Jeremiah 18; Jeremiah 19; 2 Timothy 3

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Jeremiah 18

1 A message came to me from the Lord. He said,
2 "Go down to the potter's house. I will give you my message there."
3 So I went down to the potter's house. I saw him working at his wheel.
4 His hands were shaping a pot out of clay. But he saw that something was wrong with it. So he formed it into another pot. He shaped it in the way that seemed best to him.
5 Then the LORD's message came to me. He said,
6 "People of Israel, I can do with you just as this potter does," announces the Lord. "The clay is in the potter's hand. And you are in my hand, people of Israel.
7 "Suppose at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is going to be pulled up by the roots. And I tell it that it will be torn down and destroyed.
8 But suppose the nation I warned turns away from its sins. Then I will not do what I said I would. I will not bring trouble on it as I had planned.
9 "Suppose at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is going to be built up and planted.
10 But it does what is evil in my sight. It does not obey me. Then I will think again about the good things I had wanted to do for it.
11 "So speak to the people of Judah and Jerusalem. Tell them, 'The LORD says, "Look! I am making plans against you. I am going to bring trouble on you. So each one of you must turn from your evil ways. Change the way you live and act." '
12 "But they will reply, 'It's no use. We will continue to do what we've already planned. All of us will do what our stubborn and evil hearts want us to do.' "
13 So the LORD says, "Ask the nations a question. Say to them, 'Who has ever heard anything like this? The people of Israel have done a very horrible thing.
14 Does the snow ever disappear from Lebanon's rocky slopes? Do its cool waters ever stop flowing from places far away?
15 But my people have forgotten me. They burn incense to worthless gods. Their gods made them trip and fall as they walked on the old paths. They made them use side roads instead of roads that were built up.
16 So their land will be completely destroyed. People will make fun of it again and again. All those who pass by it will be shocked. They will shake their heads.
17 I will sweep over my people like a wind from the east. I will use the Babylonians to scatter them. I will show them my back and not my face. I will desert them when their day of trouble comes.' "
18 They said, "Come on. Let's make plans against Jeremiah. We'll still have priests to teach us the law. We'll always have wise people to give us advice. We'll have prophets to bring us messages from the Lord. So come on. Let's speak out against Jeremiah. We shouldn't pay any attention to what he says."
19 Lord, please listen to me! Hear what my enemies are saying about me!
20 Should the good things I've done be paid back with evil? But my enemies have dug a pit for me. Remember that I stood in front of you and spoke up for them. I tried to turn your anger away from them.
21 So let their children die of hunger. Let my enemies be killed in war. Let their wives lose their children and husbands. Let their men be put to death. Let their young men be killed in battle.
22 Bring their enemies against them without warning. Let cries be heard from their houses. They have dug a pit to capture me. They have hidden traps for my feet.
23 But Lord, you know all about their plans to kill me. Don't forgive their crimes. Don't erase their sins from your sight. Destroy my enemies. Punish them when the time to show your anger comes.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Jeremiah 19

1 The LORD said to me, "Go and buy a clay jar from a potter. Take along some of the elders of the people. Also tell some of the priests to go with you.
2 Go out to the Valley of Ben Hinnom. Stand near the entrance of the gate where broken pieces of pottery are thrown away. "There announce the message I give you.
3 Tell the people, 'Listen to the LORD's message, you kings of Judah and people of Jerusalem. The LORD who rules over all is the God of Israel. He says, "Listen! I am going to bring trouble on Jerusalem. It will be so horrible that it will make the ears of everyone who hears about it ring.
4 " ' "My people have deserted me. They have made this city a place where other gods are worshiped. They have burned sacrifices to them here. They and their people and the kings of Judah had never had anything to do with those gods before. My people have also filled this place with the blood of those who are not guilty of anything.
5 They have built the high places where they worship Baal. There they sacrifice their children in the fire as offerings to Baal. That is something I did not command or talk about. It did not even enter my mind.
6 " ' "So watch out!" announces the Lord. "The days are coming when people will not call this place Topheth anymore. And they will not call it the Valley of Ben Hinnom either. Instead, they will call it the Valley of Death.
7 " ' "In this place I will make the plans of Judah and Jerusalem as useless as a broken jar. I will use their enemies to kill my people with swords. They will die at the hands of those who want to take their lives. I will give their dead bodies as food to the birds of the air and the wild animals.
8 " ' "I will destroy this city completely. People will make fun of it. All those who pass by it will be shocked. They will laugh at its people because of all of their wounds.
9 I will make the people of this city eat the dead bodies of their sons and daughters. And they will eat one another. They will do it because things will be so bad during the attack. The enemies who want to take their lives will bring all of that trouble on them." '
10 "Jeremiah, break the jar while those who go with you are watching.
11 Tell them, 'The LORD who rules over all says, "This potter's jar is smashed and can't be repaired. And I will smash this nation and this city. People will bury their dead in Topheth. But they will run out of room.
12 Here is what I will do to Jerusalem and those who live here," announces the Lord. "I will make this city like Topheth.
13 The houses in Jerusalem will be made 'unclean' like Topheth. So will the houses of the kings of Judah. All of those people burned incense on their roofs to all of the stars. They poured out drink offerings to other gods." ' "
14 Then I returned from Topheth. That's where the LORD had sent me to prophesy. I stood in the courtyard of the LORD's temple. I spoke to all of the people. I said,
15 "The LORD who rules over all is the God of Israel. He says, 'Listen! I am going to punish this city and the villages that are around it. I am going to bring against them all of the trouble I have announced. That is because my people were stubborn. They would not listen to what I said.' "
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

2 Timothy 3

1 Here is what I want you to know. There will be terrible times in the last days.
2 People will love themselves. They will love money. They will brag and be proud. They will tear others down. They will not obey their parents. They won't be thankful or holy.
3 They won't love others. They won't forgive others. They will tell lies about people. They will be out of control. They will be wild. They will hate what is good.
4 They will turn against their friends. They will act without thinking. They will think they are better than others. They will love what pleases them instead of loving God.
5 They will act as if they were serving God. But what they do will show that they have turned their backs on God's power. Have nothing to do with those people.
6 They are the kind who worm their way into the homes of silly women. They get control over them. Women like that are loaded down with sins. They give in to all kinds of evil longings.
7 They are always learning. But they never come to know the truth.
8 Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. In the same way, the teachers I'm talking about oppose the truth. Their minds are twisted. As far as the faith is concerned, God doesn't accept them.
9 They won't get very far. Just like Jannes and Jambres, their foolish ways will be clear to everyone.
10 But you know all about my teaching. You know how I live and what I live for. You know about my faith and love. You know how patient I am. You know I haven't given up.
11 You know that I was treated badly. You know that I suffered greatly. You know what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra. You know how badly I have been treated. But the Lord saved me from all of my troubles.
12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be treated badly.
13 Evil people and pretenders will go from bad to worse. They will fool others, and others will fool them.
14 But I want you to continue to follow what you have learned. Don't give up what you are sure of. You know the people you learned it from.
15 You have known the Holy Scriptures ever since you were a little child. They are able to teach you how to be saved by believing in Christ Jesus.
16 God has breathed life into all of Scripture. It is useful for teaching us what is true. It is useful for correcting our mistakes. It is useful for making our lives whole again. It is useful for training us to do what is right.
17 By using Scripture, a man of God can be completely prepared to do every good thing.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.