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Mourning The Destruction Of A Great City Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
March 9, 2022 1:00 am

Mourning The Destruction Of A Great City Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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March 9, 2022 1:00 am

Do we weep for our nation’s destruction? Jesus looked on Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, weeping over the destruction He knew would come from the Romans. Centuries earlier, the prophet Jeremiah wept when the city was destroyed. In this message, we’ll ponder lessons from a city under God’s direct judgment. Even in the midst of destruction, God’s steadfast love will never fail us. 

 Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)

Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
If Not For God
Mike Zwick
Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. Jesus looked on Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives and wept over the destruction He knew the Romans would soon bring.

Centuries earlier, the prophet Jeremiah wept when the city was destroyed. Do we weep for our nation soon to feel judgment? From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Today we continue a series on the church in Babylon, unleashing the power of a Spirit-filled witness. Pastor Lutzer, there are a lot of reasons to weep for our nation, aren't there?

Dave, there are plenty of reasons to weep for our nation, but at the same time we have to recognize that God has brought us to this hour and has given us the resources by which we can be faithful, even in the midst of all that is happening around us. I wrote the book entitled The Church in Babylon. It deals with all kinds of issues that we face today, issues regarding the law, when the state becomes God, technology, transgenderism, sexuality, Islam and immigration.

We have to think through these issues. And of course, as I mentioned in a previous broadcast, also five false gospels within the evangelical church. For a gift of any amount, this book can be yours.

Simply go to or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now at the end of this broadcast, I'm going to be giving you that contact info again, but let us listen carefully to the weeping prophet. There's another lesson and that is this. I'm just sharing my heart with you today, that we should weep over our nation, even as Jeremiah wept over his nation. I told you last time that there were many prophets in Israel, but there was only one Jeremiah and he's known as the weeping prophet. And all throughout this book and throughout his book of Jeremiah, what is he doing? He is weeping.

Now he's being thrown into a dungeon and the whole bit because the people are saying, we don't want to hear you. And so he pretty well has to stand for truth alone, but he's a weeping prophet. Doesn't that remind you of someone else standing on the Mount of Olives? Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou who killest the prophets and stonest them which are sent on to you.

How often would I have gathered your children together even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings. But you wouldn't behold your house is left onto you desolate. Bible says in the book of Luke that Jesus Christ wept over the city. And when he wept over the city, he predicted its demise and its downfall. And this is what he said, would that you, even you had known this day, the things that make for peace, but now they are hidden from your eyes for the days will come upon you when your enemies will set up a barrier around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another because you did not know the day of your visitation. And the same thing that happened in 586 BC, as you well know, happened in 70 AD when Titus came after Herod builds that massive temple that all of us wish were still standing so that we could go see it when we take a trip to Jerusalem six years after it was totally completed.

Completed in 64 AD, I believe it was, destroyed six years later. God says, you don't love me. You don't accept me. Your heart is not with me. I'll destroy even the very place dedicated to my name. We should weep over the violence of the city. We should weep over divorce. We should weep over pornography. We should weep over child abuse. We should weep over the destruction of the family, as we saw it here in Illinois, further adding to the destruction of the family just recently through same-sex marriage legislation. We should weep over the growing hostility. You see, we are too self-absorbed sometimes to weep, aren't we?

You know, like Francis Schaeffer used to tell us, the average American is content with personal peace and affluence. Just not in my world, not in my neighborhood, thank you very much. But it can happen somewhere else. God may in this congregation be looking for a lot of Jeremiah's, both men and women, to intercede and to weep for a nation that has lost its way and not only weep and pray, but witness and do something wherever God has planted us. May that be true. But number four, we should weep with hope. We should weep with hope. I told you that we were getting to hope. You have to trust me. We are getting to hope.

Look at in chapter three. Jeremiah is so overcome by his sorrow that he says in verse 17, my soul is bereft of peace. Maybe that's you today. Maybe you parked your car in the parking lot of Moody Church and you dried your tears and you came to worship and after this service, you're going to go back into the car and you're going to start crying again. If that's you, just know that you are welcome here because we are a place where we are welcoming to all sinners and God knows that that's what we're about. But he says, my soul, and I'm not saying that that is a sin necessarily to weep.

I just mean that we here at the congregation of Moody Church are welcoming to all. I have forgotten what happiness is. Verse 17. So I say, my endurance has perished. So is my hope from the Lord.

Maybe you're here today and that's you. Ah, remember my affliction and my wanderings, the warm wood and the goal. Verse 20. My soul continues to remember it and is bowed down within me.

Verse 21. Thank you, Jeremiah. I needed this.

I remembered something. This I call to mind and therefore I have hope. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end.

They are new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul.

Therefore I will open him. The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

It is good for a man to bear the yoke in his youth. In other words, Jeremiah says, I was so overcome by grief that for a while I forgot that God was there. And then he says this, the steadfast love of the Lord is still there.

The Hebrew word is hesed. It means God's covenant, loyal love is still in place. Does this mean that the destruction of Jerusalem, that God has is through with the Jews and says enough are ready?

No. In fact, later on, we'll discover that it was Jeremiah himself who predicted that they would be in Babylon for 70 years. At the end of 70 years, they'd return. They would rebuild the temple and God would, in effect, start over again. And eventually, of course, you know, the Jewish people, they're in the land today, many of them, and many of us believe that God still has a great future for remnant of the people of Israel, the Jews. And God says, I'm not going to break my covenant over this. You know what the Bible says in Timothy? It says, even when we believe not, he cannot deny himself.

God is faithful. Today you may be in darkness, but I'm reminded of the disciples out in the boat. You remember Jesus went into the mountain to pray and the disciples couldn't see Jesus, but Jesus could see them. He could see the longitude and the latitude of their little boat. He could, he knew the strength of the waves. He knew the strength of each board.

He knew the depth of the water. And today in your distress, God sees you. And I encourage you to take heart in the steadfast love of the Lord, which never ceases. And why are his mercies new every morning? Well, it's because when you wake up in the morning, there has to be enough strength to get through the day. And your day may be very dark and you may be sorrowful because of your own loss or the country's loss as we've been speaking about our country. And what we need to do is when we wake up in the morning, we need to say, God, I need your mercies today.

They have to be new to me because yesterday's mercies don't help me through today. So Jeremiah said, you know, for a few moments, I just forgot that I can still find hope in God. And he uses the word hope now positively two or three times in this passage. Furthermore, he says, it is good for people to wait on God. The soul he seeks to seeks him. God is good to that person, he says. And so what Jeremiah does is he encourages us in God that in the midst of devastation, no matter what happens to America, and I hope that everything that happens to America is good. I'm not a prophet, so I'm not predicting anything except the fact that what I see happening gives me a great deal of consternation. But apart from that, the Bible says those who seek God, those who understand his mercies, God will be there for them every single day.

Aren't you glad for that? Now before we close this book, we have to take one more glance over our shoulder and ask a question. If it is true that Jerusalem took a direct hit, by that I mean, what happened to them was a direct judgment of God. If that is true, and clearly it seems to me that it is, where else do we see anyone or anything or any city or where else do we see a direct hit of the judgment of God?

Well, look at here this book. I'm in chapter one, verse 12. Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by, look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow, which was brought upon me, which the Lord inflicted on the day of his fierce anger? Doesn't that remind you of Jesus on the cross? And think, for example, of chapter two, verse 15, all who pass along the way clap their hands at you. They hiss and they wag their heads at the daughters of Jerusalem. That's an expression used in the book of Mark for all those who looked at the crucifixion of Jesus. They clapped their hands. They hissed.

They wagged their heads. They said he's dying, but he deserves it. Look, for example, of chapter three, verse 14. Doesn't this sound like what Jesus endured?

I have become the laughing stock of all the peoples, the object of all their taunts all day long. Looks like Jesus endured that. The fact is this, that when Jesus died on the cross, he took a direct hit. God says, I'm going to lay upon him the iniquity of all who believe.

I am going to inflict in it. And that's why the Bible says it pleased the Lord to bruise him. I hope that your theology is great enough to accept the fact that God took responsibility for the destruction of Jerusalem. And actually, God also takes responsibility for the crucifixion of Jesus. Ultimately, though evil people do it, yet because of secondary causality, ultimately, God says, even Babylon is my Babylon. And the wicked men who crucified Jesus are my wicked men. Doesn't mean that he condones what they have done, but he uses what they have done to accomplish his purpose.

Now, young people, you'll discover this on the internet. There will be things like this and saying, you know, Christianity is just like all the other religions of the world. You know, they have this God who needs a sacrifice. And so they'll go into the pagan religions and explain to you how God needs a sacrifice and how pagan religions also needed a sacrifice.

Here's something for you to remember, though. While it's true that pagan religions needed a sacrifice, there is no pagan religion in all the world where God demanded a sacrifice and ended up being the sacrifice. God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself. And Jesus said, I will take the direct hit of the wrath of God against sin.

I will take your hell if you believe on me. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. In the Old Testament, Jerusalem took a direct hit from God's wrath and anger. In the New Testament, Jesus takes that direct hit when he cries out and says, my God, my God, why has thou forsaken me? And then for three hours suffers under the hand of God, a kind of suffering that is so severe that even God closed the heavens and darkness was upon the face of the earth so that people would know that what was happening between him and his father was hidden from the human eye.

But this is what it means. It means that no matter how great your sin is, you believe on Jesus Christ, you're exempt from eternal judgment. No matter how deep the pit is that you are in, God is deeper still. And no matter how much you mourn, there are still mercies for you that are new every morning if you come to Jesus Christ and believe on him. Even if we do go through temporal judgments, there is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ. As Jesus said, he who believes in me, there is no condemnation. As a hymn writer once put it, because the sinless savior died, my sinful soul is counted free for God the justice satisfied to look at him and pardon me. That pardon is offered to you today. Behold, I put before you blessings and cursings. Will you respond to Jesus today?

And then we can all sing together. The mercies of the Lord never cease. In fact, they are new every morning.

And I have to find the text to remember the words. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end.

They are new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion. In the midst of devastation, God comes to bless and encourage his own people. But do you know the savior?

I'm talking to those of you who are here today and you have huge problems. You maybe came to this church even unintentionally today, but here you are in the midst of your sorrow. God is there through Jesus to pardon you and to set you free.

Could we join together as we pray? And if God has talked to you even where you are seated or where you're listening to this, you may be listening on the internet or on the radio, whatever way. Would you just stop now and say, Jesus, I thank you today that you absorbed the judgment of God so that I could be free. And I received that gift of eternal life. I put my faith and trust in you as my savior.

Would you tell him that? And now, Father, we thank you that your mercies never cease. In Jesus name. Amen. You know, this is Pastor Luther.

I can't help but ask you a question. Have you ever been in a home where you have seen a plaque on the wall that says that the mercies of the Lord are new every morning? I've certainly seen that.

Perhaps I've even had that kind of a plaque in our home, although I don't recall that we did. Have you ever considered the context of that? The context is the devastation that is described in the Book of Lamentations. That's why I think it's so important for us to read that book because on the one hand, you have the tears of Jeremiah. On the other hand, you have an affirmation of the faithfulness of God within a devastated city.

And today we need both. We need the tears, but we also need the joy and the confidence that the mercies of the Lord are still upon his people. I wrote a book entitled, The Church in Babylon. I wrote the book to help us navigate the culture because we may all believe the gospel, but what do we do with the issues that are swirling around us? I think it'll be of tremendous help in your spiritual journey.

For a gift of any amount, it can be yours. Here's what you do. Go to or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Ask for the book, The Church in Babylon, issues regarding transgenderism, immigration, issues regarding doctrine. All of these are discussed in this book with a view to helping us be able to successfully represent Christ in a collapsing culture.

Go to or right now you can call us at 1-888-218-9337. Thanks in advance for helping us because together we're making a difference. It's time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor Lutzer a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Not all Christians agree on what's appropriate in a worship service. Jerry listens to us on WGNB in Grand Rapids, Michigan and noted this, Pastor Lutzer. Recently I listened to your morning service on the radio and noticed that you have both men and women read scripture passages. In 1 Corinthians 14 verses 33 to 35, Paul clearly commands that women are to remain silent in the church service. How do you reconcile this passage with women reading scripture in your morning service? Good question, Jerry.

I want to make a couple of comments. The passage that you referenced in 1 Corinthians 14 has to be balanced with what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11. There he says that if a woman prays or prophesies, she should have her head covered. Well, if Paul means that women should always be silent in the church, why is he talking about women praying or prophesying? So we have to reconcile it with the other passage of scripture. And of course, the Apostle Paul is not contradicting himself in the same book, mind you, because that also is in 1 Corinthians, actually chapter 11, where the reference that you made is to chapter 14.

I think the key here is the context. If you read in chapter 14, what you'll notice the Apostle Paul is talking about judging prophecies. For example, he's saying that if somebody says they have a prophecy, there are those within the church who should judge that prophecy. Now, if a woman were to judge those kinds of prophecies, she would be in effect taking authority over a man, which Paul forbids. So the Apostle Paul says that women should be silent in the context that he's speaking, and they should ask their husbands at home, and they should not be the one making comments or judging prophecy.

Now, think about this for a moment. When a woman stands up and reads scripture at the Moody Church or some other church, she in no way is taking authority over men. She is not instructing. She is only reading God's word as it is printed. And so that's why we think it's perfectly fine for a woman to read scripture.

And one other thing. Have you ever thought of all the impact that women have had in the church, even publicly, perhaps behind the scenes? I'm reminded of the beautiful songs that we sing that were written by women. Take, for example, Fanny Crosby writing, Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. Now we read the theology of that song.

It is excellent. It is biblical. We sing it.

We are blessed. But that's all the work of a woman. It's something that a woman wrote. But of course, we couldn't say that Fanny Crosby is trying to usurp authority over men. But what she has written is excellent.

We sing it, and we thank God for it. So in all these things, we have to have a balanced approach when it comes to the role of women in the church. As you know, very complicated subject, and also a very controversial subject.

But we have to find the balance of scripture. Some wise counsel, as always, from Dr. Erwin Lutzer. Thank you, Dr. Lutzer. If you'd like to hear one of your questions answered, go to our website at and click on Ask Pastor Lutzer, or call us at 1-888-218-9337.

That's 1-888-218-9337. You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois, 514. Should believers living under national judgment circle the wagons and live off the grid, or engage their flawed culture with enthusiasm? Next time, the surprising answer comes from God's instructions to captive Judah living in Babylon. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-25 09:55:32 / 2023-05-25 10:04:02 / 9

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