When I read these 2500-year-old words it makes me shudder. Why? Because if we changed “Jerusalem” to “Washington, D.C.” and “Judah” to “America,” the sins of the people sound eerily the same:
- arrogantly closed ears refusing to listen to God’s Word
- people calling the loving message of the Bible “offensive”
- the predominance of greed
- deceptive “prosperity” preachers who are only in it for their own personal gain
- shameless, detestable lifestyles
- open rebellion against God’s laws
- constant slandering of God and of people created in God’s image (vv. 10-28)
God says, “This city must be punished.”
But still, a hope remains. God also says, “Take warning, Jerusalem [or America], or I will turn away from you” (v. 8).
There is still time for repentance! There is still time to take heed of this loving warning and turn away from sin. That’s what repentance truly means—seeing our sins as disgusting in God’s sight, asking for forgiveness, and turning away from those sins.
Repentance means an about-face, so that instead of the catalog of sins that I just listed, we instead see:
- a humility that hears and obeys God’s Word
- living in contentment with God’s blessings and not lusting for anything more
- listening to preachers who faithfully, lovingly, and boldly speak exactly what God has spoken to their hearts
- being ashamed of our former sinful lifestyle, and gratefully receiving the forgiveness that Jesus purchased for us
- and having a passion to help everyone live in this God-glorifying way
Repent, America! There is still time before God’s judgment falls on us. The historical record is there for all to read: Unrepented sin received God’s righteous judgment. But in His mercy, God is still giving us time to repent today. Don’t miss this golden opportunity!
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