Judgment Must Begin at the House of God

by Dennis Michelson
(Novelty, Ohio)

I Peter 4:17 - "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of God?

Introduction: There are striking parallels between the preaching of Jeremiah and the kind of preaching we need today. When God's people routinely sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate then judgment must follow. For the believer, you may choose to call it chastisement.

Whatever you call it - it is not something one should take lightly. Someone has said that if God does not judge this country (and the church) then he will owe an apology to preceding civilizations and generations.

1. The Conditions Preceding Judgment

a. Vanity replaces Verity (Jeremiah 2:11-13; 5:30-31)

b. Compromise replaces Conviction (Jer 2:18-19)

c. Regret replaces Repentance (Jer 2:26)

d. Comfort replaces Commitment (Jer3:1, 6-9, 14,20)

e. Standards replace Sanctification (Jer 4: 4, 14)

f. Worldliness replaces Wisdom (Jer 4:22)

g. "Preaching" replaces Prophecy (Jer 5:13, 25-31; 6:13-14)

2. The Consequences Prompting Judgment

a. The Church has no delight in the Word (Jer 6:10)

b. The Church is no different that the world (Jer 6:15)

c. The Church has no depth in its worship (Jer 7:8-11)

3. The Call Prior to Judgment

a. Call to Repent (Jer 3:7, 12, 14)

b. Call to Remember (Jer 2:32)

c. Call to meet Requirements (Jer 9:23-24)

There is hope if we -

Turn to God in prayer (Jer 10:23-24)

Submit to God's procedure (Jer 31:18-19)

Claim God's promise (Jer 31:31-34)

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