By E L Thornton
Jer 8:20 “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me.
Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered? Oh, that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!”
In this message I want to show the need for travailing in prayer, as Jeremiah wept for his people who were in need of God’s help. Jeremiah is under such a burden for the people around him because of their sins and debauchery. Jeremiah said, the people were adulterers, treacherous men, liars, they proceed from evil to evil, slanderous, deceivers, they tire themselves committing iniquity, and they are deceitful.
And he wishes for a retreat so that he might get away from them. But in the same breath, because of his burden for them, he wishes he could weep day and night for them.
Jeremiah became so frustrated about the circumstance he was in with his people that he proclaimed: Jer 20:9 ” 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.”
Something about Jeremiah’s day reminds us of our own day, “they go from evil to evil.” Our day is a day when: 2 Tim 3:2-4 “Men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;”
They told us, if we would relax about sex and not get all up tight about it, there would be less sex crimes. So they did relax about it and the incidence of rape is still on the increase. They told us we’re to tough on criminals, that we should go easy on them, and the rate of violent crime has increased and increased and increased. The jails are full, the courts are full, and the penal institutions are full.
If there ever was a day when somebody needs to cry over a lost world it’s today. Every ugly headline in today’s news is about somebody’s emotions gone out of control. The Bible is still right, the devil is still wrong, God is still right, But who will get hold of the alter in such a fashion that it will impress God to the point that He will have mercy on our children, our grandchildren, our friends, our loved ones, and save their lost souls.
I. WE AND OUR COMMUNITY NEED GOD’S HELP:
We are living in an unequaled time of evil. Never, in the history of our nation, has there been as much sin and debauchery. Never has people been so incontinent (unrestrained), as in our day. Unrestrained in sin, unrestrained in thoughts, unrestrained in emotions, unrestrained in drinking, unrestrained in pleasure.
After listen to statisticians say that 95% of TV programs are anti-God, it makes me wonder how we could ever set our children in front of one again. When 85% of radio programming is God-less, I wonder why we even own one.
Our community needs God’s help, because the crimes of robbery, burglary, larceny and auto theft are running 15% ahead of the year before. After all the help programs being made available to the public, alcoholism and drug addiction is still on the increase. After all that’s been said about prevention, there are still unwanted pregnancies ending in abortion or culminating in illegitimacies. Our community needs the help of God because they’re “without God in the world.”
Our local churches need a touch of God. Never has our local churches been as weak and non-productive as now. No spirit in our worship, no excitement in our songs, no power in our prayer, no conviction in our sermons, no crying in the prayer rooms, no victory in the pew, no God in our congregation and no Holy Ghost in our alters.
This hour is the most needful hour of the church. The world at it’s worst needs the church at it’s best. It’s easy to see the world is at it’s worst and it’s just as easy to see that the church is not at it’s best. Please don’t brag to me what this church used to be, used to have, unless you are willing to make the sacrifice to have it again. And if “Jesus
Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever,” you can have, and you can be, every thing you once was in God.
But unless we do something quickly, do something immediately, do something instantaneously, do something promptly, about our present we will not be able to direct our future.
The church needs God. It needs God to perform a work among the constitutes
that will cause us to (James 4:10) “Humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift us up.” We need a work among us that will cause us to (Eph 6:11) “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
We need a work that will make us, (Matt 6:14) “Forgive men their trespass.” We need a work that will make us, (Phil 3:13) “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,”
II. A NEED FOR TRAVAILERS:
Ezek 9:4 “And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.”
Slay those that don’t have the mark and began at the house of God.
Jerusalem is not the only city that has need of those that can cry over the abominations of the people, But every city, town, hamlet, village and the country side has need of weepers, it could be the only thing that stays the hand of God in judgment.
Before any season of refreshing has come to God’s church, there has been a living zeal and passionate desire. There were pains as of a woman in travail; in secret places there were tears and bitter lamentations; and at length there came that grand convulsion which rocked the church from it’s foundation to it’s pinnacle.
An individual with no sensibility or compassion for other men souls, may accidentally be the means of a conversion, but as a general rule, those who bring souls to Christ are those who first have felt an agony of desire that souls might be saved. Not an accidentally, but intentionally. Even Jesus didn’t go forth to preach until he had spent whole nights in intercessory prayer, and uttered strong crying and tears for the salvation of his hearers. And those of his servants, who have been most useful, have always been eagerly desirous to follow his example in prayer and travail.
If we are happy and satisfied with no souls being filled with the Holy Ghost, then none, absolutely none, will be filled. Can we as children of God live with that?
It is only when our hearts break with desire to see men saved that we shall see sinner’s hearts broken in repentance. One of the steps to revival is an all-consuming zeal, all subduing travail to grip our souls for souls to be saved.
The travail comes before the bringing forth; the earnest anxiety, the deep emotion within precedes our being made an instrument of salvation of others.
The biggest burden of hindrance for revival today, in the church, is selfishness. We are too concerned about ourselves. If we could cry about sinners as much and as easy as we cry for ourselves we would have revival, what a revival. We cry about our health our finances, our homes, our cars, our jobs, our, our, our, we, we, we, us, us, us.
Have no confidence in elaborate speeches and polished sentences, or well formed words, as a means of reaching the heart’s of men; but have great faith in that lowly Christian who must have souls won to God or they will weep their eyes out over them. God usually breaks hard hearts by tender hearts that are in travailing prayer.
III. ARE THERE ANY WEEPERS:
The church needs song leaders, the church needs Sunday School teachers, the church needs alters workers, the church needs church cleaners, the church needs Bar B-Queers, The church also needs painters, plummers, electricians, carpenters, operators, sign painters, nurses, bookkeepers, secretaries. But it is imperative that the church have those that know how to weep for the souls of men. Somebody wept for you, why don’t you weep for somebody.
If you do not feel this consuming passion to weep and travail for others, ask God to give you a burden for souls. In the process, your own soul will be cleansed of sin and weights. At the same time you are helping to point souls to salvation you also will be saved.
“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”