Pastor Mike Walls
Freedom Baptist Church Smithfield, NC
Let’s Get Back to the Old Paths!Â
Introduction: The book of Jeremiah is a great book of the Bible.It has many great principles in it.The prophet Jeremiah is exhorting the nation of Judah to REPENT and RETURN to GOD! Our text verse is a powerful summary of the message of Jeremiah.
Let me give you three thoughts in this section of scripture.
1.Judah had a PATTERN of REBELLION Jeremiah 3:6-11
2. Jeremiah was PREACHING REPENTANCE!
Jeremiah 3:12, 3:22, 4:1
Glen Matthews, the West Virginia evangelist preached one time that there are three doctrines not preached much any more.They are restitution, restoration and repentance.This was not so with Jeremiah.His book was full of preaching repentance.
3. Jehovah has PATHS of RIGHTEOUSNESS.
I wish I had the time to explore these three thoughts.I may do so some time in the future.
As matter of introduction, I want to ask and answer a few questions.Why ask for the old paths?It is because the new paths are delusional and destructive.The new paths are manâ€™s miserable substitution for the grand old â€œhighwayâ€ of God, which only captivate the unsuspecting into Doubting Castle, the habitation of Giant Despair.
What are the old paths?They are the remembered paths that Abel, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah and so many more have traveled.They believed God and accepted Godâ€™s word as the lamp to their feet and the testimony of His Son as the sure foundation of the their hope.The revealed will of God is the old unerring path that leads to peace and Godâ€™s power.This is the light that is as trustworthy as the sun.The old path is sprinkled with the blood of atonement; the new path has rose water of men pleasing.
Why we should walk in the old paths?In them we find the blood of Christ to justify.In them we find the Word of God to satisfy.We find the power of the Holy Spirit to sanctify.
This verse of scripture is the Lord warning the people of God to return to Him.They had forsaken God for their idols and this parallels our time.We live in a time that many of the old time principles of Godâ€™s Word have been minimized and forsaken all around us.We see churches and I am speaking of Independent, Fundamental Baptist church that are going down the new paths in order to build larger and larger church regardless of the cost.
I.THE REQUIREMENT OF THE LORD FOR US TO GO THE OLD PATHS
It is not a request.You can turn down a request.The Lord is not requiring them to go to just any path but the old path.It is a clear path as well as the correct path.
During World War II, during the Battle of the Bulge, there was a group of German soldiers who dressed themselves in the uniforms of the Allies.These German soldiers used American military vehicles and went through the German countryside changing the road signs.When the American troops came to the various crossroads, they were often fooled and lead off in the wrong direction.This deception by the Germans almost gave them the victory in this very decisive battle from the Second World War.
Just like those German soldiers caused confusion and death by changing a few signs, so many in our day are leading millions off into Hell because they are changing some of the road signs of the faith.
I donâ€™t normally call names but I know that some of these folks need to be identified.Rick Warren is one of these men who is leading millions into hell with his teaching and preaching.Joel Osteen is another.When you refuse to call sin exactly what it is â€“ sin, then you can never really lead some one to the Saviour.The Bible plainly says that all are sinners.If you donâ€™t get them lost first, you will never get them saved.
The old paths involve salvation through the blood of Christ.
â€œAnd almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.â€
The old paths involve the scriptures and its work in the life of a believer.
2nd Timothy 3:16-17
â€œAll scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.â€
Our Bible is still the inspired book.Our Bible is still the inerrant book.Our Bible is still the infallible book.Our Bible is still the inflexible book.Our Bible is still the invaluable Book.It still brings conviction.It still brings conversions.It still brings correction.It still brings cleansing.It still brings comfort.It still brings conquering.
The old paths involve a love for church.
â€œNot forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.â€
The old paths involve the reality of heaven and hell.It is also includes the value of the human soul, the soon return of the Lord Jesus and the holiness of God.If you minus any of these, then you are not on the old path.Regardless of which signs the world changes, it does not change the road!The Word of God is still settled in Heaven.We still know the â€œold paths.â€There is no question about what way is the right way.And, Godâ€™s requirement has not changed:ask for the old paths and walk therein!
II.THE RENDERING OF THE OLD PATHS IN OUR PREACHING
I will be quoting an older preacher and his message â€œI Like The Old Pathsâ€.
The Old paths are when Women wore the jewelry; Men wore the pants; Harlots wore the paint and children wore the stripes.The Old paths are when Women looked like ladies; Men looked like gentlemen, and children looked decent.The Old paths are when People loved the truth and hated a lie; they would follow the Pastor and ignore the world; they came to get IN and not to get OUT!The Old paths are when Cursing was wicked; Drinking was evil; Divorce was unbelievable; the Flag was honored; America was beautiful and God was welcomed.
The Old paths are when we READ the Bible in public, prayed in school and preached on the courthouse steps!
The Old Paths are when Laws were based on the BIBLE; HOMES read the Bible and churches taught the BIBLE!!The Old Paths are when preachers were more interested in NEW CONVERTS than new clothes and new cars!! Churches wanted to reach every creature with the GOSPEL more than new buildings and paved parking lots and prayed and wept over the lost in their community.
The Old Paths are when God was worshipped.Christ was exalted and the Holy Ghost was followed!! The Old Paths are when the Bible was believed and not corrected; Sinners got Saved, Converts were CONVERTED and the Gospel was preached and not SHARED.
THOSE WERE THE DAYS WHEN: We would go witnessing with tears; prayed a lot and talked little on the phone; spent more time with the Bible than the TV.We would weep about lost souls, enjoy going to CHURCH more than anything.We had testimony and song services.We would really try to do something for God; we would say AMEN to the truth, and got to the ALTAR to repent of sin.We would bring folks to Church; take Pastor home for Sunday dinner; give tithes and offering gladly.We would seek the WILL OF GOD in everything and stand against sin anytime and anywhere!!THAT WAS THE OLD PATHS!!!
III.THE RESPONSE NEED TO THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE OLD PATHS.
We are told to do three activities in response to the requirement for the old paths.
A.We are told to stand.Among the Hebrew definitions for word â€œstandâ€ is this definition.
It is to stand your ground.Since the old paths are the ones that ours heroes of the faith, we can see how they stood in the Old Paths.
David stood in the Old Paths when he was standing against the giant, Goliath.Do you recall what he said in that day?
1st Samuel 17:26, 45-47
â€œAnd David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?â€â€œThen said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORDâ€™S, and he will give you into our hands.â€
The three Hebrew men stood in the Old Paths when Nebuchadnezzar threatened to put them in the fiery furnace.
â€œShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.â€
Shammah stood in the Old Paths.
2nd Samuel 23:11-12
â€œAnd after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a piece of ground full of lentiles: and the people fled from the Philistines.But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the LORD wrought a great victory.â€
This list could go on and on but I am going to limit it to these three accounts.If you stand for something, then you will fall for anything.In these days we need to stand for the Bible.Of course, I mean a King James Bible for those who speak English.We need to stand for the Blood.We need to stand for the Blessed hope that awaits us.I cannot believe the folks that have gone astray on the Rapture.
B.We are told to ask for the old paths.Our children need to be taught to ask for the Old Paths.They are going to suffer from the lack of plain preaching if they are not taught to ask for the Old Path.We are living more and more in what Brother Amos warned us would come.Amos 8:11
â€œBehold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORDâ€
C.We are told to walk in the Old Paths.It is the path that our Saviour trod.
1st Peter 2:21
â€œFor even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his stepsâ€
Too long people who call themselves Christians have been talking the walk and not walking the talk.It means walking in the Lord.In the book of Ephesians we see seven different walks.We have our past walk that we followed the devil and his crowd.We have our present walk in which we are His workmanship.We have a privileged walk in that we are in the vocation of the high calling of the ministry.We must have a pride less walk.We must never walk in the vanity ways of the world.We have priceless walk in that we are walking in love.We have preventable walk in that we are walking in the light of the Word of God.All this leads us to the prudent walk.We are careful in all that we do.
IV.THE REWARDS OF THE OLD PATHS
First of all, we know that we are going to arrive at the right destination.A few years ago, my family and I went to Washington, DC.We rode the Metro to almost every place we went.But we were always paying attention to make sure that we got on the right Metro and if we were getting off on the right stop.Some times this was a real challenge.
The destination that we going to is heaven and the Lord Jesus has not failed to get any of His children to their destination.We are assured that Old Path that we can surely end up into His presence.
Secondly,we can travel in safety knowing that the Lord is guarding our way. Not only will we end up where we want to be, but also we will get there in the safest, most
peaceful manner possible.It is the absent- present principle.
2nd Corinthians 5:6-8
â€œTherefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.â€
Thirdly we can know that while we are on the Lordâ€™s path, the deepest needs of our soul will be met!Only Jesus knows that deepest need.He knows how to satisfy and met it.
Fourthly, there will be fellowship with Him and joy in His presence at the end of the way!â€œWhat a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see and I look upon His face, the One that saved me by His grace; When He takes me by the hand and leads me through the Promised Land, What a day, glorious day that will be!â€
V.RUINATION THAT COMES FROM DEPARTING FROM THE OLD PATHS
Our Text tells us that some decided that they would not walk in the Lordâ€™s will and in the Lordâ€™s path.The results of their choice are chastisement and destruction.Time will not permit me to read verses seventeen through thirty.There is a high price to pay for refusing to walk in the Lordâ€™s will!I was thinking about Lot.When he refused to walk in the old paths, he lost his fortune, fame and mostly his family.
We are living in a day when many are refusing to walk in the old paths.Either the old way is too narrow, or they feel that God just doesnâ€™t know that what He is talking about. I never consider it an insult that I am narrow minded.That is the old path.Yet no matter what the world does, let us, the people of the Lord stand tall in the old way. Let us be
unashamed of who we are. Let us hold our heads high and walk in the way God has ordained without apology and without backing down. Let us be everything the Lord commanded us to be in His Word.1st Corinthians 15:58
â€œTherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.â€
Conclusion:No, the old way isnâ€™t the popular way!It is being abandoned daily by people who have decided that new is better.They are leaving the Bible, the old songs of the faith, old-fashioned worship, praising the Lord and preaching.Seeker services are replacing old time worship of the Lord.Yet, God has not changed.
â€œJesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.â€
â€œFor I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.â€
I can find no room to change myself.Iâ€™ll ask for the old paths and are walking in them.The question is: how about you?The enemies are changing the signs, but the Lord will know the way.Letâ€™s ask Him and He will lead directly to the Old Paths.