(Jeremiah 20:9; 5:14;Acts 4:20)
By Marlin L. Harless

INTRODUCTION: The first text in the Heading reads as follows: "Then I said, I will not make mention of Him, nor speak any more in His name. But His word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. (Jeremiah 20:9). Beloved, what does this text mean? To begin, let us take a careful look at the context. In verse 7d, the prophet said, "ЕI am in derision daily, every one mocketh me." And in verse 8d, he said, "ЕThe Word of the Lord was made a reproach unto me, and a derision daily."

The people to whom he was preaching were "making fun of," and "mocking" the prophet! In verse 10f, his "enemies," said, "ЕWe shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him." Accordingly, Jeremiah's spiritual battery is already recharged, but how do we know that? By considering the context which directs rays of Spiritual light on the text of verse 9 "But the Lord is with me as a Mighty terrible one," that is, to the prophet's enemies. "Therefore, my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed, for they shall not prosperЕ" (Jeremiah 20:11b).

The prophet was beginning to feel very inadequate, and insufficient to preach God's Word to the people, because of the persecution being waged against him by his enemies; however, after carefully evaluating the situation, he seems to realize that God, and one man can comprise a majority in any situation while fighting the battles of life! "When I say, I will not "make mention of Him, etc., then it becometh (i.e. I am conscious of a feeling) in my heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I weary myself to hold it in, but cannot. The prophet has repeatedly been tempted to withdraw from the painful duty, but his other and higher self overpowers these lower cravings for peace and quiet. 1 [Cf. Jonah 1:3, emphasis, mine, MLH]. The fire of the Divine wrath against sin burns so fiercely within him that he cannot help resuming his work! Beloved, this is the common experience of every good man, such as those described by the apostle Paul, in his "Spiritual Hall of Fame" in (Hebrews chapter 11).

"When in the better land before the bar we stand,

How deeply grieved our souls will be;

If any lost one there should cry in deep despair,

"You never mentioned Him to me,"

"You never mentioned Him to me,

You helped me not the light to see;

You met me day by day and knew I was astray,

Yet never mentioned Him to me."
I. Paul said, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (2 Corinthians 5:10). My friends, hear me, are you listening? Beloved, there are only two sides of the "judgment throne," and you and I will be on one side or the other! Which side do you want or intend to be on? You must decide that; and you are deciding that, every moment, hour, and day that you live. Jesus will not put you on the wrong side, if you should be on the right side! Think about the words, "deeply grieved." Were you ever present in a Court of Law, and heard the Judge sentence a murderer to death? That is bad! Very, very grim, fierce, hideous, ghastly! Compare the death sentence to the "eternal flames of hell"!! Ten billion years in hell, and you're still not finished with it, beloved, we're talking about eternity---it is non-ending, forever the same!!

Imagine some one, perhaps a family member, saying to you at the judgment of Christ, "You never mentioned Him to me," you never took the time to share Christ with this person; you often discussed many other things, but you considered Christ, the church, and salvation, as embarrassing conversational topics; you had a desire for all the other things of life: but you thought you didn't have time for God, and you deceived yourself!!! "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isaiah 8:20). Thus, your friend or loved one, says, "You helped me not the light to see," what is it, then? If you have no "light" in you, then, be assured, that you will not be able to help another soul to see the light of Christ!! Jesus said, " I am the light of the world, he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12). "You met me day by day, and knew I was astray, yet never mentioned Him to me"!!
"O let us spread the word wher-e'er it may be heard,

Help grouping souls the light to see,

That yonder none may say,

"You showed me not the way,

You never mentioned Him to me,"

"You never mentioned Him to me,

You helped me not the light to see;

You met me day by day and knew I was astray,

Yet never mentioned Him to me."
II. Jesus said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creatureЕ" (Mark 16:15). Why? "To help groping souls the Light to see"!! This can only be accomplished by the preaching of the unadulterated gospel of Christ! Then, other souls can come to Christ and be saved, after believing in, and obeying Christ! The Psalmist said, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psalm 119:105). If we will do today what Jesus commanded His apostles to do in the first century, that is, to tell or preach "The Greatest Story Ever Told," then, other people can learn about Christ, and thus, become aware of what He wants us to do to be saved! But, if we fail to share Jesus with others, we thus, demonstrate, by our negative example that we do not care for, and love our fellow men! As a consequence of our apathy toward others, we encourage people to seek the advice of denominational preachers, and, thus, unbosom their innermost feelings to them; and they will tell them to do just about anything and everything, except what Christ and the apostles tell us to do to be saved and to become Christians!

The denominational preachers are experts in passing on to the people, their "commandments and doctrines of men"!! (Cf. Colossians 2:22). Today, many precious souls are lost, and out of Christ as a result of false teaching! "Beloved believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1). Many professed Christians will discuss, argue, debate, and otherwise get involved in very lengthy controversy on any subject, except God's Word the Bible!! And, so, my friends, it is very obvious that many professed Christians do not love Him enough to tell others the Wonderful Story of Jesus and His Love!! They have not the Spirit of Christ!! Paul said, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his" (Romans 8:9d). Accordingly, many professed Christians are not the least concerned about taking the time to introduce their loved ones, friends, and neighbors, to The Savior of The World!!! They would rather fight God, than switch!!! "But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God" (Acts 5:39). What a shame this really is!!

"You showed me not the way," You see, when the Christian, who is supposed to represent Christ to the world, fails to enter into conversation, and discuss Christ with others, he or she misses a great opportunity to Magnify Christ, by telling them how Truly Great Jesus Is! Consider the following: "According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death" (Philippians 1:20). Beloved, consider this: All faithful Christians have been led to Christ through the personal influence, example, character traits, and, possibly, spiritual instruction of other professed Christians! "And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever" (Daniel 12:3).

Many professed Christians are keenly aware of loved ones, friends, and neighbors, who are astray from Christ, but, often it happens that they make no effort to encourage them to change their mindset, and lifestyle, to obey the gospel and live a Christian life!! Many Christians know that others are astray from Christ, yet never mentioned Him to them!! Why? Why? Why? Remember the text of (Jeremiah 20:9), "Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his nameЕ" "But the Lord is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamedЕ" (Jeremiah 20:11). Even though Jeremiah was persecuted, he maintained his faith in God, and, therefore, he was a loyal servant of God!! Jeremiah understood his Calling and Office; yes, he repented of the temptation not to speak to the people for God, and God blessed him, and encouraged him to continue his great work!! But what of professed Christians who remain closed mouthed, and refuse to announce the Glad Tidings of Our King of Kings, Lord of Lords!! Could it be that some Christians love Jesus less than they love their loved ones, friends, and neighbors? (Cf. John 14:15).
"A few sweet words may guide a lost one to His side,

Or turn sad eyes on Calvary;

So work as days go by,

That yonder none will cry,

"You never mentioned Him to me,"

"You never mentioned Him to me,

You helped me not the light to see;

You met me day by day and knew I was astray,

Yet never mentioned Him to me."
III. My friends, hear me, are you listening? Please consider the first line of the third verse: the words of the gospel are truly sweet, the poet is telling us we can speak to sinners, in kindness and love, just as we would want another to speak to us!! Words of kindness and love, mellows the heart and makes it more receptive and responsive to bow to the power of the love of Christ!! Often we need to visit the scene of Calvary, through the eye of faith, and take a fresh look at the solitary figure hanging on the cross, suspended between the canopy of heaven and earth! My friends, have you really considered what a butchering job that was! Look very carefully at what that motley, hatemongering crew did to The Beloved Son of God! The only man who ever graced this earth and lived a sinless life!! "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15).

If we earnestly devote ourselves to the noble task of
"Seeking the lost, yes kindly entreating,

Wanderers on the mountain astray;

"Come unto me," His message repeating,

Words of the Master speaking today.

Going afar upon the mountain,

Bringing the wanderer back again,

Into the fold of my redeemer,

Jesus the Lamb for sinners slain.
Thus, we are able to help build character; our own, as well as others; and leading them to salvation, and our Home in Heaven!! Faithful Christians should work, and live each day, as though any day, will be our last!! Beloved, the greatest, most noble, and rewarding work that we can possible be involved in, is to "Seek The Lost"!! If you aren't involved in this spiritual work, then, you aren't doing your duty; and you are missing one of the most exciting and exhilarating features of pure, genuine, and unadulterated Christianity!!! Are you absolutely sure of tour salvation? If you aren't, you may be lost, and not realize it! Beloved, God requires all humankind to do the same things to be saved or to become Christians: Let's assume that you have planned, and intend to meet with, a dozen different denominational preachers, over a period of time, and you are going to ask each one: "What Must I Do To Be Saved?" Accordingly, you should realize that you could, possibly, receive a dozen different answers; and, not one of the answers can be found in the Bible, or The New Testament!! Some of these preachers will tell you, that you are saved by faith only; others will tell you, that you are saved by grace only; and others will tell you that salvation is what "you think, and feel in your heart," and that you are not required to do any thing to be saved. Some will tell you that baptism is not essential to salvation! But Christ, and the apostles speak to the contrary, notwithstanding!!!

CONCLUSION: Moreover, at this point, I should like to tell you "What The Bible Tells You To Do To Be Saved"! You Must Do The Following: 1. You must hear the gospel, (Romans 10:14). 2. You must believe the gospel, (Romans 10:14). 3. You must repent of past sins, (Acts 2:38). 4. You must confess Christ before men, (Romans 10:9, 10). 5. You must be immersed or baptized for remission of sins, (Romans 6:3-5). 6. You must be faithful until death, (Revelation 2:10).

(E-Mail Address: Dear reader: In the event you find errors or mistakes in this sermon, spelling, misquotes, scripture references, etc., please feel free to inform me of the same! (Telephone number: (304) 247-6895). Thank you! MLH.

ENDNOTES: 1 The Pulpit Commentary, volume 11, Jeremiah, chap. 20, page 463, Exposition, by T. K. Cheyne


1. King James Version of The Bible, Thompson Chain-Reference Bible, Fifth Improved Edition

2. The American College Dictionary

3. The American Heritage Dictionary

4. The Expanded Vines, Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, By W. E. Vine

5. Theological Dictionary of The New Testament

6. The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology

7. The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament

8. Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of The New Testament

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