I Love 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 America today, it appears that this describes the majority of those professing faith in Jesus Christ who have bought into a diluted and altered gospel message intended to tickle itching ears and to appease human flesh. For they are content with their professions of faith in Jesus Christ, believing that they secure for themselves forgiveness of all sins and heaven as their eternal destiny, regardless of how they live their lives on this earth.

And if you try to show them the truth of the gospel, so many of them have now been programmed to reject the truth of the gospel as “works salvation,” and something that they should discard and disregard. So, it doesn’t matter how many Scriptures you try to point them to, they will automatically reject them, for they do not agree with what they have been taught is the truth, and with what they have come to accept as the truth.

And I don’t know exactly how far back this all began, but I still recall a man telling me 18 years ago that he doesn’t have to repent of his sins. He just has to “believe,” which is left open to the “believer’s” own interpretation of what that means, which usually means just making an acknowledgment of who Jesus is and of what he did for us in dying on the cross for our sins, but even that is not usually a complete picture with regard to why Jesus died.

But so many people have been brainwashed to believe that they do not have to repent of (turn from) their sins, and that they do not have to obey the Lord, and that God requires absolutely no works from us at all. But if they read Ephesians 2:10, which follows directly after verses 8-9, which they seem to all quote, pretty much, they will read that we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus FOR GOOD WORKS, which God prepared in advance that we should WALK IN THEM (put them into practice).

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.”

When I read these verses, I can’t help but think of all these institutional market-driven “churches” we have here in America where they have turned the gatherings of the church into businesses to be marketed to the people of the world. And so they have altered the meaning of “church,” and the gatherings of what is called “church,” and the gospel message – all to attract the people of the world to their gatherings so that the world will feel at home in the gatherings of “the church.” Something is wrong with that picture.

So what they are building is not God’s eternal kingdom but their own earthly kingdoms. And they are all about “drawing in large crowds of people from the world” to their gatherings via marketing schemes and entertainment and fun activities for the family and a non-threatening easy going friendly atmosphere where they will feel comfortable and at home. And this requires the diluting of the gospel in order to not offend the people of the world with the truth, but to make the gospel more attractive to human flesh.

And so they have indeed healed the wound of God’s people lightly by denying the truth of the gospel in favor of the lies which tickle itching ears. For they are telling them that a mere profession of faith in Jesus Christ seals the deal for them, regardless of how they live. And they are not teaching that we must deny self, die daily to sin and to self, and follow Jesus in obedience to his commands. For they are not teaching that Jesus died to deliver us from our addiction to sin, but only that he forgives our sins.

And so many professers of faith in Jesus Christ have continued on living in deliberate and habitual sin, making sin their practice, and righteousness and holiness and walks of obedience to our Lord are not their practice, but yet they are convinced heaven is their eternal destiny. But Jesus said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one DOING the will of God the Father (Matthew 7:21-23).

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

I happen to be very fond of this verse. It says a lot, really. We are to stand at the crossroads and look and ask for the ancient paths. And crossroads is “a point at which a crucial decision must be made that will have far-reaching consequences” (Oxford Languages). So it is a point at which we must decide, essentially, if we are going to follow Jesus with our lives, or if we are going to follow the flesh, instead.

And to ask for the ancient paths has to do with us asking for the way of repentance and of dying with Christ to sin and of walks of righteousness and holiness and of obedience to our Lord, where the good way is. And then we are to walk in them, in practice. We are to forsake our lives of living in sin and for self to follow Jesus in obedience and in surrender to his will for our lives, for this is the essence of the gospel of our salvation.

And there we will find rest for our souls, for it is only there that we will find genuine salvation from sin and eternal life with God. Only there can we be at peace with God and at rest in knowing that we are living lives which are pleasing him, and that we are doing what he commands under the New Covenant. Only there can we have true assurance of salvation from sin and eternal life with God and heaven as our eternal destiny.

But so many professers of faith in Jesus Christ are telling the Lord that they will not walk in the ancient paths, for they have convinced themselves that they do not have to. But if they would read the Scriptures in their context they would soon learn that they teach that if we walk in sin, we will die in sin. If sin is what we practice, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, then we do not have eternal life with God, and we will not enter into God’s eternal kingdom, regardless of what faith in Jesus Christ we have professed with our lips.

[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 Heart’s Desire

An Original Work / June 29, 2013
Based off Rm. 10; Lu. 9:23-26; Ep. 4:20-24

Loved Ones, Oh, my heart’s desire
Is that you might come to Jesus.
Many appear zealous for God,
But they do not trust in Him.
They have not submitted to the One
Who saved them from their sins;
Not forsaken their sins,
Nor have they obeyed their King.

The word of the Lord is near you:
The word of faith we’re proclaiming:
That you must confess your faith
In Jesus as your Lord and King:
Believe in Him as your Lord,
And follow Him where’er He leads.
Share the gospel; be a witness,
And meet others’ needs.

Beautiful are the feet of those
Who bring the good news of Jesus:
Anyone who would come to Him
Must deny himself today;
Die to sin and self, and
Let the Spirit transform you in heart;
Put on your new self in Jesus,
Yielding to the cross.

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