“‘How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal? Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat?’declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:26-28)
Jeremiah here was addressing King Zedekiah and his officials who did not like his prophecies about the impending fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians. They had consulted other prophets who told them what they wanted to hear, those things that made them feel better and did not threaten them with God’s judgment. Jeremiah condemned the King and his advisers as false shepherds. Although God had put them in charge of His people they did not know Him and did not lead the people to Him. Jeremiah also condemned the false prophets. They were not advising the people that they needed to repent of their sins. They lied by telling them God favored them and they did not have to forsake their immorality and idolatry.
Today the same false message of God’s favor goes out from many churches as well as from the media. People do not want to be told they are sinners. They do not want to be told they need to repent or forsake idols and false religions. Thus when we Christians preach the exclusive nature of salvation through faith in Jesus alone, when they testify to the sinful nature of all human beings, we are criticized and condemned. Many Christian leaders and even churches and some denominations are false shepherds who have caved in to the public pressure and apologized for such exclusive statements. In so doing they have compromised the truth. Yet Christians should stand fast against lies, wickedness and idolatry in the church as well as in the nation,media and culture. After all, we are not here to win a popularity contest, or amass fortunes and material goods for ourselves, but to save sinners from destruction by bringing them to faith and repentance and so into God’s Kingdom.