“For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” Jeremiah 8:11 (cf. 6:14)
This verse is found twice in the Book of Jeremiah — at 8:11 and 6:14. What does it mean?
When the prophets and priests should have been rebuking the sins of God’s people and calling them to repentance and a return to the “old paths” (Jer. 6:16), they glossed over the people’s sins and said nothing. When they should have been warning God’s people of the judgment of God which would come upon them if they did not repent and return to the LORD God and walk in His ways, they told the people that God would send them peace and blessing instead of the judgment which was coming.
Thus, God told Jeremiah that the priests and the prophets “healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.”
Sad to say, that is what so many pastors continue to do today. Instead of rebuking sin as sin and meriting the eternal judgment of God, they gloss over sin and even speak as if God approves of it. Instead of warning people of the impending judgment of God upon all who continue in their sinful and rebellious ways, they heal the hurt of God’s people slightly by saying, “Peace, peace; when there is no peace.”
In other words, pastors often make people feel good and comfortable in their sins rather than warning them of the “wages of sin” (Rom. 6:23) and calling upon them to repent and place their hope and faith in the redemption accomplished by Christ Jesus (Gal. 4:4-5).
And how many souls will end up in hell because their pastors said, “Peace, peace; when there is no peace”?
As your pastor, God has commanded me to warn you concerning sin. With God’s Word, I must say to you that “the wages of sin is death” — spiritual and eternal.
I must say with the Apostle Paul, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9-10; cf. Gal. 5:19-21). Even liars will be excluded (cf. Rev. 21:8).
As your pastor, I am called by God to call upon you to repent of all your sins and place your faith and trust solely in the atoning sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, who fulfilled all the righteous demands of God’s law for us and then suffered the full and just punishment for all our sins and the sins of the entire world when He was crucified and died upon the cross. When we confess and agree with the judgment of God about our sins and place our hope and confidence in Christ Jesus, who died for our sins and rose again, God is faithful and just to forgive us all our sins because Jesus Christ, the righteous, is the propitiation for our sins and also for the sins of the whole world (cf. 1 John 1:7 – 2:2).
Therefore, I ask you before God, Do you acknowledge and confess your sins and guilt before God and do you desire His mercy and forgiveness in Christ Jesus and seek also His help and strength to amend your sinful ways?
Upon such confession, as a called and ordained servant of Christ and by His authority, I, therefore, forgive you all your sins in the name and in the stead of Christ Jesus, our Savior. The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses you from all your sin (cf. 1 John 1:7). In Christ Jesus, you have peace. Amen.
[Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible.]