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Mercy Before Judgment

Today, Eastside Baptist Church in Winfield began its revival services, with Don Currin as the guest preacher for these services. I pray that God will use these revival services to bring His people at Eastside closer to Him, and I’d like to share Bro. Currin’s messages with ya’ll. So after each revival service, I will get online and post annotated notes of Bro. Currin’s sermons. I say annotated because I will not be copying my scrawled notes verbatim; rather, I will take my notes I have from Bro. Currin’s sermon on that service’s main Scripture passage and use what I need from those notes to present what will hopefully be an edifying blog for all of you, my readers. Below is the first “annotated notes” blog for these revival services, and it is my prayer that we will all grow spiritually from these revival services, even if all of us are not able to attend them in person.

In Jeremiah 13:1-16, God declares judgment on the people of Israel. In Jeremiah 13:10, we read that the Israelites “refuse to hear [God’s] words.” By refusing to hear God’s words, they refuse to be God’s people. Their actions prove their rebellion against God. Later in this same verse, the Israelites “stubbornly follow their own heart” and commit idolatry by serving other gods. Because of their sin, because of their idolatry, God declares that Israel shall be like a ruined loincloth, “which is good for nothing.”

In the following verses, God declares judgment on the people of Israel. Just as ever jar must be filled with wine, God “will fill with drunkenness all the inhabitants of this land.” God pronounces a judgment of spiritual drunkenness on the idolatrous people of Israel. God judges them by removing all the restraints of his grace so that their very houses are marked with strife; God gives the Israelites exactly what they want. God gives them over to their sin and intoxicates them with that very sin, even to the point of utter destruction.

In verse 16, we see that God “brings darkness.” There are five forms, as Bro. Currin brought out, of this judgment of darkness:

  1. The darkness of insanity. “He [God] deprives of speech those who are trusted and takes away the discernment of the elders” (Job 12:20). For God to deprive a person of understanding before they believe the gospel is to deprive them of salvation. A person can reject God to the point where their ability to understand the gospel is taken away. This is such a severe judgment because without understanding the gospel, one cannot believe and be saved by the gospel.
  2. The darkness of impenitence. “For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have trusted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding Him up to contempt” (Hebrews 6:4-6). These people who “have fallen away” and cannot be brought again to repentance were never really saved, as 1 John 2:19 proves. A person can come to the point where they must choose either Christ’s Lordship or their own, and if they “fall away” by choosing their own lordship over Christ’s, they harden their hearts to the point where they cannot repent at all.
  3. The darkness of God’s departure. “Then the Lord said, ‘My Spirit shall not contend with man forever’” (Genesis 6:3). God is not to be toyed with. Throughout the books of the prophets, God would declare that the people have eyes to see and ears to hear but can neither see nor hear. How terrible it would be for God to remove His presence entirely from a person! For it is by the Spirit that we are reborn, and for God to utterly remove His presence from a person is to give them over to their sins—to give them what they want—and to be enslaved to that sin forever.
  4. The darkness of death.
  5. The darkness of eternity. In Matthew 22:13 and 25:30, Jesus reveals that hell is a place of “outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Ultimately, the ones who reject God to the very end will be cast into the outer darkness of eternal torment. There are those who dislike the doctrine of hell, saying it is too fearful a doctrine for our modern minds. But hell is real, and it awaits all those outside of Jesus Christ.

But God does not end with a word of judgment!

Hear and give ear; be not proud, for the Lord has spoken. Give glory to the Lord your God before He brings darkness, before your feet stumble on the twilight mountains, and while you look for light He turns it to gloom and makes it deep darkness. (Jeremiah 13:15-16)

God ends with a word of mercy! Rather than refusing to hear God’s words, we should “hear and give ear” to the Lord our God. Rather than being proud and resisting Christ’s lordship as some do, we should “give glory to the Lord your God, before He brings darkness.” Before is the key word in this verse. Today is the day of salvation! How can one go from being a hell-bound sinner to being a God-glorifying Christian?

  • The sinner must realize he is a sinner both by choice and by nature.
  • The sinner must abandon all hope of saving himself.
  • The sinner must look to Christ alone for salvation.

We as Christians have been given this dual message of warning and hope; we have been tasked with carrying this gospel to all. Praise God that the very things a sinner realizes and accepts by the grace of God in his conversion, we must realize and accept in order to experience true revival! For in dwelling on our own infinite sin and in how the Infinite God dealt with our sin and paid that sin debt on the cross of Calvary, we begin to experience true revival as we, rather than being drunk with sinful passions, are filled with the Holy Spirit.

(New posts in this series should be up nightly through Wednesday around 9 PM CT.)

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  1. March 21, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    For the first time, faults and all, and yet still loves and forgives me because of His loving mercy. Blog Plugin

  1. February 22, 2012 at 10:50 pm

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