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March 7, 2022 7:00 pm
Dr. Doug Garland begins a Seminary Chapel series entitled “Jeremiah pt. 1” with a message titled “Proclamation that Addresses the Heart,” from Jeremiah 17.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville South Carolina today on The Daily Platform for beginning a series from seminary chapel on proclaiming the invincible word in a cancel culture today speaker is Dr. Doug Garland, Dir. of assessment at Bob Jones University.
I appreciate the opportunity afforded me by Dr. Cushman to be able to spend some time with you today in the word of God. The topic that I've been given or chose Allison Jeremiah 13, I would invite you to turn in your Bibles to Jeremiah 13. I will be referring to it quite frequently as as we talk together today. I doubt this is seminary chapel.
This is not a morning worship service so you can talk to me a little bit and you can respond once in a while that I shake your head yes yes it's really okay.
Nothing bad, nothing bad will come of it. I promise. I want you to think for a moment of how long you been in college night from the time that you started as a freshman.
Until the time that you finish your seminary degree.
How many years is that going to be how long have you been, and will you have been in college for the time you finish your time at at Bob's and seminary pilots have some fun with this. If we could. I want you to communicate how many years. That is, to me, right what you can do this is with your fingers against your up against your shoulders right so I'd like to do what you tell me how many years have you been in school higher education.
The time you are freshman to the time you were you would finish her degree out some other name you might have to take off your socks and shoes shall be your toes because it will be a lot and I think my my education time span like 10 and 20, 30 years. Long time very very very long time. So fast-forward your life now you just finished seminary you've taken your first ministry. Perhaps you're a pastor, rapture, youth pastor, counselor. Perhaps you're working at a women's center. Perhaps you're working out at a camp somewhere. So you're in your first ministry. Maybe you're married.
Maybe you welcomed your first child into your family. Maybe your single and you're able to spend most of your time with them. The ministry that God has has called you to what might be going through your mind at that point. Fast forwarding number of months or years ahead right now.
What would be going through your mind you're in your you're very very first ministry. What will your emotions be like during those early days, and in your ministry.
Like most of us that you look back at those days.
You wonder what is God going to do through me in this place.
I expect that there would be a mix of excitement and anticipation on and probably some fear. This is something new, something that you've never done before and let's say that in the course of these early days in your ministry but you do welcome and a new child in your home or perhaps if you're single somebody in your church that you're very close to what comes in a child I in team, but to the home and you're very you're very very close to to those people you look at this little boy pay you of all the billions of children that have been born in the last thousand years. This no doubt is the very best one he's good looking is obviously intelligent. He seems to have a great disposition. He's just absolutely wonderful. You bring the baby home takes you a few weeks to figure out pleadings sleep aims at diapering's and baby things and in all those types of things but you notice that once in a while.
This child just cries you pick the baby up and immediately the child goes from huge distress just being so very pleasant. He looks at you and cruising your little heart flutters after that happens to a three times you begin to wonder little kid manipulating me night then your family reunion I your cousin is there. They have a little baby to your holding your baby in your cousin brings their baby and you're holding both of them. Everybody's taking pictures of you and your child looks at that other child and all the sudden your child's read and cry other child taken away. He looks back at you again just coos so pleasant. You begin to think this child has a temper. This child is jealous.
How could this possibly be. He's the most perfect kid that's been born in the last thousand years is another one is a young man that began site interacting with your ministry. He comes regularly.
He appears to be a tenant. He began to bring a Bible with him. You engage with them and he says you, I'd like to spend some time with you.
I've got some things I'd like to talk about.
You start counseling. This young man over the course of weeks, and he's very faithful does his homework. I asked you, as you've asked him to do what you begin to find out that he's not telling the whole truth about his life. He's covering up a lot of things. He's deflecting. In fact, you begin to think that maybe this guy is not interested in a relationship with Jesus at all think maybe all he wants is a been the year of religion for his purchase, since you're dismayed by that one more got a mirror in literature represents truth so here you are in the morning you're standing a primary mirror at 6 o'clock in the morning at 530 or whatever time it is you get up there.
God maybe your shaving meal maybe not your lady you're fixing your hair working on your makeup. You look at yourself when you realize that down deep in your consciousness. There's a pattern of wickedness and youth begin to think how can this possibly be. I am a graduate of Bob Jones seminary I been in school for 14 year study in the Bible. I was ordained I was sent out by my church to this particular ministry. People think that I'm just the best thing that is that this come along in years and look deeply into yourself and you see this pattern of of wickedness that is just hard to comprehend and you leave that thinking this is terrible what folks those of the card types of experiences that many of you are likely to encounter as you take your first ministry and you begin interacting with your family and with yourself and with people I in in your ministry and it can be disheartening. Can be tough.
It can be very very discouraging and as we look into the gospel so we see that that Jesus. I think perhaps experienced very very similar things. Remember the story of Nicodemus Nicodemus comes to him. They begin talking Jesus responds back to him and eventually Jesus as you are you the teacher of Israel and yet you don't understand these things Nicodemus there something wrong with your thinking there something wrong with your heart and in other passages the gospel we see Jesus outdoing miracles. He's preaching and teaching and his own relatives don't respond to him. Hey, looks at them and is amazed the Scripture says and he marveled it because of their on belief. All of these cases, three cases on the screen plus what was mentioned from the life of Christ just simply point to one awful reality that all of us are going to deal with that is the reality that's at the center of the passage of Scripture that were going to look at briefly, the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick on the question that comes to mind very often. Lisa comes to my mind and I expected could come to yours as well is that if the heart is so deceitful and so desperately sick and it's totally beyond understanding how my going to minister to people with that type of a heart how my going to minister to people with a deceitful and desperately sick heart. Now what you learned from Jeremiah 1317 in a few minutes that we have here is that this passage of Scripture has a pattern that I believe gives us some insight and perhaps all the insight we need, but it certainly gives us some insight about how to deal with the human heart. My thesis this morning is this very simply, this the proclamation that addresses the heart must follow God's pattern for addressing the heart by three ideas pay three ideas from Jeremiah 17 and would I have to move through these quite quickly because the clock is against me right so first of all, how do we deal with. How do we proclaim to people whose heart is a mess. Well first of all, I believe what this passage of Scripture teaches aunts is that we must proclaim God's evaluation of the heart. We must proclaim God's evaluation of the heart.
Just by way of definition here. We talk about part. I went to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, which I do fairly fairly regularly. This is what Merriam-Webster said that the emotional or moral nature is distinguished from the intellectual nature, one's innermost character, feelings, or inclinations, and so what this modern definition is doing is splitting apart the intellect and the emotions are the desires okay and they're saying that that's the heart is a good student of Hebrew a long time ago. Very very rusty Hebrew went to a couple of Hebrews lexicons I one of them said the other totality of man's inner being another one said the inner man. The mind will or the art is is the work that's in focus here and it's the part of man that Christ tells us needs to love God supremely.
No doubt you're familiar with the bars that Jesus proclaimed, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind.
It looks like what Jesus is doing here is combining all of these characteristics of the inner man in saying that the purpose of your heart is to love God supremely. The purpose of your heart is to love God supremely strike it here.
That reminds me of the quote that I'm sure that many of you seen from Augustine that the church father when he said, your hearts are you have made on this for yourself. The Lord in our hearts are restless until they find rest in you are hearts were made for God. Our hearts are instruments of love for God, but we get to our passage of Scripture and we look at ourselves and we look at those that are in our ministries and we see something that that it's far far different now that were deceitful. The heart is deceitful above all things.
That's the statement deceitful is the same word that we get Jacob now was Jacob a nice upstanding honest kind of guy you would want to be your neighbor. I don't think so.
I don't think so. Use the cheat. He was the thief he was a connivers and that's the human heart. It's deceitful, desperately sick. The idea that it is insurable back about them, spent 11 years ago now, my first wife was dying of cancer. She was in the hospital in her last days and the last conversation I had with her oncologist said Mr. Garland, I'm so sorry, but your wife's condition is not recoverable. She's not going to survive in and we all knew that from just all that that was going on. It was really hard to hear that that my wife's condition was on recoverable. That's the same idea with his word that human heart is desperately sick. It's unrecoverable it's it's a it's a mess guy in looking at your Scripture here. If you look at verse 10 yeah we we see here is that God, the Lord searches the heart, he tests the mom that we know what's in our heart. God puts us through hard things in our lives so that we can see what's in in our hearts and in the rest of that verse says that he gives to every man according to his ways. According to the fruit of his needs and so the direction of our heart is going to determine how God judges us know folks that is a very very different proclamation that what you hear in social media is a very different proclamation than what you hear in in the world today. That's not how it humanity today looks at human heart. Another piece of this pattern. In Jeremiah 17 and this very much reflects the wisdom literature like Psalm wanted the Proverbs where there is a contrast between good and evil, between right and wrong in this case there's a contrast between an evil heart and a righteous heart when I got I have time to really develop this very much at all. But if we look if you look at verse one of Jeremiah 17 verses one through four are in prose 5365 through 13 are in poetry and that there is a description here of the unrighteous evil heart. Verse one. The sin of Judah is written with the pen of iron with it.
Point of diamond is engraved on the tablet of their hearts, and on the horns of their altars. That means it's permanent. It's indelible. It's not going away verse two talks about the fact that thought that this leads to idolatry. Man's heart is a idol factory and in verses three and four talk about the fact that the human heart is self-destructive, it leads to judgment that that's not very pretty. If you look at verse five says that says the Lord curse.
It is the man who trusts in man the evil heart man above God, and God says that that person is is cursed. He makes flash is his strength. Verse six is like a bush out in the desert.
That's all dried up to look down at verse 11.
Like the partridge that gathers her brood that she did not hatch so is he who gets riches but not by justice. The picture here is a bird that goes out and steals other little birds and tries to make them their own.
And when those birds get a little bit bigger, they fly away and the evil heart. In this case goes out and seeks riches right and those riches in due time fly away and notice what the last word of this verse is that person is a fool and then in verse 13 of those that forsake you, shall be put to shame and on and on and on it goes. I the characteristics of an evil heart.
And all through history, there have been philosophers and others that have said no to God and yes to their own thinking Descartes would just be one example. There are many many many others that we all have time to do it to go through them this morning. I will show you just some things that I've seen in the last week or 10 days that modern examples of things that are flowing out of these unrighteous and we could hearts.
Have you seen that before.
It's my body it's my choice.
Putting humanity a man above God's waves.
There's another one.
I'm a woman trapped in a man's body transgender movement there is a real cute commercial on TV right now. I have a certain a grocery chain and this is the slogan at the end family is what you make of it what is it really according to God, no, that's an imagination, romance, heart hires another guy. This guy was saying that money is the sum total of everything to him. He's all stressed out over his death. All those are manifestations of an evil heart and those of the types of things that that all of us will have to deal with in our ministries, but it doesn't stop their interest very quickly. There is a description here of a righteous heart.
Look at verse seven says blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is in the Lord.
And this is a man that says all right God is above everything in my heart I riches are as important other people are as important.
My ways are not important. What's important is God and I'm going to put our trust in him. You'll notice in verse eight.
This is, he's like he's planted by water. He's permanent he bears fruit and and so on.
He is in a good good place in verse 12 this righteous heart perceives things about God with others down a glorious throne is set on high, from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary, the Lord, the hope of Israel, this person with a righteous heart has hope this person with a righteous heart is safe now very quickly. We went through a pattern here. How do you deal with the hardened, deceitful hearts of people.
As a preacher or teacher, counselor, I think, based upon this passage of Scripture.
What we learn is that we need to talk to people we need preach the people and teach them God's evaluation of the heart, we need to proclaim the characteristics of an evil heart. And then the characteristics of a righteous heart now by way of application. Say what good is that going to do fall from a lost person's perspective when they hear you preaching and teaching these things from the word of God what's going to happen in their mind if they listen to you.
Is this going to create what we call cognitive dissonance right. This is why I believe this is how I what I've heard all my look at you or your talking about something totally different.
I don't understand.
And for some of those people they're going to respond to you, and they're going to come to site explain more of this to me I don't understand, and in time as they continue to see they're going to realize that there ways in God's ways are much different in its can become a great burden within their soul is like a pilgrimage in Pilgrim's Pride, the Christian pilgrims progress at a great burden on his back. These people will have a great burden on their back and what they need at that point is for you to point them to Jesus Christ and they'll come to Christ, but they have to hear God's evaluation of the heart. They have to understand these things from from God's perspective. But what about for us. How does this apply to us. You been born again you have a new heart that God has given to you. Where does this leave us well. The proclaimer in this case Jeremiah point out three quick links to Jeremiah was prepared greatly by God for this ministry that that he gave to help. Likewise, if you're going to work in a world that is set on evil the way ours is gonna require significant preparation on your part. You have to know the word you have to help people think of the world's thinking you have to confirm your call. This is what God wants me to do Jeremiah's calling was very clear.
It seems to me as well. In Jeremiah that he grew a lot spiritually over the years you have to grow spiritually as well so saw my and I have to preach Jesus to buy just as Jeremiah encountered all kinds of opposition all kinds of suffering experienced a lot of tears in his ministry.
We need to realize that when we proclaim the truth of God to a world with unrighteous in the evil heart.
It's going to generate a lot of suffering. It's going to generate a lot of opposition during the seminary years. I think you need to prepare for that. In fact, I believe that's really that the purpose behind this on this series and chapel, but also say to you by week, by way of encouragement that I believe that if we are faithful to this end we proclaim the word of God. Even though it's hard for people to hear that the impact of that is far beyond what any of us can could possibly imagine. Think about Jeremiah's impact on his generation on those in the New Testament and through church history, and even in the United States.
Jeremiah's impact is still reverberating through through history because he stood and proclaim these things that were very, very difficult. This is the same path that Jesus walked in and I read the sermon on the Mount, yet you can find those three characteristics. Note that pattern sermon on the Mount.
This is what Jesus did and I'm convinced that if we faithfully proclaim the word of God, particularly aimed at the heart like this that when it's all said and done and we stand before the war lords go look at us and say well done, thou good and faithful servant. Look at these people that you brought with you.
Look at these people that thought about me and consider the things of God because of your ministry and and that's a great opportunity that with before all of us right but correct. Father, I thank you for these men and women that are here this day.
Thank you for their desire to prepare their desire to move ahead and serve you, so give them grace as they face the world that is recently possible to the things of your spirit might they be well prepared my faith learn to proclaim the Scriptures, might they learn to stand righteousness and use them wherever it is that you might send them your glory not dismiss us with your blessing might we walk in fellowship with you this day in Jesus name, amen. You would listing to a message preached by Dr. Doug Garland, Dir. of assessment that Bob Jones University joints again tomorrow as we continue the series proclaiming the invincible word in a cancel culture here on The Daily Platform