Intro. These are some of the most terrifying, fateful words that a person can hear. You have not been feeling well, and you finally go to the doctor and he puts you through a series of tests. He finally calls you in and informs you that you have waited too long to come and visit him, that you better set your house in order for you have a problem for which there is no remedy. That is a tragic day when your doctor declares, "There is no remedy." But it is far worse when God declares of a person or nation, that they have gone too far, there is no remedy. That is exactly what our text declares about Judah:
Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which he had hallowed in Jerusalem.
And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them His messengers, over and over because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place:
But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy. Dr. Addison Alexander wrote: There is a time we know not when A point we know not where, That marks the destiny of men, To glory or despair. There is a line, by us unseen, That crosses every path, The hidden boundary between, God's patience and His wrath. To pass that limit is to die, To die as if by stealth; It does not quench the beaming eye, Or pale the glow of health. The conscience may be still at ease, The spirits light and gay, That which is pleasing still may please, And care be thrust away. But on that forehead God has set, Indelibly a mark, Unseen by man, for man as yet, Is blind and in the dark. And yet the doomed man's path below, May bloom as Eden bloomed; He did not, does not will not know, Or feel that he is doomed. He
knows, he feels that all is well, And every fear is calmed; He lives, he dies, he wakes in hell, Not only doomed but damned. Oh where is that mysterious bourne, By which our path is crossed, Beyond which, God Himself hath sworn, That he who goes is lost? How far may we go on in sin? How long will God forbear? Where does hope end, and where begin, The confines of despair? An answer from the skies is sent; "Ye that from God depart, While it is called today repent, And harden not your heart."
I. JUDAH HAD CROSSED OVER THAT LINE. THEY HAD GONE SO FAR THAT THERE WAS NO REMEDY.
A. The writer gives us the list of the deadly symptoms.
1. The chief priests and the people had transgressed very much after the abominations of the heathen.
a. We read that they had worshipped Ashtoroth. She was the goddess of sex represented by pornographic idols.
b. They worshipped Molech. Molech was the god of pleasure, usually sexual pleasure.
c. They worshipped Baal, the god of the intellect.
d. They worshipped Mammon, the god of power and possessions.
e. That is, they were absorbed in pornography, sex, pleasure, and material possessions.
f. There was no time or place for God in their lives.
2. We read that they polluted the house of the Lord. They went to the house of the Lord, but their hearts and minds were elsewhere.
3. We read that the Lord had compassion on them so he sent His messengers to warn them.
4. One of the messengers that He sent was Jeremiah. Jeremiah tells how the Lord sent him to the temple and cry to the people who were coming to worship.
This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
Stand in the gate of the LORD'S house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD.
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place.
Trust not in lying words, saying, This is the temple of the Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah. (That is, believing that just because you still are going to Temple that everything is OK.)
For if you will thoroughly amend your ways and your doings; if you will thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor;
if you will not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and you will not shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt:
Then I will cause you to dwell forever in this place, that I gave to your fathers.
Behold, you are trusting in lying words, that cannot profit.
Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not,
and then come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name, and say, We are free to do all these abominations?
Is this house, which is called by My name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I have seen, saith the LORD.
But go now unto My place which was in Shiloh, where I first set My name, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of My people Israel,
and now, because you have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you would not hear; and I called but you would not answer;
Therefore I will do to this house, which is called by my name, wherein you trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh.
And I will cast you out of My sight, as will cast out all your brethren, even all the descendants of Ephraim.
(The Lord then commanded Jeremiah) "Do not pray for these people, do not cry or pray for them. Do not make intercession to Me, for I will not hear you.
5. They had gone too far, there is no remedy. They were religious, but they were not spiritual. They had crossed over the line.
6. Tragically we read, " But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy. God even commanded Jeremiah not to pray for their good any longer.
7. I believe that there is more hope for the man who says that he is an atheist, than for the man who says he believes in God yet lives as though God did not exist.
a. He never takes time to talk with God.
b. He never takes God into consideration before making decisions.
c. God really has no part in his life.
d. This was the condition of Judah. It was not that they no longer believed in God. A Gallup Poll would have revealed that the 95% believed in God.
e. But they no longer glorified Him as God. There was no place for God in their lives.
f. They had many other gods before Him. Your god is revealed by the primary interests in your life (Such things as riding your Harley).
g. Paul warned that the wrath of God would be revealed from heaven against all the ungodliness and unrighteousness of man who held the truth of God in unrighteousness.
h. Notice that they were not denying the existence of God, they still held the truth of God, but they were holding it in unrighteousness.
B. This is a very dangerous place to be in, for it becomes a place of great deception. As the poem declared: And yet the doomed man's path below May bloom as Eden bloomed; He did not, does not will not know, Or feel that he is doomed. He knows, he feels that all is well, And every fear is calmed; He lives, he dies, he wakes in hell, Not only doomed but damned.
a. They were still going to the Temple. Thus, they felt a sense of spiritual security.
b. Outwardly they were doing the right things, but inwardly they were worshipping other gods, and God was looking at their hearts.
c. Today you are here outwardly, but where is your heart?
d. Man may be looking on you with admiration for they see that you are in church, but as God is looking at your heart, what does He see? He sees all the other gods that you love and have allowed to replace Him in your heart. Ezekiel was another one of the messengers that God had sent to them. We read in Ezekiel 8
Then said The Lord unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had dug in the wall, behold there was a door.
And He said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they are doing in there.
So I went in and saw; and behold I saw all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall about me.
And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, and every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up.
Then said He unto me, Son of man, have you seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagination? for they say, The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth.
e. God showed him other abominations that they were committing, then God said, "They have provoked Me to anger therefore will I also deal with them in fury: My eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, [yet] will I not hear them." They had crossed over the line, at this point, there was no remedy.
f. How close are you to the line today? Only God knows, but it is very possible that some of you are hearing God's final call to you today; it is now or never. One more rejection of His grace and God will declare, "There is no remedy."
g. In the book of Hebrews the question is asked, "How shall we escape if we neglect this great salvation?" Escape what? The judgment of God, the fiery indignation of His wrath that will be poured out upon those to have trodden under foot the Son of God and counted the blood of His covenant as worthless, and have done despite the Spirit of grace. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God.