Counterfeit Religion

History is full of examples of decay and reform; revolution and counter-revolution.  From politics and the economy to morality and religion, humans are in a continual battle for the right to define what is right. Is there an objective standard beyond human control or definition?  If so, who gets to determine what it is? Join us for part two of Jeremiah: A Prophet for the City, where we explore how Jeremiah confronted the counterfeit religious reforms of his day and what the church might learn from them today. 

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to worship the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’

“For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.

“Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—only to go on doing all these abominations? Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the Lord. Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it because of the evil of my people Israel. And now, because you have done all these things, declares the Lord, and when I spoke to you persistently you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer, therefore I will do to the house that is called by my name, and in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. And I will cast you out of my sight, as I cast out all your kinsmen, all the offspring of Ephraim.

Jeremiah 7:1-15

Principles (KNOW THEM):

Getting rid of evil won’t make people good.

Religious reforms can’t reform the human heart.

Jesus replaces dead religion with transformed hearts.

Practices (DO THEM):

Don’t settle for observing the teachings of Jesus; consume them.

Steer clear of religious shows designed to hide evil intentions.

Don’t settle for behavior modification when what you need is heart transformation.

Daily Readings:

Day 1: Jeremiah 3-4
Day 2: Jeremiah 5-6
Day 3: 2 Chronicles 33-34
Day 4: 2 Chronicles 35-36
Day 5: Jeremiah 7 & 15
Day 6: Jeremiah 26 & 31
Day 7: Matthew 21

Suggested Resources:


Run with the Horses, by Eugene Peterson
The End of Religion, by Bruxy Cavey

Other Biographical Sermon series at

Losing My Religion (2020)

RightNow Media (visit the Family Resources page):

Precepts for Life: Jeremiah part 1 and 2by Kay Arthur 
Worldview: Thinking and Living Biblicallyby Greg Laurie & others 
Intro to the Major Prophetsby J. B. Nicholson