Share This Episode
Running to Win Erwin Lutzer Logo

When God Judges A Nation Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
March 4, 2022 1:00 am

When God Judges A Nation Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 1057 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

March 4, 2022 1:00 am

When nation-wide events seem out of control, we need clear perspective as the people of God. Israel couldn’t see God’s purposes in allowing their nation to be invaded. Just as they were taken into captivity, America may soon feel that same wrath. In this message, we’ll begin an examination of Israel’s history and nine lessons we must take from the fall of a nation long ago.  

 Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)

The Line of Fire
Dr. Michael Brown
Cross Reference Radio
Pastor Rick Gaston
Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger
Made for More
Andrew Hopper | Mercy Hill Church

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. When the cup of iniquity is full, God pours out His wrath, as when invading armies looted Jerusalem and took the people into captivity.

America may soon feel that same wrath. Today, lessons we must take from the fall of a nation long ago. 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, it's today's lesson from Jeremiah chapter 33. Well, you know, Dave, God judges people because of their sin. He judges us individually, but He also judges nations. And when that happens, believers have to survive within the larger context of the culture.

There's so many lessons that we have to learn from the book of Jeremiah and Israel being taken into captivity. I want to thank the many of you who support the ministry of Running to Win. Would you consider becoming an endurance partner?

Endurance partners are those who stand with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. Here is what you can do. Go to

That's When you're there, click on the endurance partner button or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Become an endurance partner and help us get the message of the gospel to thousands upon thousands of people. When I began this series of messages, I warned you that these were not feel-good kind of messages. This is not the kind of message you might hear somewhere else about how wonderful you are and all the good things that God has invested in you. There might be a time for those messages, but this is not one of them. One day somebody wrote me a letter and said that the elders in their church before the Sunday morning service pray and say, Lord, help us to have fun today in the service.

I would be disappointed if our elders prayed that way because that might be appropriate before a picnic. This sermon is not going to be fun. As a matter of fact, I'm not preaching a sermon to you today as much as I am preaching my heart. Today I'm going to end up talking about the great United States of America, a country that I greatly love. Most of you, of course, were born into the United States. You became citizens at birth. I chose to become a citizen. Because I was born and raised in Canada and lived many years here as a Canadian citizen, I eventually decided to join you all, and I'm very proud of it.

I'm glad to be an American. Amen. But today we're going to look at the book of Jeremiah as we conclude the Jeremiah portion of this series. The series is going to continue on beyond that, but we conclude the Jeremiah series by giving you some history, telling you what happened, and then we're going to have nine lessons for the United States of America. It's my heart to yours today. I'm going to preach with a somber tone because what I'm going to share is somber, but you need to hear it.

And at the end, of course, I'm going to give you hope. We're not going to leave you here today hopeless, but we have some territory to encompass before we get there. To remind you of what Jeremiah is all about, a little bit of history, you remember after the time of Solomon, the kingdoms are split. You have the northern kingdom, which was known as Israel.

That's confusing to us because today we call the whole land Israel. The northern kingdom was Israel. The southern kingdom was known as Judah with its capital in Jerusalem.

The capital of the northern kingdom was Samaria. In 722 BC, the Assyrians come and they judge the northern kingdom, and they take about 20,000 people to Assyria, and that's called the 10 tribes. Some people say the lost 10 tribes. Some people say that the 10 tribes have been found. But that meant that the southern kingdom continued for over 130 years before Babylon came and took it away.

You see, Assyria began to decline in power. Babylon began to release in strength, and for 40 years or so, Jeremiah was warning the southern kingdom that if you don't repent, the same thing is going to happen to you as happened to the northern kingdom. Babylon this time, though, is going to come and carry you away, and you are headed for severe judgment.

Repent! And that's what introduces us now to the book. He gives some warnings, and these are warnings that I'm going to give to you. I could turn to almost any passage in Jeremiah to give you these warnings, but I'm going to point out one, for example, was he's saying, all of you are deaf. You're not listening to the voice of God.

For example, in chapter 7, and I don't expect you to keep up with me in all the passages, but when we get to chapter 52, we'll look at that together and then sharpen your pencil because we are going to get to the nine lessons. But this is what God says. And now because you have done these things, declares the Lord, when I spoke to you persistently, you did not listen, and when I called to you, you did not answer. Therefore, I will do to this house that is called by my name, he means the temple, I am going to do to it as I do to Shiloh, namely destroy it, and I will do it because you're deaf. You see, and I preached about this in a previous message, there were false prophets that were telling the people exactly what they wanted to hear.

Everything is going to be good, God's okay, you're okay, I'm okay, we're all okay. Jeremiah came along and said, you're not okay, God's okay, and you'd better repent. And the people didn't want to listen. They took Jeremiah and they threw him into a pit, they had a plot to kill him, and what harm did he do? He was saying things the people did not want to hear. We don't want to hear judgment. And so that's how they treated him.

Maybe a little bit like killing the weatherman because you don't like the forecast, but we don't want to hear it. Now I have to talk about the United States early on, even before we get to the lessons. I'm speaking specifically about the issue of same-sex marriage, as you know, approved here in the great state of Illinois along with other states. And if you aren't concerned about this, I don't think that you understand what the issues are. Now, I need to say that many of you who are listening here probably struggle with same-sex attraction. You know that you're welcome here, you know that everybody's welcome here.

And so I speak to you today from my heart. The original bill, which I read very carefully, gave no protection to any church except if you were a pastor or a teacher. For example, if a secretary were to say that she is going to marry her same-sex partner and you were to, as a result of that, ask her to leave the church, there would be an instant lawsuit because you have no right to do that.

There was no protection for Christian bookstores, Christian institutions. The only thing is that the pastor and a few of the teachers would have been exempt from a lawsuit if they were asked to leave because of their connection to homosexuality and homosexual marriage. The implications are huge. Now, the more recent bill I understand tried to take care of some of those issues, but that's where this is going.

But here's what I want to say. The city council of San Antonio was debating this ordinance. No person shall be appointed to a position if the city council finds that such a person has, prior to such proposed appointment, engaged in discrimination or demonstrated a bias by word or deed against any person, group, organization, color, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, et cetera. Now, what that means is this, that if you in any way speak in favor of traditional marriage and are opposed to same-sex marriage, you would not be able to serve in the city government. Now, think of the implications. Somebody pointed out that this would mean that all businesses, the city would be barred from doing business with anyone who fails to expose the politically correct view of same-sex marriage. One pastor says, this probably means that if you attend a church that opposes gay marriage, you could be disqualified from getting a city job.

Wow. But here's the point I want to make. You know what hurts me most is not all the lawsuits that this is going to bring about, not even the destruction of the family to which it shall so greatly contribute, but the fact that from the White House all the way down, our country is celebrating something that God has condemned.

That's what hurts me the most. And my point is simply this, people don't want to hear it. They say if you speak something different than what we want to hear, you will be disqualified. Be quiet already. Just like ancient Judah, America does not want to hear the truth.

And as a result of that, we've stopped our ears. Wasn't it George Orwell who said that in a day of universal deception, in a day of universal deception, speaking the truth is a revolutionary act? Well, I just think I committed a revolutionary act because the truth has to be spoken. So that is one indictment of Judah. You're not listening to God. You're not learning.

You're not hearing. Second indictment that I refer to is God says, you've gone too far. Judgment is inevitable. I mean, do you understand why this message is burning in my soul? Do you know what God said in the next verse?

And I'm actually in chapter 7 here. He says, as for you, Jeremiah, do not pray for this people. Lift up a cry or a prayer for them and do not intercede with me for I will not hear you. God says, judgment is coming.

It's inevitable. You know what he says in chapter 15 verse 1? He says, though Moses and Samuel should plead before me, I will not change my mind. Judgment is coming.

And what was the response of the people? Chapter 18 verse 12, the people said, it is vain. We will follow our own plans and we will everyone act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart. He says, no matter what you're saying, we're going to keep plunging in the direction we want to go. And I have to say it again. Wow. Third judgment is that, and I'm not going to take time to walk you through this.

Wish I had an hour today, but I don't. Let me say that what Jeremiah does as the judgment begins to come after 40 years of ministry, he talks to the king. He talks to the leader of the nation whose name is Zedekiah and Zedekiah actually calls for him. And he has three interviews with Jeremiah. So interesting because in the first interview Zedekiah says, Jeremiah, pray for us.

I mean, that's almost humorous. Would you say a prayer for us? Because we're in trouble.

We have no intention of changing our ways, no intention of turning to God, but you've got clout. Pray for us, he says. Second interview Jeremiah says, why am I thrown into the pit? You know, he was thrown into a dungeon and he then warns the king that judgment is coming. Third interview, Jeremiah actually says this to Zedekiah. He says, Zedekiah, even at this late date, if you were to really obey God and surrender to the Babylonians, that's what Jeremiah was recommending. There's no use fighting. He said, if you were to surrender to the Babylonians, he said, your life would be spared and actually the city would not even be burned. It would be taken over, undoubtedly, but it would not be burned.

What an invitation even at a late hour. Of course, Zedekiah said, I don't like that. I'm going to make a deal with Egypt. I'm going to try to escape. You know how he ended? He ended by having his eyes gouged out. First of all, before they did that, they killed his sons in his presence so that he could see it.

That was the last thing he saw. His eyes were gouged out and he was taken to Babylon. You know, sometimes we all know the Bible is accurate, but sometimes it almost takes your breath away when you think of how accurate it is. You know what Ezekiel prophesied? He said that Zedekiah is going to go to Babylon but not see it.

You read it and you say, well, what's that all about? He's going to go to Babylon and not see it? Well, the reason is because the prophecy was fulfilled.

His eyes were gouged out. So he went to Babylon, but he didn't see Babylon. Now, what I'd like you to do is to turn to the end of the book, and that is in Jeremiah chapter 52. Can we just look at how this whole scenario ends?

I want you to understand the suffering, and then we will get to the great, wonderful United States of America. You'll notice in chapter 52, let's go right to the end of the book. Let's go to verse 28 of Jeremiah chapter 52. You know, the Babylonians came, and I'll describe that in a moment, but this is the number of the people whom Nebuchadnezzar carried away captive in the seventh year, 3,023 Judeans. Later on, he comes back, and there's 832, and then 745, but all the persons that he mentions here are 4,600.

You can see that there in the text at the end of verse 30. Actually, even that isn't the total. If you go to 2 Kings where there's an even more detailed description of what happened, the first deportation was 10,000. So as scholars have worked through this apparent discrepancy, they've concluded that there were a number of different deportations. There was deportation number one, number two, number three, and all the way through until you get to this number.

These were minor in comparison to some of the others. Probably the total was 14, 15,000 people taken from Jerusalem and its area all the way to Babylon. I just want you to use your imagination for a moment and understand the suffering that the people endured. For example, in chapter 52, we're there now, and we're going to turn back and just see what they endured. It says in verse 6, on the ninth day of the fourth month, the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. The next sermon in this series that I'm going to preach is actually the book of Lamentations. I want you to read that book ahead of time, so there's going to be another very somber message. Jeremiah's visualizing himself as he's walking through the rubble of Jerusalem, and he's just weeping. He's overcome. His eyes cannot stop crying, but he describes what happens. He says, the tongue of the nursing infant sticks to the roof of its mouth for thirst. The children beg for food, but no one gives to them. Those who once feasted on delicacies perish in the streets. Those who were brought up in purple embrace asheeps. Happier were the victims of the sword than the victims of hunger. He goes on to tell some things here that I hate to even read in public that went on. Wow.

Would you just for a moment enter into their pain, the little children, the starvation? And then secondly, in chapter 52, you can read it there on your own later, it says that the temple was destroyed. Totally destroyed, it was burned. They carried off all the gold and the silver and so forth all the way to Babylon.

It's all there. Now the Jews are going to have to live without a temple, and they're going to have to live in Babylon. And when I began this series of messages, I actually intended to begin in Babylon, and then I realized, no, we should really look at Jeremiah first so that we understand why they were there.

So in the future, we'll talk about that. But the point is that they suffered greatly. And then think of the suffering along the way.

15,000 people in all. My parents were refugees. They were refugees, and they know what it's like. You're going along, they're going about from Jerusalem to Babylon is about 500 miles as the crow flies, but about 1,000 miles because of the winding roads. People die along the way, they just bury them and keep going all the way to Babylon.

Can you just imagine the suffering? And Jeremiah for 40 years has said it's coming, and they said, we don't want to hear it. You know what the Bible says? You are believing deceptive words, God says. You're believing the false prophets. You're not believing Jeremiah. And every prediction that Jeremiah made came to pass.

Wow. Now for the great United States of America. But before I read about the nine lessons for America, you say, well, why nine lessons?

Why not just three? I can't help it. I look at the text of scripture, and these things just pop out to me one after another, so I have to give them to you. And since I'm preaching, I have that opportunity, and I hope you're listening. Listen to this.

You maybe heard about this. During a US Army training event, an Army instructor cited evangelical Christianity and Catholicism as examples of religious extremism, along with Al-Qaeda and Hamas. So here's the list. Number one, evangelical Christianity.

Under that, the Muslim Brotherhood. And then it goes on from there. There is an assault being made on Christianity here in America that none of us could have ever predicted.

Because when a man does this, he's getting his instructions higher up, I can assure you. Now with that, nine lessons. Some of them are going to be encouraging. Some of them not encouraging. But here we go.

Number one, lesson number one. Will you remember that our present situation, our present situation is not new. It's not new. You look, for example, throughout history and you discover that all kinds of people have suffered. I mean, our present situation here in America, we still have it so good. We have freedom. I've just said some things that are politically incorrect. And that's OK for me to say it, as long as it's within the walls of the church.

If I say it outside the church, that could be something else. We could be called names, et cetera. But we still have a lot of freedom.

Our situation is not unique. Look at the Christians who are suffering in Egypt. Always remember that here in America, we still have wonderful privileges and the history of freedom of religion. I once gave a lecture on the history of freedom of religion in Europe. Did you know that Europe didn't have freedom of religion until the peace of Westphalia in 1648? Did you know that more rebaptizers, because they believed that one should be baptized upon profession of faith, baptized as infants, but then rebaptized, did you know that more of them were massacred after the time of the Reformation, 15, 1600s, than Christians died in the persecutions of early Rome? The history of the church is littered with martyrs who believed that there was something more in life than being politically correct.

So number one, will you remember that our present challenges are not unique? Number two, standing for truth and righteousness can be lonely. Standing for truth and righteousness can be very lonely. There were hundreds of prophets, but there was only one Jeremiah.

And my, how they railed against him. Folks, standing for truth and righteousness in America is going to get more difficult as time goes by. Well, this is Pastor Lutzer.

And as our culture begins to slide into immorality, it is increasingly difficult to live for Jesus Christ. I have in my hands a letter from someone who listens to Running to Win in Spanish. He says, although I struggled with temptation and sexual sin when I was younger, your teaching strengthens my spirit, gives me the conviction that sexual immorality is wrong, and guides me to love Jesus Christ more and more. My friend, I want you to know that when we receive letters like this, and of course, Running to Win is in 20 different countries in three different languages, you have a part in what we are doing. Would you consider becoming an endurance partner? That's someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. Now, of course, the amount that you give is entirely your decision.

I like to think of it as joining the Running to Win family. Of course, you need that info, so let me give it to you, Oh, by the way, when you're there, of course, click on the endurance partner button. That's, or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337.

As a matter of fact, you can pick up the phone and call right away, 1-888-218-9337. Every blessing that people receive as a result of this ministry is because of people like you who have invested in the gospel of Jesus Christ through this ministry. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your partnership. You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60614. When Jeremiah proclaimed the coming judgment of God, his fellow Israelites paid him no heed. Next time, why the lessons they learned are lessons we in America must learn, because where Israel went, so will we. For Dr. Erwin Lutzer, this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-27 18:32:02 / 2023-05-27 18:41:01 / 9

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime