A Burning Fire

Neil Girrard

Jeremiah said, “The word of the LORD was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not.”

Jeremiah here, because everyone derided and mocked the word of the Lord (that Jerusalem was destined for violence and plunder), tried to restrain himself and keep the prophetic words to himself but found that he could not do so.

A common lament against the preaching of today’s “church” is that it lacks the ability to capture and fire the imagination of this and the next generations. The “gospel” of the “church” is completely incapable of addressing the issues of real life in real situations and has no appeal to young people who desire and need real answers to their very real problems and concerns. The “gospel” of the “church” does not offer them peace or hope or joy (though it uses these words frequently) but rather attempts to pull them into bondage to a system designed to promote and handsomely pay an eloquent, polished speaker to deliver messages that stir up the listeners’ religious cravings while they soothe and satisfy the itch and thirst for religious knowledge between the listeners’ ears.

The “pastor” dare not incorporate too much fire in his “sermons” because his “loyal,” best-paying customers will either go down the street to a competing religious franchise or they will engineer and enact a corporate takeover and replace him with one more amenable to their tastes. All this is merely evidence that the “gospel” of the “church” is not the word of the Lord.

The “gospel” of the “church,” at its heart, is: “Come, listen to our speaker and, if you like him and us, you can continue with us and do as much or as little as you like for God.” The gospel of the kingdom of Christ is vastly different. The King of all righteousness has bought all of mankind with His own blood and He offers them peace with God that, when obediently received and followed, will bring forth a personal, individual experience of peace and joy that is beyond human explanation. But this King of all kings demands complete obedience – not to some set of ideas and standards which men can use and manipulate for their own personal agendas and schemes but rather a complete and personal obedience to Him who is the Head of all things to His people, His body, His ekklesia. Those who choose disobedience to this kingdom of light will receive the just verdict of eternal death that the King has placed on all who prefer and practice the works of darkness.

It has been rightly observed that the early Christianity of the first century was very different from the refined religion it later became. The early followers of Christ pronounced Him as their only King – something which caused for many of them great difficulties with the governments of men who called themselves governors, kings and caesars. They were not submissive, meek and mild but rather adherents of a far different, far better kingdom who hungered for radical change. They were not perfect but they certainly weren’t passive pew-potatoes either!

Unfortunately, while men slept (that is, they failed to rightly discern the way of the Lord and the competing schemes and agendas of Satan), the demonic rallied its forces and regrouped its strategies. The Nicolaitan “church fathers” were implanted and followed. Eloquence and rhetorical “sermons” replaced the word of the Lord and reliance upon religion, knowledge and good works replaced the simple first love of walking in close obedience to the Spirit of the Master who lived within their hearts. The taint, the leaven of this deception is manifest in all forms of “Christianity” to this day and is the primary contamination from which we must purify ourselves if we are ever to attain again to the heights from which the people of Christ have fallen and go on to become the spotless, blameless bride of Christ.

The word of the Lord is a fire that will captivate the heart and mind of any and all who hunger and thirst for righteousness, goodness, light and truth. Those who are content with anything else or who take pleasure in unrighteousness are those who will fill the ranks of both the apostate “church” and the positions of power and authority in Satan’s end-time government whereby he attempts to take the place and receive the worship of the one true God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ultimately, however, no one will be able to restrain the word of the Lord – neither by mockery, derision, deception, oppression or persecution. The gospel of the kingdom of Christ will again be preached to all the nations and, in the end, every knee on earth and in heaven will bow to the one King, Christ Jesus. The wise man will bend his knees, his heart and his very life (and not just his lips) now – and such a one will never regret serving this King, no matter what the cost may be in this life.

Let he who has ears hear.

Jeremiah 20:9
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