(American Standard Version)
1 How hath the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger! He hath cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of Israel, And hath not remembered his footstool in the day of his anger.
2 The Lord hath swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied: He hath thrown down in his wrath the strongholds of the daughter of Judah; He hath brought them down to the ground; he hath profaned the kingdom and the princes thereof.
4 He hath bent his bow like an enemy, he hath stood with his right hand as an adversary, And hath slain all that were pleasant to the eye: In the tent of the daughter of Zion he hath poured out his wrath like fire.
5 The Lord is become as an enemy, he hath swallowed up Israel; He hath swallowed up all her palaces, he hath destroyed his strongholds; And he hath multiplied in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation.
6 And he hath violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden; he hath destroyed his place of assembly: Jehovah hath caused solemn assembly and sabbath to be forgotten in Zion, And hath despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest.
7 The Lord hath cast off his altar, he hath abhorred his sanctuary; He hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces: They have made a noise in the house of Jehovah, as in the day of a solemn assembly.
8 Jehovah hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion; He hath stretched out the line, he hath not withdrawn his hand from destroying; And he hath made the rampart and wall to lament; they languish together.
10 The elders of the daughter of Zion sit upon the ground, they keep silence; They have cast up dust upon their heads; They have girded themselves with sackcloth: The virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground.
11 Mine eyes do fail with tears, my heart is troubled; My liver is poured upon the earth, because of the destruction of the daughter of my people, Because the young children and the sucklings swoon in the streets of the city.
13 What shall I testify unto thee? what shall I liken to thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? What shall I compare to thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Zion? For thy breach is great like the sea: who can heal thee?
16 All thine enemies have opened their mouth wide against thee; They hiss and gnash the teeth; they say, We have swallowed her up; Certainly this is the day that we looked for; we have found, we have seen it.
17 Jehovah hath done that which he purposed; He hath fulfilled his word that he commanded in the days of old; He hath thrown down, and hath not pitied: And he hath caused the enemy to rejoice over thee; He hath exalted the horn of thine adversaries.
19 Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches; Pour out thy heart like water before the face of the Lord: Lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children, that faint for hunger at the head of every street.
20 See, O Jehovah, and behold to whom thou hast done thus! Shall the women eat their fruit, the children that are dandled in the hands? Shall the priest and the prophet be slain in the sanctuary of the Lord?
21 The youth and the old man lie on the ground in the streets; My virgins and my young men are fallen by the sword: Thou hast slain them in the day of thine anger; Thou hast slaughtered, and not pitied.
22 Thou hast called, as in the day of a solemn assembly, my terrors on every side; And there was none that escaped or remained in the day of Jehovah's anger: Those that I have dandled and brought up hath mine enemy consumed.
God's Plan of Salvation
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)