GETTING USE TO CAPTIVITY
II CHRONICLES 36:22-23
The Jews had an opportunity to return to their land after 70 year in captivity, but only a few returned. Many had learned to live in captivity.
Today many Christians have gotten use to living in captivity. They have replaced God in their lives with worldly things. John wrote in 1 John 2:15, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
Let us consider what has taken place in the lives of these professed Christians.
I. THERE IS AN ABSENCE OF PERSONAL HOLINESS IN THEIR LIVES.
A. God has CALLED US to holiness, 1 Peter 1:15-16, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
1. Perfect, [mature, of full age], Matthew 5:48, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
a. These are still babes in Christ, 1 Peter 2:2, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”
b. They should be mature, Hebrews 6:1, “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,”
2. Perfecting holiness IN THE FEAR of God, 2 Corinthians 7:1, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
B. They have REFUSED TO HEAR His words, Jeremiah 11:10, “They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers.”
1. They have feigned faithfulness, Jeremiah 3:10, “And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the LORD.” [falsely].
2. They have gone after other gods, Deuteronomy 8:19, “And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.”
3. They are a stubborn and rebellious generation, Psalm 78:8, “And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.”
a. Their heart was not right with Him, Psalm 78:37, “For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant.”
b. Their spirit was not stedfast with God, Psalm 78:8b, “and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.”
II. THERE IS AN ABSENCE OF SHAME IN THEIR DISOBEDIENCE
A. There is NO SHAME In their worldly relationships, 2 Corinthians 6:14-16, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
1. Evil associations, 1 Kings 11:4, “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.”
a. Common law marriage among “Christians,” (??)
b. Business associations with unbelievers.
2. Loving the world, 2 Timothy 4:10, “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.”
B. There is NO SHAME in their worldly pursuits, Proverbs 3:35, “The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.”
1. They sleep during the harvest, Proverbs 10:5, “He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.”
2. Their pride will not let them humble themselves before the Lord and return, Proverbs 11:2, “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.”
3. They refuse instruction in righteousness, Proverbs 13:18, “Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.”
C. There is NO SHAME in their COWARDICE in service to the Lord.
1. “I don’t like the preacher.” Did you like all of your commanding officers you had in the Service? The Jews did not like Jeremiah and his message.
2. “I don’t like the confusion.” Did you jump ship when the battle began?
3. If you serve the Lord you can expect bad times, but if you don’t have the stomach for it just don’t get in our way.
Serving the Lord requires dedication, maturity and courage. Satan will not stand still while we win folks to the Lord. He just loves those Christians who can’t stand the confusion he can cause among God’s people. He loves to watch them give excuse and run from responsibility.