125 Rolling Hills Drive, Mount Sterling, KY 40353 Telephone (859) 498-1013
Services and Times Sunday Bible Classes for all ages 9:30 AM - Sunday Morning Bible Classes 10:30 AM - Sunday Morning Worship 6:00 PM Sunday Evening Service 7:00 PM Wednesday Evening Service 7:00 PM - Ladies Singing Night (2nd Monday each month)
Mission: Our Mission Statement: To save lost souls; to develop growing disciples and equip them for fruitful service; to serve people with a kind, compassionate spirit, but in all truth; to glorify God with every talent and every ounce of energy; to encourage one another in love; and to support other congregations and missionaries who do the same.
Jerry W. Carmichael
Minister, Rolling Hills church of Christ
Mt. Sterling, Kentucky
The Biblical book of Lamentations was written in about 587 B.C. Most Bible scholars attribute the book to the “weeping prophet” Jeremiah, though his name does not actually appear in the book.
The Book is a series of five poems lamenting the capture and destruction of Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar of the Babylonian Empire. As the writer walks about the streets of the once great city, he graphically describes the destruction, starvation, and general hopelessness that he sees. The great temple of Solomon, with its huge cedar trusses and magnificent architecture all overlaid with gold, lies in ruins! The once great people of the city are now slaves, or worse; they are forced to live on the streets and commit acts of cannibalism to stay alive! The word pictures are so vividly disturbing that one leaves the book in hopes that nothing so horrible will ever be witnessed by our own eyes!
The modern application of this book has long been debated. While it was written to the nation of Judah to point out the horrible result of their sin and rebellion, is there a contextually honest way to apply it today?
It could be applied to us individually in that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Sin definitely causes suffering and destruction. Therefore, each of us could look at our lives individually as being a type of “Jerusalem” sacked and ravaged by the enemy, Satan, because of our own bad choices. Using this application, the book of Lamentations may be taken as a parallel expression of Psalm 51. This Psalm is the cry of the heart of David who had become painfully aware of his deserved punishment. He cast himself upon the mercy of God as his only hope in the hour of affliction. It is recognition that though grief has been brought by the righteous hand of God, it is the loving heart of God to which we appeal for restoration. The haunting images of Lamentations when applied to the individual sinner are cause for alarm, remorse, and repentance indeed!
The more common, modern application of the book is to compare it to modern-day America and the rapid decline of morals and values that we once held dear. Is the United States on the brink of destruction? Is this once great nation so far advanced into sin and rebellion against God that He is about to give us over to the enemy? Frankly, no one knows where that line is or even if it still exists in modern times. But, using biblical history as an indicator, one would think that the patience of Jehovah with the United States would be wearing thin.
At the great risk of violating contextual etiquette, I have chosen to paraphrase the entire book of Lamentations and replace the references to Judah and Jerusalem with the more personal “we” and “us”. When read it this way, the book takes on a more poignant and personal tone of warning against any nation or individual who is determined to continue in sin and rebellion against the Almighty God!
LAMENTATION FOR MODERN TIMES
How lonely sits this place that was once full of people! We were once great among the nations! Our chief officials have become slaves! We weep bitterly in the night. Our tears are on our cheeks. Among those we thought were our friends we have no one to comfort us. All our friends have dealt treacherously with us and have become our enemies. We have gone into captivity, under affliction and hard servitude. We are scattered among the nations. We find no rest. Our persecutors have overtaken us.
The roads to the places of worship are abandoned. No one comes to worship any longer. No one goes through the gates into the cities any longer. Our religious leaders are at a loss for what to do. Our young women are molested at the will of our enemies. Our country is in bitterness.
Our adversaries have become our masters. Our enemies prosper; The Lord has afflicted us because of the multitude of our transgressions. Our children have been taken into captivity by the enemy. All the splendor for which we were once known has departed. Our mighty men of valor have become like deer that find no pasture. They flee without strength before the pursuer.
We sit around and talk about the “Good Old Days.” We remember all the pleasant things we had in the days of old, before we fell into the hand of the enemy, with no one to help us. Our adversaries see us and laugh at our downfall.
We have sinned horribly! This is the reason we have become so vile! People who once honored us now despise us because they have seen how vulnerable we are. People whom we previously thought would help us just sigh and turn away. Our sin has become obvious. We were short-sighted. We acted without considering the ultimate outcome. Therefore, our collapse was monumental! We have no one from whom to gain comfort. The Lord saw how sinful we are and allowed our enemy to be exalted over us!
Our adversaries have had their hands all over those things that we once considered to be sacred. We have seen foreigners enter our sanctuaries. Those who were previously not allowed now freely walk among those things that we considered to be holy.
Our people are destitute: They seek bread. They have given their material things that once were considered valuable in exchange for food just to stay alive! When we look upon this once great society and see what it has become, we weep uncontrollably! Our eyes overflow with water. Because of our sins, the Lord, who could deliver us, is far from us. Our children are desolate because the enemy has prevailed. We seek help from God, but no one comforts us. The Lord has allowed those around us to overtake us. We have become an unclean thing.
The sad part of all this is the fact that the Lord is right in allowing our society to be destroyed because we have rebelled against Him! Because of our rebellion, our young men and women have been carried away into captivity. We have allowed ourselves to be deceived by our leaders, while all they wanted was to enrich themselves.
O Lord, we are in distress and our souls are troubled. Our hearts are overturned within us. We have been very rebellious. Our lives are threatened in the streets and our homes are no longer safe places. All our enemies have heard of our trouble and they are glad that You have allowed it!
In His anger, The Lord has covered our country with a cloud! He has cast down from heaven to the earth our once beautiful society! His anger toward us is intense. The Lord has allowed us to be swallowed up and has not pitied us at all! In His wrath, He has allowed our strongholds to be torn down. He has brought us down to the ground. We have become profane in His sight! In His fierce anger, He has cut off all blessings from this nation! He has drawn back His protection of us from our enemies. He has blazed against us like a flaming fire devouring all around. Standing like an enemy, He has bent His bow; with His right hand, like an adversary, He has slain all who were not pleasing to His eye. He has poured out His fury like fire! The Lord is behaving as if He were our enemy! He has swallowed us up along with all our palaces. He has destroyed our strongholds and has increased mourning and grief in our land!
The Lord has allowed our land to be destroyed! Our barriers of defense have sunken into the ground. Our leaders are scattered among the nations. The Law of God has been abandoned. The religious leaders no longer take their directions from God’s word. The once wise and respected elders just sit on the ground in silence. They are all wearing black and are continually mourning. The young women walk around looking down toward the ground.
We are sad and our hearts are troubled because of the destruction of our people and because children, even babies, are dying in the streets! They say to their mothers, "Where is our food and something to drink?" They swoon in the streets of the city as if they were wounded. They die of starvation in their mothers' arms. How does one go about consoling these people? Our ruin is spread as wide as the sea. Who can heal us? Our religious leaders have lied to us. They have failed to tell us when we were wrong so that we could change and be pleasing to God! They are of no help at all, only full of false prophecies and delusions.
We are a laughingstock to all who pass by! They look and shake their heads at what was once a great and powerful people! "Is this the country that was once called 'The perfection of beauty, and the joy of the whole earth'?" All of our enemies run their mouths against us. They seem to be happy that we are the ones suffering now! They say things like, "Their enemies have swallowed them up! Surely this is the day we have waited for. We have found it; we have seen it!"
The LORD has done what He purposed. He has allowed us to be overthrown and He no longer has pity on us. Our enemies have cause to rejoice over our destruction! Our adversaries have been exalted. Our hearts cry out to the Lord, and our tears run down like a river day and night. We can find no relief and our eyes never rest. We cry all night from beginning to end. We pour out our hearts like water before the face of the Lord. We lift our hands toward Him for the life of our young children who faint from hunger on every street.
God, have You made a mistake? Do you realize who we are? Does it please you that our women are aborting their offspring, the children they should be cuddling? Does it make sense for the few honest religious leaders left to be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord? Young and old alike lie on the ground in the streets. Young men and young women have fallen by the sword. They are slain in anger. They are slaughtered and not pitied. It’s as if our enemies are having a feast and we are the main course! Terrors surround us. It seems as if there will be no refugees or survivors. We watch as people old and young whom we have known all our lives are destroyed by our enemies.
We are witnesses of the severity of the rod of God’s wrath. He has driven us from the light and into the darkness. Surely He has turned His hand against us time and time again throughout the day. Our flesh and skin have aged, and our bones are broken. We have been besieged and surrounded with bitterness and woe. We live in darkness and despair as if we had been dead for years! We are hedged in so that we cannot get out. It is as if we are always wearing a heavy chain! Even when we cry and shout for help our cries are not heard! Our paths are crooked and we are separated from God by a solid rock wall!
We should have known that punishment for our sinful behavior was coming. Like a bear lying in wait or a lion in ambush, life as we knew it has been torn into pieces. We have been made desolate. The bow has been bent and we are the target for the arrow! The arrows of punishment have pierced our loins. We have become the ridicule of all the other people. They sing their taunting song all the day. We are filled with bitterness as if we were forced to drink sour milk. This experience is as painful as if we had broken our teeth eating gravel.
Peace seems like a distant dream and we have forgotten what it was even like to be prosperous. Our strength and our hope have almost perished! But we remember a song we used to sing that gives us hope! “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him."
It is good that we should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for us to learn these lessons from the Lord! We need to sit alone and keep silent and listen for instruction from God. There may yet be hope. Let us submit to the Lord and His commands. The Lord will not cast us off forever. Although we suffer grief, He will show us compassion. He is a merciful God and He would never afflict without cause! Our grief does not bring Him joy!
We, as a society had lost sight of the fact that God is in control. We were trying to make things happen despite His will to the contrary! If the Lord has not commanded a thing, if it is not from the mouth of the Most High, why should sinful men complain when we are punished for our sins?
If we want to escape despair and destruction, we must search out and examine our ways and turn back to the Lord! We need to lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven. We have sinned and rebelled. And God will not pardon us until we repent!
We have behaved in a way that made God angry with us. To be fair and just, He must punish us. We deserve to be slain and not pitied. Our sins have created a cloud through which prayer cannot pass. We have become as garbage and rubbish more so than all the people in the world!
Our enemies have opened up their mouths against us. Fear, desolation and destruction have come upon us. Our eyes overflow with rivers of water for the destruction of our people. We cry constantly without interruption. We pray that the Lord from heaven will look down and see what sorrow we are experiencing. Everything we see around us concerning our people causes us to suffer. Our enemies have hunted us down like birds. They have thrown our people into pits and have thrown stones at us. We feel as if we are drowning and are separated from the One who can save us! In times past we called upon Your name, O Lord, and you heard our cries. Why do You not hear us now? You drew near when we called upon You and assured us that we had nothing to fear. Please hear us now and come to our rescue!
Things that seemed so important before are worthless to us now. Gold won’t buy food when there is no food to buy! The stones of which we made our secure homes are scattered all over the streets. Even our brightest and best young men, whom we regarded as more valuable than gold, are broken like clay pots. Even the offspring of jackals have their mother’s milk to drink, but our babies are starving and dying of thirst! Those who ate delicacies are now desolate in the streets. Those who were accustomed to wearing the most stylish clothes are now wearing rags and living in squalor. The punishment we are receiving for our sinful lives seems worse than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, which was overthrown in a moment, with no hand to help her!
Our young people were brighter than snow and whiter than milk. They were healthier and were better looking in their appearance than any other people on the earth. Now their appearance is blacker than soot. They go unrecognized in the streets. They are reduced to skin and bones. Their skin has become as dry as wood.
It would have been better for us to have died by the sword than to die of hunger. This way we die slowly, pining away, doomed because of lack of the fruits of the field. The hands of once compassionate women cook their own children! We have become cannibals! Devouring our own! Our punishment has destroyed our society down to its very foundations.
The kings of the earth and all inhabitants of the world would not have believed that the day would come when our adversaries and enemies could enter our country at will! Because of our sins, the blood of our people has been shed in the streets. To the world we are a cursed people. They tell us to “Go away, you are unclean! Go away, go away, do not touch us!” We have fled and wandered and can no longer dwell in our own land! God has scattered us. He no longer regards us. The people do not respect the religious leaders, nor do they respect the wisdom of the elderly. We searched diligently for an ally that could help us, but we failed. We watched in vain for someone to come to our rescue! But no one came.
Our enemies were everywhere. They tracked our steps so that we could not walk in our streets. It became evident that our end was near; our days were over. And it happened just as we had feared. Our pursuers were swifter than the eagles of the heavens. They pursued us in the mountains and lay in wait for us in the wilderness. We were captured by nations whom we thought we could trust!
Remember us O Lord and what has befallen us! Look, at our reproach! Our land has been turned over to aliens, and foreigners are living in our houses. We have become like orphans and abandoned children. Our mothers are widows.
We pay for the water we drink, and our wood comes at a price. Our oppressors are relentless. They pursue at our heels. We labor and have no rest. We have given ourselves over to servitude just so we can have food enough to eat.
Our fathers sinned but they died long ago, and we bear the consequences of their bad choices! People who were once our servants now rule over us. There is none to deliver us from their hand. We get our bread at the risk of our lives. The danger of the sword is ever present.
Our skin is hot as an oven. We work although we are sick with the fever. We are mal-nourished. They molest our women young and old at will. Princes are hung up by their hands. And the wisdom of the elderly is no longer respected. Our young men are forced into labor grinding at the millstones. Our young boys stagger under loads of wood. The old men no longer gather at the gate and discuss city business and dispense wisdom. The happy music of celebration is no longer heard, and the dance of joy is no longer seen. “The joy of our hearts has ceased.” The crown has fallen from our head. Woe to us, for we have sinned! Because of this our heart is faint. Because of these things our eyes grow dim. The once beautiful land in which we took so much pride is now desolate, and it is all because we turned our backs on the Lord.
You, O Lord, remain forever. Your throne is from generation to generation. Please do not forget us forever! Please do not forsake us for a long time. Help us to turn back to You, O Lord, and we will be restored. Renew our days as of old. Please do not utterly reject us, and please do not remain angry with us forever!
|Wednesday||19:00 - 20:00|
|Sunday||09:30 - 11:30|
God's House of Hope is a little church on N. Queen St. in Mount Sterling Kentucky. The pastor is Phillip Means of Jeffersonville, Ky.
We desire and seek to bring all to Jesus, teaching them to learn His ways, so they can experience a love that is not of this world, which will in turn lead them to shine their light for Christ.
We welcome everyone to come and worship the Lord with us.Great things are happening!!!Feel the spirit of God moving....
First Church of God Student Ministries is dedicated to our children at First Church of God Mt. Sterling
True Life Community can be your church family.
Come worship with us! Mass Times: Sundays 10:30 AM in English Domingo 4:00 PM en Espanol Thursdays 6:00 PM in English Reconciliation (Confession): Thursdays 5:30pm - 6:00pm and by appointment
Wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here. Come and share in the Good News Sunday morning at 11.
Come Join us.. Sunday School @ 9:30am Morning Worship @ 11:00am Rev. Gregory Bonner, Pastor
We are dedicated to outreach and Evangelism Mike Young 859-404-8949
Senior Pastor - James Hendrix Sunday School at 10am Morning Services at 11am Sunday Evening 6pm Wednesday Evening/YOUTH 6:30pm