The above verse (Jeremiah 29:7) was recently sent to us. It got us thinking, as those entrusted with the gospel message, what welfare should we seek for the city?
Here are some scriptures which we have found helpful in guiding our hearts and hands and speech over the past years. Our purpose is not debate, but edification. We have tried to avoid scripture-clipping, so have included meatier nuggets with certain words emphasized. May God guide each of us.
When we are indignant
of the way worldly men
treat the Lord Jesus
And it came to pass,
when the time was come
that he should be received up,
he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,
And sent messengers before his face:
and they went, and entered into
a village of the Samaritans,
to make ready for him.
And they did not receive him,
because his face was
as though he would go to Jerusalem.
And when his disciples
James and John saw this,
they said, Lord, wilt thou
that we command fire
to come down from heaven,
and consume them, even as Elias did?
But he turned, and rebuked them,
and said, Ye know not what manner
of spirit ye are of.
For the Son of man
is not come to destroy men's lives,
but to save them.
And they went to another village.
When we are shocked
at the level of sinfulness
to which society has sunk
But, beloved, remember ye the words
which were spoken before
of the apostles of
our Lord Jesus Christ;
How that they told you there should be
mockers in the last time,
who should walk
after their own ungodly lusts.
These be they who separate themselves,
sensual, having not the Spirit.
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves
on your most holy faith,
praying in the Holy Ghost,
Keep yourselves in the love of God,
looking for the mercy of
our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
And of some have compassion,
making a difference:
And others save with fear,
pulling them out of the fire;
hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
When we, in our godly sorrow,
may have forgotten that the decline
of morality in society is a spiritual problem
and its only remedy is the gospel
Now the works of the flesh are manifest,
which are these;
Adultery, fornication, uncleanness,
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred,
variance, emulations, wrath,
strife, seditions, heresies,
Envyings, murders, drunkenness,
revellings, and such like:
of the which I tell you before,
as I have also told you in time past,
that they which do such things
shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit
joy, peace, longsuffering,
gentleness, goodness, faith,
against such there is no law.
And they that are Christ's
have crucified the flesh
with the affections and lusts.
from whence we also came
And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord,
who hath enabled me,
for that he counted me faithful,
putting me into the ministry;
Who was before a blasphemer,
and a persecutor, and injurious:
but I obtained mercy,
because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
And the grace of our Lord was exceeding
abundant with faith and love
which is in Christ Jesus.
This is a faithful saying,
and worthy of all acceptation,
that Christ Jesus
came into the world to save sinners;
of whom I am chief.
1 Timothy 1:12-15
For we ourselves also were sometimes
foolish, disobedient, deceived,
serving divers lusts and pleasures,
living in malice and envy, hateful,
and hating one another.
But after that the kindness and love of
God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Not by works of righteousness
which we have done,
but according to his mercy he saved us,
by the washing of regeneration,
and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Which he shed on us abundantly
through Jesus Christ our Savior
When we feel we
must take a stand
to uphold righteous
standards in society
I wrote unto you in an epistle
not to company with fornicators:
Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world,
or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters;
for then must ye needs go out of the world.
But now I have written unto you
not to keep company,
if any man that is called a brother
be a fornicator,
or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer,
or a drunkard, or an extortioner;
with such an one no not to eat.
For what have I to do to judge
them also that are without?
do not ye judge them that are within?
But them that are without God judgeth.
1 Corinthians 5:9-12
When we are offended
by those who mock God
and flaunt their sin
before our eyes
Therefore is the kingdom of heaven
likened unto a certain king,
which would take account of his servants.
And when he had begun to reckon,
one was brought unto him,
which owed him ten thousand talents.
But forasmuch as he had not to pay,
his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife,
and children, and all that he had,
and payment to be made.
The servant therefore fell down,
and worshipped him,
saying, Lord, have patience with me,
and I will pay thee all.
Then the lord of that servant
was moved with compassion,
and loosed him,
and forgave him the debt.
But the same servant went out,
and found one of his fellowservants,
which owed him an hundred pence:
and he laid hands on him,
and took him by the throat, saying,
Pay me that thou owest.
And his fellowservant fell down at his feet,
and besought him, saying,
Have patience with me,
and I will pay thee all.
And he would not:
but went and cast him into prison,
till he should pay the debt.
So when his fellowservants
saw what was done,
they were very sorry,
and came and told unto their lord
all that was done.
Then his lord, after that he had called him,
said unto him, O thou wicked servant,
I forgave thee all that debt,
because thou desiredst me:
Shouldest not thou also have had compassion
on thy fellowservant,
even as I had pity on thee?
And his lord was wroth,
and delivered him to the tormentors,
till he should pay all that was due unto him.
So likewise shall my heavenly Father
do also unto you,
if ye from your hearts forgive not every one
his brother their trespasses.
When we feel the
"welfare of the city" is
equal to imposed societal order,
decency, and freedom
For God so loved the world that
he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish
but have everlasting life.
Therefore if any man be in Christ,
he is a new creature:
old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Now the Lord is that Spirit:
and where the Spirit of the Lord is,
there is liberty.
2 Corinthians 3:17
When we feel we
shouldn't just sit around
and let things go downhill,
but should get out and do
Therefore said he unto them,
The harvest truly is great,
but the labourers are few:
pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest,
that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
Go your ways: behold,
I send you forth as lambs among wolves.
Luke 10:2, 3
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:
for it is the power of God unto salvation
to every one that believeth;
to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
When we think that,
while obviously the gospel is the
ultimate answer, there
are still things we can
accomplish by uniting
with unbelievers to gain a
majority of votes for issues
related to our
common moral ground
For we wrestle not against
flesh and blood,
but against principalities,
against the rulers of the darkness
of this world,
against spiritual wickedness
in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth,
and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with
the preparation of
the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith,
wherewith ye shall be able to quench
all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer
and supplication in the Spirit,
and watching thereunto with all perseverance
and supplication for all saints;
And for me, that utterance
may be given unto me,
that I may open
my mouth boldly,
to make known
the mystery of the gospel,
Be ye not unequally yoked
together with unbelievers:
for what fellowship hath
righteousness with unrighteousness?
and what communion
hath light with darkness?
2 Corinthians 6:14
Thou therefore endure hardness,
as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
himself with the
affairs of this life;
that he may
who hath chosen
him to be a soldier.
2 Timothy 2:3, 4
When we desire
a higher degree of comfort,
...in the last days perilous times shall come.
For men shall be lovers of their own selves,
covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers,
disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
Without natural affection, trucebreakers,
false accusers, incontinent, fierce,
despisers of those that are good,
Traitors, heady, highminded,
lovers of pleasures more
than lovers of God;
Having a form of godliness,
but denying the power thereof:
from such turn away.
For of this sort are they which creep into houses,
and lead captive silly women laden with sins,
led away with divers lusts,
Ever learning, and never able to come
to the knowledge of the truth.
Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses,
so do these also resist the truth:
men of corrupt minds,
reprobate concerning the faith.
But they shall proceed no further:
for their folly shall be manifest unto all men,
as theirs also was.
1 Timothy 3:1-9
And finally, the grand finale!
Though not exhaustive, two passages come to mind that help us to fully understanding seeking the welfare of the city.
First, these verses 1 Timothy 2.
I exhort therefore,
that, first of all,
and giving of thanks,
be made for all men;
For kings, and for
all that are in authority;
that we may lead
a quiet and peaceable life
in all godliness and honesty.
For this is good and acceptable
in the sight of God our Saviour;
Who will have
all men to be saved,
and to come unto the
knowledge of the truth.
I will therefore that men pray every where,
lifting up holy hands,
without wrath and doubting.
1 Timothy 2:2-8