Temple Baptist Church - 1-29-2017
A. This will probably be my last message in this mini-series and I know that this is a much preached on verse but I know of no other better for my subject matter for this morning.
B. The Prophet Jeremiah prophesied the impending destruction of Judah and Jerusalem in this chapter.
1. They had forsaken the old ways of their fathers! The ways of their fathers brought about blessings upon the Nation of Israel but sin brought judgment. As Moses gave the blessings and cursing to Israel, Jeremiah gave these same two choices to God’s people.
2. They knew where they had come from because, though he admonished them to seek and choose the old ways, he did not have to explain what those ways were. Jeremiah was admonishing them to repent and to turn back to God.
James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
C. I have spent several weeks preaching on the “falling away” in 2 Thessalonians 2 as we are experiencing it in our day. We, as bible believers, certainly know the times in which we live but it is still disappointing to this pastor to see the changes in my short ministry. America is swiftly becoming a heathen nation. It may have “In God We Trust” on its money but the God of the bible is being quickly rejected by the masses.
D. There are a lot of things that disappoint believers in our day but one of the greatest disappointments is the condition of the churches of America in general. Virtually every denomination or movement has changed drastically over the past 30 or so years.
E. Now look at the direction that most Independent Baptist Churches have taken over the past 2 decades. I will not spend a lot of time on their liberalism as I have spent much time preaching on the subject but I will say that I reject apostasy in any form! Apostasy simply means to stand away from a former position.
F. I want to look at these Old Paths for a few minutes to give all of us some needed encouragement. Let me say, at this point, that I am in no way disappointed in the direction that Temple Baptist has chosen to go! We must maintain what, where, and who are!
1. Our path is Sovereign. “Thus saith the Lord” We did not write this blessed old Bible. This is the way that God has set forth in His Word. Though the Old Path may be old, they are still relevant. They are just as applicable in our day as they were in the days in which they were written. The were written by an all-knowing God who saw us at the same time that He saw them.
2. Our path is a Selected. “stand … see … ask” They are Selected. What we are is a personal choice. We are free to leave and yet we have remained. The last statement has always been a troubling one: “But they said, We will not walk therein.” What a sad choice when they knew what God said and rejected His leading.
3. Our path is Sure. “old” Watch out for anything new! I know that times are changing but our ways are old ways. We trust the Lord with our future as we did in our past. Both our Bible and our beliefs are unchanging. We have the blessing of seeing what God wrote to these people thousands of years ago, and were privileged to see the end result. The Old Paths are sure and our footing is solid. On Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.
4. Our path is Safe. “paths” A good path is well marked because it has been well trod. Our forefathers followed Christ. We follow Christ. They ended up with a well done. We will end up with a well done. The Bible says that the horse is prepared unto the day of battle but safety is of the Lord. We have had our share of trials but, through it all, the Lord has protected us and we remain with a good church!
5. Our path is Serene. “the good way” The world rejects the Old Paths but they are good ways! Our Fathers walked in it and it worked. I am now approaching my three score and ten. It has been proven by those who have remained with us, our beloved church Family. I can tell you with perfect assurance that it still works. To this day, I have no regrets about the path that God has led my family to travel. We did not know that we would stay in South Carolina but it is now home. It was good, it is still good, and I believe that it will remain good.
6. Our path is Satisfying. “walk therein” Come good or come bad! By the grace of God, we will love the Lord, love our church, love sinners, and love one another until the day that He calls us home. I am satisfied with the Lord! We have had a great life and God has been good to us. I would not change it.
Conclusion: Too many churches that once stood where we now stand have chosen the paths of least resistance. Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. said that the door of opportunity swings on the hinges of resistance. I want us to end this year with the same mind that we started with.