Three Years Of Tears (Weeping Prophets)

Three Years Of Tears (Weeping Prophets)
Robert Wurtz II

Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. (Acts 20:31)

Paul has brought the elders from the church at Ephesus together for one final exhortation before he leaves for Jerusalem. He knows that he will never see them again. The Holy Spirit has been warning him for some time that trials and afflictions are ahead. Nevertheless, this is not his concern. In fact, he testified that none of those things moved him. He had already been stoned, flogged, and beaten mercilessly on numerous occasions for the cause of Christ. The wretched conditions of a cold jail cell were frequently his home. If these things didn’t move him, what did? Obviously, it was not the prospect of more pain and suffering. What could move a man who was as tough as nails to tears?

Paul Wept

It is sobering to read the full context of Acts 20. The contrasts are stunning. On the one hand, we have a man who has been weeping for three years as he warned the Ephesians about grievous wolves and opportunistic people. He is destined to suffer and die for the faith. On the other hand, we have people waiting for him to leave so they can push their own self-serving agenda. They don’t care about the Body of Christ.

Jeremiah Wept

Few people in the Bible can be said to have wept for years. Jeremiah comes to mind. He was known as the weeping Prophet. Maybe we should think of Paul as the weeping Apostle. Both men share this one similarity — they wept because the people would not listen. When people are destined for destruction and refuse to see it, there is nothing left to do but weep.

Jesus Wept

Jesus even wept over Jerusalem when they would not repent and turn to Him. He wanted to gather them together, but they would not have it. The consequence of this would be unimaginable horror, both in this world, and the one to come. The multitudes would rather follow the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Zealots. As predicted, in less than forty years after His ascension, the entire city of Jerusalem, with its magnificent Temple, would be destroyed and plowed under like a farmer’s field. Masses of people would starve to death as Vespasian, and then Titus, would put the city under siege.

This event, known as the Destruction of the Temple, happened in 70 CE. The people could not have imagined what was coming. Atrocities were committed against the Jews by their own people. Before it was over, Josephus records that one woman even dressed and cooked her own baby for food. Jesus saw it coming; He tried to warn them; they would not listen; so He wept. That’s all He could do.

Storm Warning

In modern times, there is a violent storm coming. The Western World, used to centuries of relative acceptance of Christianity, is headed for persecution. Nevertheless, the cycle of Jeremiah, Jesus, and Paul has visited us. Multitudes are blind to the fact that ” trials and tribulations are awaiting. ” There is a hostility to Christianity that is growing by the day. Even within the churches there is a large percentage of people who think exactly like the world. They advocate the same things that the world advocates. The reason for this is that for over 100 years, we have not had the Gospel being properly preached in the main stream. The high-speed industrialized evangelistic methods of the 20th century have filled the churches with nominal Christians.

This is why persecution will also come from within the churches. No matter what religion a person claims, if they have not been born of the Spirit. they are capable of doing anything that any other sinner is capable of. Always know this. If they still have the same heart and spirit after they become a Christian as they had before — they are capable of doing anything that they had done before. This is common sense. And this is why we are in trouble. Millions of professing Christians have not been changed and yet believe they have been. A person like this is capable of anything. They may even kill real Christians thinking they are doing God a service. Why? They were never changed to have the mind and Spirit of Christ, but were told that they were. Therefore, they think that everything they do religiously must be of God. Similar things happened during the Reformation, and I believe it will happen again. This will be the consequence of 100 years of shallow preaching.

Nominal Christianity

Many people over the last 100 years have “entered the ministry” who were never born again. Only God knows the true figure, but people like A.W. Tozer and Leonard Ravenhill warned us about it. All kinds of so-called ministries are popping up —, but preachers and evangelists are in short supply. In fact, the problem is getting so bad that some church leaders would like to do away with preaching and make the whole meeting a song service. Bible preaching is merely ” tolerated ” almost as a necessary evil to them. What did the prophet say?

Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord GOD, “That I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words of the LORD. (Amos 8:11 NKJV)

Some can sense this fact, while others are fiddling. Nominal Christians who become ministers would rather use the Gospel to build a name for themselves than prepare the people for the suffering that awaits. However, there is a violent storm coming: a category five storm that will sweep many off of there very foundations.

It would be superfluous to give examples from the Bible or history just to demonstrate what I’m referring to. If history is any indicator, true Christians are bound for persecution and death. In spite of this, multitudes are preaching an exaggerated and unbiblical form of love and tolerance to the point that most refuse to take a stand for truth anymore. Grace is being used to dumb down the conscience to the point that nothing is sin anymore. God loves everybody just the way they are. Really? These are some of the doctrines of Devils that are warned of in the scriptures concerning the end times.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:3–5 NKJV)

A “No-repent” Gospel

Repentance and holiness are now among the most offensive words in many churches today. This is not merely in Protestant circles. Many are not surprised that even the Pope has cowered and bowed in compromise with everything from homosexuality to Islam. All the while, a clarion call goes out — faint as it is — drowned by the voices of those who minister hype instead of holiness and prosperity instead of preparation. Like the people in Noah’s day, there is a generation that refuses to ready itself for the wrath that is to come.

But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. (Matthew 24:37–39 NKJV)

What is there left to do? Preach and weep. Don’t hold back. Warn the people night and day with tears, if necessary. Not crocodile tears— but real ones. As time goes on and we keep our hearts pure we will eventually weep. Some weep already. We are vexed from day to day with the unlawful deeds of those around us. They refuse to listen… So what is there left? Weep for those who refuse to hear. Jeremiah did it. Jesus did it. Paul did it. This is the wrenching response to people who hear the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and still refuse to respond rightly. They would rather go on building their own kingdoms or the kingdoms of men. What can we do? Imitate Paul.

Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. (Acts 20:31)

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