“Do you really think you can steal, murder, commit adultery, lie, and burn incense to Baal and all those other new gods of yours, and then come here and stand before Me in My Temple and chant, ‘We are safe!’ – only to go right back to all those evils again?” NLT Jeremiah 7:9,10
It is amazing how some people think they are safe from harm because they go to church. I’ve always wondered where those folks get their theology. They are the ones so surprised when life jumps up and bites them. But in the New Testament we are told over and over again to expect trials, tribulations, and persecutions – and that’s for those who are following after God with all their hearts. Imagine the wrath to be poured out on those who are calloused toward the Lord God!
This passage of Jeremiah is talking about people who came to the Temple on the Sabbath (or church on Sundays) and seemingly worship Him while they are there. But then they leave the building and their thoughts of God seem to be left there as well. They go on throughout the coming week with little or no regard to God and His laws. Verse 7 lists specifically six of the Ten Commandments that the Israelites were brazenly and repeatedly breaking.
The bottom line for these folks is that their religion has no personal commitment; there wasn’t anything that made it real. But not much has changed. For some people today; church is just a club where you socialize with friends and family. As Christians, we need to make sure that our church membership, attending meetings, wearing fancy clothes, or holding positions of honor doesn’t take priority over letting God change our hearts and our behavior during the week ahead. Remember, God will not be fooled. He sees your actions and your motives every day of the week, not just on Sundays. And just like in Jeremiah’s day, you won’t be safe from harm either just because you were in church a few days ago.
In a similar way, I can’t let my blog writing be for show. The stuff I write here has to make a difference in my life or I am wasting my time. Personal application has to be the focus of my writing. But it is much worse than just wasting time, because really, God will not be fooled. I am putting on a false face of worship, devotion and prayer if I don’t allow all this writing to be used by the Holy Spirit to bring me closer to His image.