Sermons by Pastor Walter Snyder plus announcements, articles, videos, and anything else that doesn’t fit Ask the Pastor or the Luther Library.

21 July 2013

Sermon: Trinity 8 (OT)

21 July AD 2013
Eighth Sunday after Trinity

Title: Listen Up ... and Listen Not (MP3 Audio)

Meyer and Osteen, Heretics Summary: The Lord often calls His people to listen, to pay attention, to harken to His Word. However, there are also times when He commands us to stop our hears, listen not, and pay no attention — not to His words but to the words of false teachers.

Each of today’s readings warns us about the dangers of heeding false prophets while the Psalm cautions us against any consorting with know wicked people, lest their thoughts and deeds become ours. Through Jeremiah, the Lord cautions us that many rush out with claims of special revelation, wrapping their own demented dreams in the language of the Faith.

The faithful have always been assailed by hucksters selling their own interpretations of divine truth. Whether prophets of Baal or 21st Century charlatans, if their message isn’t one of sin and salvation, of the Law’s condemnation and killing and the Gospel’s reconciliation and reviving, they are liars — and their lies are damnation’s seeds sown in our midst.

God did not and does not send people who are not “poor, miserable sinners,” as one popular woman says of herself. He doesn’t sponsor “name it and claim it” theology or send out pastors who tell you, “Believe it and you’ll achieve it.” The Lord won’t pretend that we have no sin and no pastor who truly proclaims the Word will say that of himself or of his hearers.

The rightful heirs of the true prophets are those who acknowledge the depths of human depravity and who confess that they are, with the rest of mankind, dirty, rotten sinners. They also recognize that no one can earn, dream, plan, scheme, or work a way into God’s good graces and eternal life but instead cling to and boldly proclaim salvation only through the suffering and death of Jesus Christ.

Jeremiah Text: Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.’”

For who among them has stood in the council of the Lord to see and to hear his word, or who has paid attention to his word and listened? Behold, the storm of the Lord! Wrath has gone forth, a whirling tempest; it will burst upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intents of his heart. In the latter days you will understand it clearly.

“I did not send the prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, then they would have proclaimed my words to my people, and they would have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their deeds.

“Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord. I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’

“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. Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” Jeremiah 23:16-29

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of Listen Up ... and Listen Not. Preached to the saints of God at Trinity Lutheran Church, Norborne, Missouri.

NB: For some reason, a few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio if Windows Media is their default MP3 player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.

Other Readings: Psalm 26; Acts 20:27-38; Matthew 7:15-23

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