Portland News

April 24, 2020

Friday Evening Bible Study

This week’s Friday evening Bible study focused on the next lesson in the Discovery series, this one titled “Conflicts of the Prophet.” Continuing where the previous lesson left off, it covered chapters 26-29 of Jeremiah, and was once again led by Tony Boyce, pastor in Dallas, Oregon.

To open, Brother Tony read the focus verse of Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” He said these words were given during a time of judgment, and may seem to be out of place. However, they are a reminder that God continually reaches out in love and mercy to those who reject Him, and is always ready to forgive any who will repent.

The Bible study was divided into four parts and related the conflicts Jeremiah had with others, including his enemies, the false prophets (in general), the false prophet Hananiah, and then the false prophet Shemaiah.

In part one, Brother Tony told how Jeremiah delivered God’s message of judgment to the people of Judah, and they responded in ways that are similar to how people respond to the Gospel today. Some ignored the prophet's warning, others mocked and persecuted him, and some became angry and wanted to kill him. Brother Tony said we should not be dismayed by persecution because it is temporary, and we have Heaven to look forward to. Also, we must not dilute or diminish the Gospel message. God’s Word forbids to do so, and one never knows who might be ready to respond with an open heart.

For part two, Brother Tony said God planned to use Babylon to bring judgment on the people of Judah for their wickedness. Jeremiah was commanded to prophesy that those who would submit to the captivity God had ordained would survive. Brother Tony said God is sovereign over all circumstances, and still today He will be with His people during times of unrest if they will submit to His authority and obey His instructions.

Part three focused on Jeremiah’s conflict with Hananiah, the false prophet who prophesied that God would not allow the people of Judah to be taken captive. Though this message conflicted with the truth, it deceived many because it sounded credible. Brother Tony said believers can avoid similar deceptions by studying God’s Word, looking to godly people for advice, and praying for God’s guidance.

The last part of the study concerned the false prophet Shemaiah. He opposed a letter that Jeremiah sent to the captives advising them to build houses and plant crops, marry and have children, and live peaceably until God called them to return home. Brother Tony brought out that Christians can be compared to foreigners in a strange land, and that we are instructed to occupy until called home to Heaven. He said believers are to live with the understanding that this world is not their permanent residence.

Brother Tony closed with the thought that the struggles of this life are temporary, and if one will make a clear choice for Heaven, a better life awaits in eternity.

Watch the full session in the Media Center.

Click here to read the Discovery lesson.