Matt 21:41                 The Vineyard of the Lord of Hosts                    3/30/2008      ßà   

 

 

 

 

#1.       In a Horn, a Son of Gethsemane (Isa 5:1-7, Acts 20:28, John 15:1, Jer 2:21)

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2.       The Stone Which the Builders Rejected (Matt 21:42-46, Psalm 118:22-23, Isa 8:14-15)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3.       This Is the Heir; Let Us Kill Him (Matt 21:37-39, John 2:23, 3:2, 3:26)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 21:33 (2X). We are continuing our travels through the Gospel of Matthew. This will be the 4th sermon out of Matt 21, and this should be the capstone on this chapter. To whom is the Lord Jesus speaking? Beginning in verse 23 we read that the Lord is addressing the chief priests and the elders of the people. In other words, all the elders who are in the Sanhedrin, the religious rulers of the Jews, including the Pharisees and the Sadducees, are being addressed here with a few parables. We already saw one of those parables in the parable of the two sons, in verses 28-32. Today the Lord is again addressing the rulers of the Jews with the parable of the wicked husbandmen in the vineyard of the Lord, which takes us all the way to the end of the chapter. Therefore this sermon is titled, The Vineyard of the Lord of Hosts (2X). Let us begin to read in V.33,

Mt 21:33-34   Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:        And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.

Mt 21:35  And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.

Mt 21:36-39  Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.   But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.       But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.     And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.

Mt 21:40  When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?

Mt 21:41  They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.

Who is represented by this householder in verse 33? From the previous five times that we have seen this word in the Gospel of Matthew, four times it represented God, or the Lord Jesus Christ. Also here in this parable the certain householder represents the Lord Jesus Christ who planted a vineyard. What does this vineyard represent, and why did God choose the picture of a vineyard? A vineyard produces grapes, and wine, and wine in the Bible is pointing to the blood of Christ. Remember that God says through the mouth of the apostle Paul in 1Cor 2:2, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified”. And thus, since the Lord planted this vineyard, He expects from the husbandmen who are renting His vineyard an abundance of wine, or an abundance of true Gospel to flow out of the mouths of these husbandmen. We cannot say an abundance of saved souls, because it is the Lord who adds to the church, according to His good pleasure. And thus, it is the faithfulness of the husbandmen that is being judged in this parable. And how did the Householder care for His vineyard? He digged a winepress in it; or better according to Mark 12:1, He digged a winefat in it. What does this winefat represent? A winepress or a winefat is the place where wine is produced, and thus it represents the OT congregation as they met and discussed the Word of God in synagogues, or it represents the NT church where the doctrines of salvation are discussed from of the Word of God. And He built a tower in the midst of the vineyard, which is a look-out tower to catch thieves or other enemies of the vineyard. And thus, what does the tower represent? How do we protect ourselves from enemies and evil gospels out there that threaten the faithfulness of our church? It is he Bible. The Bible is our watchtower. And what does it mean that “He hedged it round about”? God’s providential hedge round about His church, or round about His OT congregation, gave them physical protection from enemies in the world. And when we look into OT history we see that God gave them this protection for almost 1500 years. Even during their Babylonian captivity they were allowed to retain their religious identity. And then verse 34 states: “And when the time of the fruit drew near”. When was this time that the fruit of the Gospel was required? The answer is: Anytime. Any time a person in the OT congregation or in the NT church dies, God requires that this person must be ready to meet his maker and to give an account of the state of his soul. And thus we see that God has sent His servants the prophets to the nation of Israel all the way from the beginning, from the time of Moses. And was the nation of Israel faithfully proclaiming the true Gospel to their children? No, not at all! Most of them raised their children in a gospel of works. Put a sticker here in Matt 21 and please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 5:1 (2X). This parable of the vineyard of the Lord of hosts has been preached more than 700 years earlier by the prophet Isaiah. The children of Israel had more than 700 years to repent and mend their ways. But they did not heed the warning, and when the Lord Jesus came on the scene their apostacy was just as great, or greater than 700 years earlier. We read in Isa  5:1-7 about:

#1.       In a Horn, a Son of Gethsemane (Isa 5:1-7, Acts 20:28, John 15:1, Jer 2:21)

Isa 5:1-2  Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:            And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.

Isa 5:3-4  And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.       What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?

Isa 5:5  And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:

Isa 5:6  And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.

Isa 5:7  For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.

Whenever we study the Bible we should first and foremost ask ourselves, “What did God write?

Everything else is secondary. Let us look at verse 1 again. Who is the “wellbeloved” of God? It is the Lord Jesus Christ. Just like in Matt 21, the Lord Jesus Christ is the one who planted this vineyard. And the remainder of verse 1, which reads “My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill”, should be changed to, “My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a horn, a son of Gethsemane”. The three words “very fruitful hill” are not at all present in the Hebrew text. This verse contains a very liberal translation by the translators. The word “hill” has 75 X been translated “horn” but nowhere else “hill”. I am certain that we must change it back to “horn”. The word “very” is the Hebrew word “Ben”, which has almost always been translated “son” or “children”, but nowhere else “very”. The word “fruitful” has always been translated “oil” or “ointment”, but nowhere else as “fruitful”. And so, the literal translation of “in a very fruitful hill” is actually, “in a horn, a son of oil”, which does not make much sense. However, in the Septuagint the Hebrew word for “oil” has been translated 176 times into the Greek word “Gethsemane”. Although we do not have to take the Septuagint as inspired by God, for it is only a human translation, still I would like us to consider this possibility, for this makes a great deal of sense out of this mysterious verse. And so, the second half of verse 1 should read, “My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a horn, a son of Gethsemane”. Where was Christ’s vineyard? His vineyard was “in a horn”, and the word “in” is definitely there. The word “horn” indicates a position of strength. And then God says that this powerful horn is “a son of Gethsemane”. We understand that a son of Gethsemane is one for whom the Lord Jesus suffered and died, for His sufferings did not start on Friday, but on Thursday evening in the Garden of Gethsemane. Was the OT congregation consisting of the children of Israel a son of Gethsemane? The answer is definitely Yes! For the congregation of Israel at any time contained many who were truly children of God. Even in the darkest days of the northern kingdom of Israel God says that there were 7000 which have not bowed the knee to Baal. And is the NT church a son of Gethsemane? The answer is definitely Yes! For Christ bought the church with His own blood, Acts 20:28, and most verses about the church indicate that this refers to the whole church, lock, stock and barrel. Just look at the seven churches of Asia Minor in Rev 2 and 3. And then we read in verse 2, “And He planted it with the choicest vine”. What does this choicest vine represent? It represents the Lord Jesus Christ, for the Lord Jesus said in John 15:1, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman”. But how faithful was the OT congregation? Did the vineyard of the Lord of Hosts produce much good fruit in OT days? Absolutely not! We read at the end of verse 2 that it brought forth “wild grapes”. This again is a liberal translation by the KJ translators. Literally the Word of God says that it brought forth “stinky fruit”, or “stink berries”. The grapes and the wine that was pressed from it was a stench in the nose of the Lord of Hosts. Why? It is because the gospel of works that they had developed in the nation of Israel was far removed from the pure Gospel of Christ crucified. God says in Jer 2:21, “Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?” This is the reason why we should jealously guard the true Gospel of grace alone, for God’s wrath is upon every religion that seeks to come

into God’s presence by works. Let us now look at the result of this great apostacy:

Isa 5:5  And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up (lit: “burned”); and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:

Isa 5:6  And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.

This was God’s promise that He would destroy His vineyard. It would no longer have the privilege to be the external representation of the kingdom of God on this earth. When would the Lord begin to break down His vineyard? It began on the day that the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross, for that was the day that God divorced His wife, the OT nation of Israel, and that Christ bought for Himself His Bride, the body of true believers He purchased at the cross. And although the timing of this momentous event was entirely in the hands of God, we should keep in mind what reason God gave for doing this. The reason was the apostacy of the nation of Israel. The focus of this parable in Isa 5:1-7 is a warning to the church. It is a warning to the NT church to remain faithful to the truth of the Gospel. And even though the Lord began to state the beauty of His vineyard with the words, “My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a horn, a son of Gethsemane”, nevertheless in this parable God declared that the nation of Israel had gradually gone in the way of apostacy. What was the nature of their apostacy? Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 9:31 (2X). Right after God declared in Rom 9 the true Gospel of salvation through His eternal election, and the mercy of Christ on the cross, and the grace of God working through faith as a gift from God, God stated the condition and the religion of the nation of Israel who insisted in doing something for their salvation. God said in Rom 9:31-33,

Ro 9:31-33    But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.               Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;                            As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Israel, referring to the nation of Israel, has sought to become righteous before God by following a law which would make them righteous before God. They sought to come before God by their works, but not by faith through the blood of Christ, for they stumbled at that stumblingstone which represents Christ crucified. God’s plan of salvation was that they had to accept that they were sinners on the way to Hell, and that they could not help themselves, but that they needed a Savior who had to endure the payment for their sins. But this implied that they had to depend entirely on the mercy and grace of God. This is a very humbling admission, but this is the truth of the Gospel as stated in the Bible. But they had another plan of salvation. Certainly they admitted that God was gracious, but they believed that they had to do something to make them eligible for salvation, so that they could be proud of the choice they had made. But this was not God’s way of salvation, and it was a stench in the nose of God. Sadly to say, many churches today have gone that same route. They have abandoned the free gift of grace, and they have added their own works as a requirement for salvation.  Please turn again in your Bibles to the Gospel of Matthew, Matt 21:42 (2X). We have touched on the stumblingstone in Rom 9:33, and so let us now take an in-depth look at what sort of an offense this stumblingstone is. We read in Matt 21:42,

#2.       The Stone Which the Builders Rejected (Matt 21:42-46, Psalm 118:22-23, Isa 8:14-15)

Mt 21:42-46  Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?          Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.          And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.           And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.         But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

The Lord Jesus continued to address the leaders of the Jews in the form of parables. In the previous verses the Lord Jesus indicated that the leaders of the Jews were going to kill Him. Now He identified Himself with the precious corner stone written in the OT, a corner stone which the builders rejected, and that is why they were going to crucify Him. In verse 42 the Lord Jesus quoted from Psalm 118:22-23, where we read, “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes”. Christ is that corner stone, who became the head of the spiritual building which is the church, or the NT temple of God. And who did the builders represent? They represented the leaders of the Jews at the time of Jesus, who were appointed to build the spiritual house of God. But they failed, because in their envy they refused to recognize the Lord Jesus as the promised Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One. But God used their sin to accomplish His goals, and that was to bring Christ to the cross, so that payment for the sins of all the elect would be made. That is why the Scriptures say, “this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes”. God can never be the author of sin, for God cannot sin and He does not tempt anyone to sin. But God works through the sin of mankind to accomplish His goals. Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 8:14 (2X). In this passage of Isaiah the southern kingdom of Judah was trembling, because the northern kingdom of Israel had allied themselves with the Gentiles to fight the House of David. Paraphrased God’s comforting words to His faithful people was, “This is not the real danger, apostacy is”. And then we read in Isa 8:14,

Isa 8:14  And He (Christ) shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Isa 8:15  And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.

This was a prophecy of the events we read about in Matt 21. Christ shall be a sanctuary for all His chosen people, but He shall be a stumblingstone and a rock of offense to the children of Israel, and He will be for a trap and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And when God prophesied that they will “stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken”, it means that they will remain even tighter in the clutches of Satan, for the Gospel of Christ will be an offense to them. They do not like this Gospel of free grace, for it makes them feel insignificant, and it takes away their feeling of superiority over the Gentiles. They rather have a gospel of works. They don't need a Savior who was crucified for their sins. They only need to do their part, and God will do the rest and take them into Heaven.

Sadly to say, this is the same box that most churches today have gotten themselves into. They teach that Christ has died for the sins of everyone in the whole world. Therefore, Christ has done all He could, and now it is up to you to take and accept this offer that Christ holds out. Therefore you become the Kingmaker. Come forward and accept this offer of salvation. You can do it, by your own free will. And so, they rather have a gospel of works than the Gospel of the Bible. They preach that we only need to do our part, and God will do the rest and take us into Heaven. But what is God’s verdict on the nation of Israel for doing this? Please turn again to the Gospel of Matthew, Matt 21:43 (2X). God says there:

·        The Kingdom of God Shall Be Taken from You (Matt 21:43, 1Pet 2:6-8)

O yes! At the cross the kingdom of God shall be taken away from the nation of the Jews and shall be given to another nation. What nation does God have in mind? We read in Matt 21:43,

Mt 21:43  Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

When we compare verse 43 with verse 41 we see that “the vineyard” has been changed to “the kingdom of God”. Actually this is not a change, for the vineyard represents the external kingdom of God, as I said in the beginning. The OT congregation or the NT church is the external kingdom of God. We must recognize that when the kingdom of God has been taken away from the nation of the Jews, there is no chance whatsoever that the nation of the Jews will again be the favorite nation of God in a future millennium, for God does not lie. What nation shall the kingdom of God be given to? God specifies that nation in the second half of verse 43. It will be a nation of individuals spread throughout the world, a remnant out of every nation chosen by grace, who will give the Lord the fruit that He approves of. Please turn in your Bibles to the First Epistle of Peter, 1Pet 2:6 (2X). God speaks in 1Pet 2:4-8 of Christ as the cornerstone who has been rejected of men, but chosen of God, and precious. He is the cornerstone of the spiritual house which is presently being built, in which we, the elect of God, are the living stones of this building that is called the temple of God. We read in 1Pet 2:6-8,

1Pe 2:6  Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

1Pe 2:7  Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

1Pe 2:8  And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

Being disobedient, whereunto also they were appointed”. These are awesome words; frightening words, that speak of the sovereignty of God in all the affairs of man. We need to understand these words, for we cannot make God the author of sin. Let us take the example of the leaders of the Jews who plotted and succeeded to have the Lord Jesus Christ crucified. Of all these wicked deeds God says in Acts 2:23, “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain”. In other words, “the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God” dictated that it must take place, for the elect of God must be cleansed from their sins. But then God added, “ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain”. Even though it was all in God’s plan, it was still their sin. But God, in His foreknowledge, was able to utilize their sin so that everything still worked out according to God’s plan. It is in this same way that we must interpret 1Pet 2:8. Christ was a stone of stumbling to the leaders of the Jews, and therefore they caused Him to be crucified. It was fully their sin. But God used their sin to accomplish His purpose. They were indwelt by Satan and at the same time they were instruments of God, but they will be judged for their sin. God is on the throne, and there is nothing that takes place outside His control. Please turn again to the Gospel of Matthew, Matt 21:44 (2X). This verse, verse 44, contains two contrasting actions. The first half of this verse speaks of a man falling down on the stone that represents Christ. The second half of this verse speaks of the stone that represents Christ falling on top of a man and kills him. We read in Matt 21:44,

Mt 21:44  And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

Who are those that shall fall on this stone and be broken? All those who learn of their own inherent wickedness, unable to help themselves, and who learn of the Gospel of Christ crucified for unworthy sinners, and who learn of God’s free gift of mercy and grace, are simply broken in spirit. We are awe struck by such a great salvation, and by such a great danger we have escaped, and by such a great power and love and wisdom of God. We have no more desire to give in to our own evil desires, but we have come to Christ, broken in spirit. We do not want to do our own will, but we want to do His will. And now we understand what God says in Psalm 51:17 applies to us, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite (repentant) heart, O God, thou wilt not despise”. Yes we have fallen on that stone which represents the Lord Jesus Christ, but we have fallen down on it to worship Christ. This stone has not become to us a stone of stumbling, for we do not want to be rebellious. Furthermore we read in Psalm 34:18, “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite (repentant) spirit”. Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 57:15 (2X). While we turn to this passage we remember the comforting words the Lord Jesus spoke in the Sermon on the Mount where He said in Matt 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. Who are those that are poor in spirit? Those that are of a broken spirit and of a contrite (a repentant) heart, the Lord will not despise, for God has sent His Holy Spirit to give us such a broken spirit and repentant heart. And we have become heirs of the kingdom of heaven as a free gift. Then we read in:

Isa 57:15  For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite (repentant) and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite (repentant) ones.

A humble and a contrite heart is something that only God can give, for we of our own selves are proud, and we do not seek repentance, for that would be admitting that we are guilty. And so, only by God’s grace will He revive our dead soul, for in our own deadness we were unable to be humble before God and to seek His mercy. We can see that we deserve to be cast into Hell for all our sins. And thus we are extremely grateful for what Christ has done for us on the cross, and we want to love Him and serve Him forever. That is easier said than done. How then shall we serve Him? If we know that Christ has purchased the church with His own blood, how can we withhold our services from the church? Even when we are not actively involved in work for the church, we can still serve Him with our presence. The Lord is not pleased if we even withhold our presence. Let us now return to the Gospel of Matthew, Matt 21:37 (2X). We need to spend some time with the parable of the vineyard that we read 45 minutes ago. The Lord Jesus accused the leaders of the Jews with a crime that is described in Matt 21:38.

#3.       This Is the Heir; Let Us Kill Him (Matt 21:37-39, John 2:23, 3:2, 3:26)

Mt 21:37-39  But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.      But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.     And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.

In verse 37 the Lord said, “Last of all”. This event leading to the crucifixion of Jesus is called "last of all". This means that the Lord Jesus is not going to come a second time to give mankind another chance to repent during the final 1000 years. There is no glorious future 1000 years with Christ reigning from Jerusalem. That is simply not in agreement with these words of Scripture. Did the leaders of the Jews indeed recognize the Christ? The Lord Jesus said so, and He does not lie. But we also have the Biblical evidence which also says that they knew who Jesus was. We read in John 2:23,

Joh 2:23  Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.

Many believed in His name. We cannot brush these facts under the carpet. Moreover, we read that Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, came to Jesus at night, and admitted that fact. We read in John 3:2,

Joh 3:2,  Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

Nicodemus did not come to this conclusion just by himself. Nicodemus was a ruler, which meant that he attended the meetings of the Sanhedrin where the miracles of the Lord Jesus were discussed. And certainly many of the Lord’s miracles were unexplainable. Then we read about Jews who were trying to

sow discord between the Lord Jesus and John the Baptist. We read in John 3:26,

Joh 3:26  And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.

Behold, all are coming to Jesus instead of to John the Baptist. And so, we see these evidences just on two pages of the Bible. We do not have to search any further. Most definitely did the leaders of the Jews know who the Lord Jesus was, for the Lord Jesus told us that this was the case. And knowing this, what was the Lord’s verdict? We read in verse 41,

Mt 21:40  When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?

Mt 21:41  They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.

In verse 40 the Lord Jesus asked the leaders of the Jews what the householder should do with the wicked husbandmen. The design of this question was that they might condemn themselves, and admit the justice of the judgment that was soon to come upon them. But the case was so clear that they could not answer Him any other way. And so, at the cross the vineyard, the kingdom of God, was taken away from them and this privilege was given to believers of the NT church. Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Jeremiah, Jer 12:7 (2X). What do you think God will do if the NT church also abandons the true Gospel of the Bible, and the church fabricates works gospels? Since God is a righteous God, He will hand out the same judgment on the NT church if the church commits the same crime that the OT congregation has committed. Indeed this is what God prophesies of the NT church. We read in Jer 12:7,

Jer 12:7-9  I have forsaken mine house, I have left mine heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies.       Mine heritage is unto me as a lion in the forest; it crieth out against me: therefore have I hated it.      Mine heritage is unto me as a speckled bird, the birds round about are against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour.

Jer 12:10-11  Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.          They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart.

Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard”. Why have I never heard any pastor preach a sermon on this passage? Is it because they are afraid that their congregation will discover that they are not saved, and that the pastors are actually the ones who are leading their churches into a desolate wilderness? Let us pray that God will have mercy on our little church, and that God’s grace will keep us faithful in His Word. Let us pray that we put our money where our mouth is, and that we will do all that we can to keep our church family together in love for one another. Let us pray that we will continue to proclaim this Gospel of grace alone, through Christ alone, throughout all the world, and give Him all the glory and the all credit for our salvation.              AMEN.            Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.