Fourteen years ago today thousands of people in New York died in the tragic attack on America by religious fanatics. Many lives were ended without warning, reminding us all that our lives are fragile and could end at any 11 warningmoment. But the truth is whether we die instantly of a heart attack like my grandmother in her 40’s, or of an unexpected brain aneurism like my sister in her 40’s or of an enemy attack in an instant, the truth remains that we all really do have a warning. God loves us! In the Garden of Eden God warned Adam and Eve of the consequence of eating from a particular tree. He didn’t forbid it! He informed them of the danger and then gave them everything they needed to live healthy and happy lives. He did that because He loved them. In Noah’s day God warned them. At the first Passover in Egypt God warned of the death that would visit them. He warned them and gave them a way out. They needed only to put the blood of the lamb on their houses. My point this morning is that God loves everyone and no one ever really dies without warning.

Jeremiah 6:1 is another warning to the people of Israel. The nations of the north were coming to destroy them and their city and God tells them. He says, “Flee for safety, O people of Benjamin, from the midst of Jerusalem! Blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and raise a signal on Beth-haccherem, for disaster looms out of the north, and great destruction.” As Constance observes, “They were directed to leave the city, which God was about to destroy, and take refuge in the mountains. The destruction was so near that Jeremiah saw the invasion as if it were already in progress. The trumpet call and fire signal were the two means of warning the people.”[1]

God loves us. There is a destruction that will fall upon us all one day. God always judges sin. But in His great love for us He sent His Son to take that judgment for us. You all know the verse: “For God so loved the world that He sent His only Son so that whoever would believe in Him would not perish” under the hand of God’s judgment. That means without Christ every sinner will pay for their own sins. Christians today are the Jeremiah’s shouting run! Run to safety! The prophets in Jeremiah’s day were ignoring the message of God’s judgment. Jeremiah calls them “lying prophets.” We must not be like them. Ryken says, “And we will not be lying prophets. We will not hide the wrath of God from people. We will warn them that God judges sinners, and that the only protection from his curse is the righteousness of Jesus Christ, received by faith.”[2]


[1] Mrs. T. M. Constance, Jeremiah, vol. 1 (Dickson, TN: Explorer’s Bible Study, 1978), 33–34.

[2] Philip Graham Ryken, Jeremiah and Lamentations: From Sorrow to Hope, Preaching the Word (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2001), 105.