Surely at the commandment of the LORD this came upon Judah, to remove them from His sight because of the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he had done, and also because of the innocent blood that he had shed; for he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, which the LORD would not pardon. 2 Kin 24:3-4
We read in Jeremiah, who prophesied after the reign of Manasseh, especially in the beginning of his prophecies, that if Judah returned to the LORD, He would pardon, they would not be removed from their land, the calamity which the LORD had decreed against them, He would repent of, if they would likewise repent of their sins and their idolatry wholeheartedly (Jer 4:1-4).
The LORD has grace and forgiveness for everyone who repents of their sins! We have talked before about what repentance means — to turn away from doing sin and to do it no longer. It means to make a change of behavior. But those who do not repent, remain guilty. Make no mistake — those who do not turn away from sin, those who continue to engage in it, those who do not change their behavior, they remain guilty.
‘The LORD is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.’ Num 14:18
The New Testament is in complete agreement: Jesus forgave the woman who was caught in the act of adultery:
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” Joh 8:11
But He also told her to sin no more. That is repentance. Turn from sin, and don’t engage in it any longer.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Mat 7:21-23
Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Mat 13:40-42
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Gal 5:19-21
In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. 1 Joh 3:10
Those who make a practice of sin, which is defined by the Law; those who practice lawlessness or Torah- lessness, those who continue to engage in sin without repentance, without turning away from that behavior, will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. Jeremiah told Judah and all Jerusalem, Listen, turn around before it is too late! Change your practice!
But Judah listened instead to priests and prophets who told them that they were God’s chosen people so therefore calamity could not come upon them. They continued to offer the morning and evening sacrifices so calamity could not come upon them. The Temple was the dwelling place of God’s name, so calamity could not come upon them.
And today I fear for the church, who listen to men instead of the Word of God, who tell them that because Jesus died on the cross, and rose again, they can continue to practice lawlessness and they will receive grace and be found in the kingdom of God. The church, except for a very few uncompromising preachers like Paul Washer, does not teach about repentance anymore — it is all grace, all the time.
We have to take our definition of righteousness and sin from the Word of God and not from the mouth of men. The Word of God defines resting on the seventh day, as righteousness. We have seen that command over and over again. It defines working on the seventh day, as sin. We have seen that command over and over again. And yet does the church today warn to repent of not resting on the Sabbath? This is one of the Ten Commandments, not some obscure commandment! No, it does not! Instead, what you hear is that our sins have been forgiven us by the blood of Jesus, so everyone can ignore commandments now.
This is exactly how Judah lived. They listened to the priests tell them, that since they were bringing their sacrifices (which foreshadowed the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for the forgiveness of sins) no calamity was coming upon them. They each continued in their sins, which were offensive to the LORD, and merely added to it, the bringing of their sacrifices to the LORD. They did not repent, and therefore the calamity came upon them at the commandment of the LORD.
The Day of Atonement is coming. On that day, one of these years, the door to the wedding feast will be shut. Do not be found outside, but repent today, of ALL that offends, including working on the Sabbath day and anything else. Do not listen to the words of men, but listen to the Word of God; read the Law and all the Word of God for yourselves and learn God’s definition of righteousness and sin, before it is too late!