Jeremiah 18; Jeremiah 19; 2 Timothy 3

1 The Lord said to me, 2 "Go down to the potter's house, where I will give you my message." 3 So I went there and saw the potter working at his wheel. 4 Whenever a piece of pottery turned out imperfect, he would take the clay and make it into something else. 5 Then the Lord said to me, 6 "Don't I have the right to do with you people of Israel what the potter did with the clay? You are in my hands just like clay in the potter's hands. 7 If at any time I say that I am going to uproot, break down, or destroy any nation or kingdom, 8 but then that nation turns from its evil, I will not do what I said I would. 9 On the other hand, if I say that I am going to plant or build up any nation or kingdom, 10 but then that nation disobeys me and does evil, I will not do what I said I would. 11 Now then, tell the people of Judah and of Jerusalem that I am making plans against them and getting ready to punish them. Tell them to stop living sinful lives - to change their ways and the things they are doing. 12 They will answer, "No, why should we? We will all be just as stubborn and evil as we want to be.' " 13 The Lord says, "Ask every nation if such a thing has ever happened before. The people of Israel have done a terrible thing! 14 Are Lebanon's rocky heights ever without snow? Do its cool mountain streams ever run dry? 15 Yet my people have forgotten me; they burn incense to idols. They have stumbled in the way they should go; they no longer follow the old ways; they walk on unmarked paths. 16 They have made this land a thing of horror, to be despised forever. All who pass by will be shocked at what they see; they will shake their heads in amazement. 17 I will scatter my people before their enemies, like dust blown by the east wind. I will turn my back on them; I will not help them when the disaster comes." 18 Then the people said, "Let's do something about Jeremiah! There will always be priests to instruct us, the wise to give us counsel, and prophets to proclaim God's message. Let's bring charges against him and stop listening to what he says." 19 So I prayed, "Lord, hear what I am saying and listen to what my enemies are saying about me. 20 Is evil the payment for good? Yet they have dug a pit for me to fall in. Remember how I came to you and spoke on their behalf, so that you would not deal with them in anger. 21 But now, Lord, let their children starve to death; let them be killed in war. Let the women lose their husbands and children; let the men die of disease and the young men be killed in battle. 22 Send a mob to plunder their homes without warning; make them cry out in terror. They have dug a pit for me to fall in and have set traps to catch me. 23 But, Lord, you know all their plots to kill me. Do not forgive their evil or pardon their sin. Throw them down in defeat and deal with them while you are angry."
1 The Lord told me to go and buy a clay jar. He also told me to take some of the elders of the people and some of the older priests, 2 and to go through Potsherd Gate out to Hinnom Valley. There I was to proclaim the message that he would give me. 3 The Lord told me to say, "Kings of Judah and people of Jerusalem, listen to what I, the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, have to say. I am going to bring such a disaster on this place that everyone who hears about it will be stunned. 4 I am going to do this because the people have abandoned me and defiled this place by offering sacrifices here to other gods - gods that neither they nor their ancestors nor the kings of Judah have known anything about. They have filled this place with the blood of innocent people, 5 and they have built altars for Baal in order to burn their children in the fire as sacrifices. I never commanded them to do this; it never even entered my mind. 6 So then, the time will come when this place will no longer be called Topheth or Hinnom Valley. Instead, it will be known as Slaughter Valley. 7 In this place I will frustrate all the plans of the people of Judah and Jerusalem. I will let their enemies triumph over them and kill them in battle. I will give their corpses to the birds and the wild animals as food. 8 I will bring such terrible destruction on this city that everyone who passes by will be shocked and amazed. 9 The enemy will surround the city and try to kill its people. The siege will be so terrible that the people inside the city will eat one another and even their own children." 10 Then the Lord told me to break the jar in front of those who had gone with me 11 and to tell them that the Lord Almighty had said, "I will break this people and this city, and it will be like this broken clay jar that cannot be put together again. People will bury their dead even in Topheth because there will be nowhere else to bury them. 12 I promise that I will make this city and its inhabitants like Topheth. 13 The houses of Jerusalem, the houses of the kings of Judah, and indeed all the houses on whose roofs incense has been burned to the stars and where wine has been poured out as an offering to other gods - they will all be as unclean as Topheth." 14 Then I left Topheth, where the Lord had sent me to proclaim his message. I went and stood in the court of the Temple and told all the people 15 that the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, had said, "I am going to bring on this city and on every nearby town all the punishment that I said I would, because you are stubborn and will not listen to what I say."
1 Remember that there will be difficult times in the last days. 2 People will be selfish, greedy, boastful, and conceited; they will be insulting, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, and irreligious; 3 they will be unkind, merciless, slanderers, violent, and fierce; they will hate the good; 4 they will be treacherous, reckless, and swollen with pride; they will love pleasure rather than God; 5 they will hold to the outward form of our religion, but reject its real power. Keep away from such people. 6 Some of them go into people's houses and gain control over weak women who are burdened by the guilt of their sins and driven by all kinds of desires, 7 women who are always trying to learn but who can never come to know the truth. 8 As Jannes and Jambres were opposed to Moses, so also these people are opposed to the truth - people whose minds do not function and who are failures in the faith. 9 But they will not get very far, because everyone will see how stupid they are. That is just what happened to Jannes and Jambres. 10 But you have followed my teaching, my conduct, and my purpose in life; you have observed my faith, my patience, my love, my endurance, 11 my persecutions, and my sufferings. You know all that happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra, the terrible persecutions I endured! But the Lord rescued me from them all. 12 Everyone who wants to live a godly life in union with Christ Jesus will be persecuted; 13 and evil persons and impostors will keep on going from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived themselves. 14 But as for you, continue in the truths that you were taught and firmly believe. You know who your teachers were, 15 and you remember that ever since you were a child, you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, 17 so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good deed.
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