Let’s continue a thread we spoke about yesterday, shall we?
How can we do that when we were in 1 and 2 Corinthians? Because this is God’s Word, He doesn’t change, and He is the divine author of Scripture. The manner in which He dealt with people in the OT was different, but His ultimate goal is the same. Don’t believe it when people say that the God of the OT was angry and vengeful, but the God of the NT is loving and forgiving. He is the same God.
We talked about a believer who chooses to sin and then is rebuked, is ostracized, repents, and then is brought back into a loving fellowship of believers. Remember?
Well, in the first two verses we read today in chapter four of Jeremiah, we read, "If you will return, Israel, return to me," announces the Lord. "Put the statues of your gods out of my sight. I hate them.
Stop going down the wrong path. Take all of your oaths in my name. Say, 'You can be sure that the Lord is alive.' Let all of your promises be truthful, fair and honest. Then I will bless the nations.”
So in these two verses God is inviting His people to repent of their sins. To really turn from them and live lives pleasing to God. Sound familiar? Sure.
And then He says, “Then I will bless the nations.”
Ok. So what does that mean? It means that when outsiders see these people who so obviously turned their backs on their God, who began to live like the heathens around them, give all that garbage up, their God blesses them. He welcomes them back with open arms. He forgives them.
And when they see that, they begin to believe that He is a loving and forgiving God, and they follow Him.
When, as people of God, we forgive others as God has forgiven us, the world sees that God is real. They begin to believe that they can be forgiven, too. And the so called outsiders, or “nations” are blessed.