Do you forget things? Yes, we all do, but rarely do we forget anything really important. But what is important to God? Our world has forgotten God, putting the thought that He exists out of mind.

There are parallels to this attitude in the days of Jeremiah. We read in chapter 13, “This is your lot, the portion I have measured out to you, declares the LORD, because you have forgotten me and trusted in lies … I have seen your abominations, your adulteries, your lewd whorings …” (verses 25,27). Whorings means sexual misconduct and are often applied in the context of misconduct in worship.

And what was it that God had “measured out” to Israel? “I will scatter you like chaff driven before the wind …” (verse 24). And, in the end, Israel has been scattered into just about every nation in the world!

Matthew 24 has sayings from Jesus that are equally terrible about what God was about to do. His first action was the scattering of the Jews that had rejected their Messiah. But God’s ultimate action would be, said Jesus, on the world as a whole, for “the gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (verse 14). Jesus says that not even he “but the father only” (verse 36) knows when the “end” will come. He compares the “end” to the end of the world in Noah’s day “And they were unaware until the flood came” (verse 39) and then it was too late! He stresses the need to be on God’s side as Noah was, when all the rest “have forgotten me” – showing this by the way they live their lives.

“Therefore, stay awake,” says Jesus, “for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming” (verse 42) you “must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (verse 44). Not just a “day” – but also an “hour”! The final verse in the chapter says those who are not ready – “I will put … with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”. Hypocrites? Such people know, but their behaviour disqualifies them from a place in God’s kingdom. May none of us be counted among the hypocrites, may Jesus see us all as true believers.