the most prevalent.
False doctrines are like false idols in your life. Why? Because deceptive doctrines and those who teach them, are causing Christians to run after what "sounds good" rather than the truth. A pure love of God and devotion to the Scriptures have been replaced by the idols of grace and prosperity. Sadly, it is because most Christians don't read their Bibles that they are deceived into believing these wrong teachings.
Examine your hearts today. Are you listening to and obeying deceitful teachers who promote false doctrines? If so, you have set up an idol in your life. Put away your counterfeit idols/doctrines, return to the Scriptures and worship God alone.
For the time will come when people will not put up with