Ask For the Ancient Paths

Jeremiah 6:10 ESV

“To whom shall I speak and give warning,
that they may hear?
Behold, their ears are uncircumcised,
they cannot listen;
behold, the word of the Lord is to them an object of scorn;
they take no pleasure in it.”

In the year 2022 here in America, sadly this describes perhaps the majority of people calling themselves Christians and children of God. For so many of them have bought into a diluted gospel message which tells them that they can “believe” (usually not defined) in Jesus Christ, have their sins forgiven, and now be on their way to heaven regardless of whether or not they repent of their sins or submit to Christ as Lord or follow Jesus in obedience to his commands. But what they are being taught is a lie, not the truth.

Their ears are stopped up and many of them are refusing to open their ears and to listen to the truth because they want to believe the lies, for the lies are more comfortable for them, for the lies do not require of them that they turn away from their sinful lifestyles and that they now follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his ways. The lies allow them to continue in deliberate and habitual sin against God, and against other humans, without conscience or remorse or compassion for those whom they are sinning against.

But this doesn’t stop with just teaching a false gospel. They have to also discredit the true gospel of our salvation so people will refuse it. So they have convinced their listeners that the lies are the truth and that truth is a lie, and that God’s grace does not require any works, not even repentance and obedience. And so the truth of the gospel is now tagged as legalism, judgmentalism, and as works salvation, which is to be discarded, while the false gospel of a false grace is hailed as loving and kind and godly.

Jeremiah 6:13-14 ESV

“For from the least to the greatest of them,
everyone is greedy for unjust gain;
and from prophet to priest,
everyone deals falsely.
They have healed the wound of my people lightly,
saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
when there is no peace.”

And this describes what I just talked about. For we live in an era in America where the majority of what is called “church” is not the true church, the body of Christ, but it is an institution of men (ICs) and a conglomeration of an unholy union of Christians with the state (the government), and with big business, and with church denominations (businesses), and with the world. And so they are patterning their gatherings after the world in order to draw in large crowds of people from the world to their big shows.

Therefore they are also diluting and altering the whole biblical concept of “church” and of the gospel of our salvation in order to attract the world to their worldly gatherings. Yet not every congregation of the saints of God here in America is party to these market-driven and flesh-driven churches, but it appears that the majority of them are very much so. For these “churches” (ICs) are about building men’s (and women’s) earthly kingdoms. They are not about building the biblical kingdom of God.

And this is very much about greed and unjust gain. My husband and I went through their church planters training classes 18 years ago when we were church planters. In one of these sessions we were told that we will have “needy” people to help us get up and running but that once we are up and running that we need to get rid of the “needy” people so that they do not drag us down. Does that sound like anything Jesus would say? He ministered to the “needy” people, and many of them believed in him.

And then I was told once by a pastor that in his training he was warned about people like me, i.e. “people with strong convictions,” that he wants to get rid of someone like me, so he invited me to go somewhere else where I would be “a better fit.” For it is all about marketing and doing what the world does to attract people to their businesses and to keep them coming back for more. And so they are being trained in getting rid of the “undesirables” who might hinder their businesses from succeeding.

And yes, they absolutely are “healing” the sin wounds of the people lightly, telling them “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace. For they are telling them that a mere profession of faith in Jesus Christ is enough to get all their sins forgiven and to guarantee them heaven when they die. And so, many people are professing faith in Jesus Christ, convinced they are going to heaven, while they are no different from people who don’t believe in Jesus. They do all the same things and have all the same conversations. It is barely distinguishable between Christians and the people of the world these days.

Jeremiah 6:16 ESV

“Thus says the Lord:
‘Stand by the roads, and look,
and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it,
and find rest for your souls.’”

Now, this is one of my favorite Scripture verses. I have not looked to see if this one is on my Scripture quilt, but it should be. I love the message in this verse. For what this is saying is to stand at the crossroads, which is the meeting-point of different roads (different paths that you might follow) and ask the Lord for the ancient paths, meaning the paths of righteousness and holiness and godliness and obedience to our Lord. Ask the Lord to show you the right way, the way of holiness and obedience to the Lord.

Ask him to show you the good way, the way of God, and the way of the cross of Christ and death to sin and living to God and to his righteousness. And then walk in the way of holiness and godliness in obedience to your Lord. No longer walk according to the flesh but now according to the Spirit. No longer live for the desires of the flesh, but now live to please God with your lives. No longer follow the paths that humans are charting for you to follow, but get on that narrow road, the only way leading to heaven.

“But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”

But not everyone is going to say that. And not all who live it will verbalize it, though many do. I can’t tell you the number of times I have gotten responses from people telling me that they do not have to obey the Lord, and they do not have to repent of their sins, for Jesus did it all for them on that cross and thus nothing is required of them other than to “believe,” which again is not usually biblically defined or defined at all, for that matter. They are convinced they are saved and bound for heaven, end of story.

Nonetheless, everyone who refuses to bow the knee to God in all humility and to repent of their sins and to die with Christ to sin and to live to him and to his righteousness, by his grace, is saying, “We will not walk in it.” They refuse to make Jesus Lord of their lives, and they refuse to submit to his authority over their lives. They refuse to die to sin and to walk in obedience to our Lord, and thus they reject God’s plan of salvation for their lives. For Jesus said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one DOING the will of God the Father.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

My Jesus, I Love Thee

Hymn lyrics by William R. Featherstone, 1864
Music by Adoniram J. Gordon, 1876

My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine;
For thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art thou;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I love thee because thou hast first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree;
I love thee for wearing the thorns on thy brow;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say, when the death-dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

In mansions of glory and endless delight;
I’ll ever adore thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

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